The Power of the Playlist

Of the five senses, hearing retains memory the best. This is one of the many reasons that music is so powerful.

And no matter where you travel, there’s always music.

Because music holds memory so well, I put together playlists after most of my trips. It’s pretty easy to remember the songs because there’s a lot of repetition (thanks American music industry!), but I do jot down the names in my journal to help.

As I write this post on the beach in Punta del Este, I’m listening to my South East Asia playlist. It was astonishing how much American pop music we heard through the region. In Vietnam, we couldn’t escape Lady Gaga’s Bad Romance. In the small town of Hoi An, my friend and I happened across a teenager sitting on the floor of a fabric shop, just belting out Bad Romance with her eyes closed and bopping her head like crazy. It was pure enjoyment for her.

Another interesting music moment was when we turned on our TV in Siem Reap and watched a Pitbull music video with Khmer subtitles. Mind blown.

Pitbull music video with Khmer subtitles

Listening to my playlists brings back so many happy memories from my travels. It’s another way, in addition to photos, videos, books and souvenirs, to keep your trip alive.  Make soundtracks of your adventures.

P.S.

I finished writing this post but kept listening to the SE Asia playlist. Nelly’s “Hot in Herre” came on. Everyone has special songs that they will love forever and have many memories tied to it. This is one of mine.

My friend and I were at Angkor What? Bar in Siem Reap and I spent most of the night talking to the manager and drinking super cheap beer. We bonded over our love of Winamp. I asked him if he could play Hot in Herre for me and let us dance on the bar. He said he would play the song, but we could only dance on the tables. Fair enough. Before the first verse ended, we had jumpstarted the dance party at the bar.  I cherish the memory of how we started a dance party in Siem Reap with one of my favorite songs. We danced until the bar closed for a night.

Angkor What? Bar dance party

What songs are a must on your travels? Share below!

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