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Best of Tripfilms Twelve Travel Questions: Travel-Inspiring Music

Over the last two years, we’ve interviewed 50 of our talented filmmakers and filmmaker teams. Here is a collection of some of the best travel tips, crazy travel stories, and filmmaking philosophies from these expert travelers.

We asked 50 filmmakers: Is there any music that inspires you to travel? 

Nik: Well, I’m from a really small town. And I love small towns. But whenever I hearsongs about small towns it actually makes me want to travel more. I don’t know why really… maybe it has to do with the idea of making an escape and seeing the world. But it makes me feel really blessed, and inspired. Dusty: I listen to just about anything and everything, from hip-hop to classical to everything in between. But I love music that tells a story… that transports you to a place and time, where you can almost see the landscape and the story in your mind. That inspires me to travel and to tell stories myself. Good stuff. – Two for the Road

M83, The Naked and Famous, Röyksopp, and Liquid Stranger. – James Alexander Adams

Thievery Corporation is the first band that comes to mind. The film Latcho Drom by Tony Gatlif is an amazing document about Roma (Gypsy) music and the people who make it from India to Spain. Ravi Shankar transports us to India, Ali Farka Toure teleports us to West Africa, Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan makes us want to pack bags for South Asia. Ry Cooder has done some inspiring music all over the world as well. – Nomadic Frames

I love traditional African music, and whenever I hear it, it has the oddly transformative effect on me that makes me want to ditch wherever I am and hit the road. – The Expeditioner

Cinematic music always inspires us to travel. We make cinematic travel videos so when we hear a beautiful score by Hans Zimmer or Two Steps from Hell it really makes us want to get out there with our cameras and film our next adventure. – Eight Miles from Home

I love music and always listening to it all day. There is though none that especially makes me want to travel. I see them linked! – Gary Bembridge

Lots. I have different songs that I associate with different destinations/experiences I’ve been/had. One most immediate song that comes to mind is Iggy Pop’s “Passenger.” – Etherium Sky Films

“Empire State of Mind” – Jay-Z feat. Alicia Keys & Jonathan Wilson – Rural Movement

We are both musicians and huge lovers of music so the list would be quite long. Some of the most inspirational travel music for us would be Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Tycho, Do Make Say Think, of Monsters and Men, Recession Fighter….OK seriously this list could go on forever. – Mindful Wanderlust

Music by Emancipator, Tycho, and Tor. – Mike Corey

Ever since I did a student exchange in Costa Rica, reggaeton has had a special place in my heart. Listening to it always makes me want to hop a flight just to shimmy away at a bar anywhere in Latin America. – Alex in Wanderland

I usually travel with 16GB of all kinds of music, so for me any music is great. – Rubén Alonso

All types of music inspire me to travel. It depends where I am traveling. But listening to music in a certain country and then again when I’m home can take me back to that place immediately. – Kristen Sarah

Too many good songs to name., but if I had to choose I would say the Legend album by Bob Marley. It energizes me! – David Hoffmann

Led Zeppelin’s “Ramble On.” When I hear that I just want to shoulder a backpack and RAMBLE!! – Joshua Johnson

Any kind of street music that inspires spontaneous dance parties! – Ryan Van Duzer

There sure is… This is my Spotify playlist aptly titled ‘Something to travel to’ – http://goo.gl/h67BQd – Travizeo

Music inspires me in every aspect of my life, but as far as traveling is concerned, the music that inspires me the most are the songs that talk about being adventurous, living while you’re young, and making the most of your time. When I hear music that I enjoy that is specific to a certain region, I’m always more inclined to travel to that area. – John Piazza IV

Music is a big part of my life—all of it counts, all of it inspires. – Eduardo Gato

Yes! Movie soundtracks are always very inspiring to me. I also listen to a lot of international music, which makes me want to visit different destinations even more! – Gloria Powell

There’s definitely certain songs that spark some interest in travel, but I think it all depends on the time of day, or the place that I’m listening to the music. I have an Alt-J CD that’s been in my car since December, I think that’s definitely inspired a good bit of my travel ideas. – Patrick J. McDaniel

Not really. – Cailin O’Neil

Beirut, the band, is the biggest inspiration for me. I feel in their sounds and lyrics all the travel experience of Zach Condon, a musician and singer that learned about music in every place he visited. – Josep Gutierrez

All of it! It’s like wine and you pair it. – Justin Weiler

“Dekha Hai Aise Bhi” (“I’ve Seen This Before”) by Lucky Ali. The essence of the song is that you’ll find what you are searching for, as long as you go look for it. I remember listening to this song as a teen. Made me want to grab my bag  and explore the world. – Sarah Zareen

