Curious about how to find the best travel companion? Is it your boyfriend or girlfriend? Is it your husband or wife?
In talking with many adventure travelers, I found one consistent answer. Hint: it was not a human being.
Most of the avid travelers I’ve interviewed shared a consistent theme.
- Dave: “I never travel without my kazoo.”
- Max: “My Ukulele goes with me around the world.”
- Mandy: “It’s me and my guitar. Everywhere.”
Yes, it’s true. The best travel companion is a musical companion.
I don’t know about you, but when I first started hearing these answers, I got even more curious. What is it about music that travelers are so thrilled with?
Here’s the current list of answers.
It’s Good For The Soul
Playing an instrument is calming, relaxing, and soothing. It doesn’t matter if you’re tired, thirsty, or feeling a little alone. When you get out your instrument, you move into another zone.
In that zone, your soul is at home. Maybe you’re sleeping on a futon. Or a cot. Or you still haven’t sorted out yet where your bed will be. Or you’ve got a reservation in a luxury hotel. It doesn’t matter. As long as you’re playing, all is right in the world.
Have you ever gotten up at sunrise and played a tune? Have you greeted the full moon with a song? Have you been singing your heart out to the pounding surf?
What’s on your ‘bucket list’ of soulful places to play your instrument?
If you don’t have a list, start interviewing fellow travelers. They may just have a long list of ideas to get you started.
It’s Good For Your Health
Whether you’re playing acoustics, acoustic-electric guitars, 12-strings, or ultra-portable travel/small body guitars – strumming feels good. By the way, this isn’t just your impression.
Scientific studies agree. One study from the Netherlands found that people who played 100 minutes a day had a significant drop in blood pressure.
Mayo Clinic experts also agree that music is a great form of therapy. It’s relaxing, calming, and therapeutic. It can help people reduce anxiety, stay in the moment, and even strengthen memory.
That’s inspiring especially if you’re concerned that you might be forgetting things. It could be the next hot trend for travelers of all ages.
It’s Good For Community
When you’re traveling, it’s easy to get into your reality. If you don’t have a special someone to share the journey with, days can pass between having a real conversation.
That’s why having an instrument is so useful. It is a way to instantly connect with people around you. If you’re in a hostel or campground, pull out your guitar. If you’re visiting friends, pull out your instrument and start strumming.
In no time, you’ll have a group of people humming, playing, clapping, and singing together. There’s nothing like having an instant circle of people to make you feel at home.
And, it may seem strange. But these moments of connection build a deep bond. The bond shows up when you see the folks you played with over coffee or at the market the next day. It shows up when they invite you to join them on a trek to a neighboring island. It shows up when they ask you to go to a Flamenco festival in Seville or see the Alhambra in Granada.
Many of the long-lasting friendships amongst travelers have started with music.
It’s Good For Creative Expression
While traveling, we all search for ways to express what we’re seeing, feeling, and experiencing. For some, this happens with taking photographs, sketching, or painting. For others, creative expression happens through music.
As you’re traveling, you’ll see, hear, taste, touch, and smell different things. These impressions will ignite new sensations, and you’ll want to express what you are experiencing.
Many musicians have shared this idea. They may share it as they create an original tune, or rework a classic melody. They may express the colors of the sunrise in a song. Or they could give voice to the elusive colors of stucco, tiles, and fabric through a new tune.
If you’re musically inclined, you already know that translating visuals into music is a brilliant source of creativity. If you haven’t tried this yet, give it a go. You may find that translations from sight to sound or touch to sound sparks an entirely new exploration.
If you’re getting ready for your next trip… which instrument are you traveling with?