Back to
Photo by Tom Pablo, South America Semester.

Music as a way of Journaling

I ALWAYS travel with music. Whether it be for a 40 minute subway ride through NYC or for a 3-month trip through the Amazon and the Andes.

People usually ask me why I always have my headphones on hand. The truth is I always keep it for the time in between. For long bus rides or nights that I simply cannot fall asleep. It is time for me to ponder my thoughts and take in my surroundings. Just like journaling is a way for me to jot down my thoughts and memories to look back on, music allows me to do the same thing. Music is a way for me to disconnect for a brief moment and be with myself.

I currently write this yak as I sit for a 6 hour bus ride headed for the next few days exploring Machu Picchu. I feel as though the first few weeks of the trip I have been so caught up in the moment that I have not had a second to process it all. Until now. Experiencing a whole lot of silence while being surrounded by a whole lot of noise. Giving myself a second to appreciate everything around me right now while listening to a collection of the 121 songs that have traveled with me. This time allows me to associate every song with a memory that I have had out here, allowing me to remember these experiences for years to come. So next time I listen to Arc I will be reminded of the warm light that reflects off of the Peruvian mountains in the early hours just as the next time I listen to any song by Talking Heads I will feel as though I am sitting at the dinner table in Urubamba with my host family bonding our shared music love. Music is also a way for me to bring a little bit of comfort with me when I am so far away. So as I ride through the mountains alongside my eleven other young traveling friends, I feel thankful that I can simply plop on a song called Outro and be transported right back to how I am feeling right now.

Just a quick yak from quite a smiley traveler,