When we make travel videos we’ll usually edit two versions of the video. Version one will be with royalty free music legal to place online, other videos often have “radio versions” of popular songs. For example, last fall we took a short cruise to Catalina and Ensenada. We used Katy Perry’s “Unconditional” as the background to the family version of the video. Every time we are at a market or store and hear that song we think of the trip and want to go back or travel. With over 500 edited family videos there’s quite a few songs that get us pumped up to travel. – Wesley Adventures

Travel inspires music. Music festivals, and also finding record shops to browse in foreign countries. I have a small collection of albums from places I’ve been. Five-year-old singer in Chile, old Italian piano men, picked up a Pink Martini album in Spain. – Andrew Kamphey

Every trip has its own tone and “theme song.” I love that about travel. Just like the radio, you can dial up a trip that fits your mood and then dance to the rhythm of the music. – Juliana Broste

Not in particular. Every trip has ended up with its own playlist that forever reminds us of that place (which inevitably makes us nostalgic whenever we hear it and gives us the itch to travel more!). – Jesse and Kimberly Moore

I just got into this obscure band called Distant Cousins. They have kind of a version of the new folk scene that still is able to pull off epic. Anything that feels like driving with it would feel like a hero’s journey. “Are You Ready” by Distant Cousins. “Hero” by Family of the Year. Also, my music makes me want to travel: Chattavon Bratts. – Bobby Christian

The master of melancholic-melodies: Morrissey. – SPESUS

Anything Santana. – Gina DeGirolamo

Any Salt-N-Peppa song. – Gareth Leonard

Hide the credit cards when this song comes on! Somewhere over the Rainbow – Israel “IZ” Kamakawiwoʻole – Monique Soltani

I wouldn’t say there’s music that inspires me to travel, but I know that music always complements my journey. I listen to a pretty diverse range of music and sometimes it’ll shuffle to the right song at the right time and I’m lost in that moment. From then on, I can always associate that feeling, time and place with the song and it’s a great way of bringing me back somewhere special. – Kien Lam

Yes, but we’re old school. I love “Africa” by Toto and “One Night in Bangkok” from Chess. Dave would probably say “I’ve Been Everywhere” by Johnny Cash. The old school songs just really capture the vibe and flavor of the destination. I have yet to hear a newer song that really captures the essence of travel like the classics. (Or maybe I am just out of touch.) – The Planet D

My all-time favorite music genre is film scores actually because it’s so emotionally charged. A good film score, especially from Hans Zimmer or Michael Giacchino, will take you places. – Jason Leppert

In keeping with the The Lord of the Rings theme, the film score of the trilogy gets me every time. Especially The Shire theme. In having its roots in the Shires of the English countryside it always conjures up imagery of home and the pending excitement of a new adventure. – Adam Baker

We love everything from Little Dragon, Grimes, David Bowie, and bossa nova to video game soundtracks and everything in between. A single song has the ability to set the mood for our entire movie or sequence so it’s important that we listen to a lot of different artists and styles. – Because We Camp

Not really any that stand out. I always try to take in a cultural/musical show wherever I go. – Eszter Vajda

Yes, a lot of reggae music because it inspires happiness and peace in cultures. – Carri Wilbanks

Salsa and Caribbean soca music make me want to travel and dance. – Travelista Teri

Lingala music from DR Congo. – Mark Wiens

When I hear African music it makes me feel like packing my bags and I have heard so much Manu Chao on the road that when I hear it, it awakens my travel bug. – Mick Hobday

There are a lot, it depends on my mood and where I’ll be going. Can’t pick one, but generally solo piano songs or some nice MPB with acoustic guitar. – Gustavo Matias

We love finding local artists when we travel—they always inspire us to return to our favorite spots and head out on new adventures. Asgier from Iceland is one of our favorites right now.  When his songs come on our playlist, we always want to pack our bags and head out on the road! – Wander The Map

Traveling Band by CCR. – Lost & Found Travel

Classics from the 70s, like Bowie, Creedence Clearwater Revival and Clapton are great for road trips. A personal fave is Fredrik and Luna, a fellow I met when I started to travel. – Armando Costantino

Thievery Corporation is pretty solid music to put me in the moods! I love that they blend Middle Eastern and Asian sounds with modern house and ambiance. My all-time favorite, though, is bossa nova jazz! It makes me immediately think of Rio in the 1960s, SUCH a great mood lifter. When I’m bored at home or need to set a mood, I put bossa nova on, always! I just did it today and swam in my pool and I had a party all by myself. – Nathalie Basha

We love internationally filmed music videos. It’s interesting to see how the culture is portrayed musically and yes, they makes us want to visit the location. Ex: “They Don’t Care About Us” by Michael Jackson in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. “Pound the Alarm” by Nicki Minaj in Port of Spain, Trinidad. “Losing You” by Solange in Cape Town, South Africa. – Global Lipstick