Love

2015: A Musical Reflection

“Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and life to everything”

There are a lot of posts reminiscing on what has been learned through travel in 2015, the top photos from social media and how travel has changed people over the year. As for many people, 2015 was an interesting year, little did I know on 1st January that I would end the year living in a caravan on the opposite side of South Africa having traveled across and down it. Little did I know I would have become what is now known as a ‘Digital Nomad.’ There have been plenty of challenges and I am sure I am not the same person I was at the start of the year; fundamentally yes but I definitely don’t wash my hair as often (it’s the little things right?) Instead of dwelling on what changes have happened, I have decided to ponder music.

A lot of 2015 was spent feeling unsettled, either because I wasn’t settled in my mind or because I was physically on the road. Throughout the ups and downs and along the long dusty roads, there has always been music. This is a list of 10 songs that have either impacted my year or that simply put a smile on my face when they come on.

Clean Bandit, No Place That I’d Rather Be: this conjures up memories of a last minute overnight trip to Swaziland on Valentines Day. It was unbelievably hot, being the middle of summer and, of course, we got lost. What should have been a few hours in the Landy turned into several more. This song came on the radio and I remember thinking, if I had a ‘proper job’ I wouldn’t be able to pack up bags and head across the border and into this beautiful landscape at the drop of a hat; there’s no place I would rather be.

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As we drove over the bridge, children stopped swimming to dance and wave while ladies continued their washing oblivious us to our passing.

Lost Frequencies, Are you With Me: As soon as I hear this I think of two things, one that’s a memory and one that’s (hopefully) a vision;

– driving to Bristol, UK for a weekend with some of my fabulous friends MBoi and The Dude, hot (even by English standards) summer days, live music, drinks flowing and as much rainbow face paint and glitter as possible

– dancing barefoot on a tropical beach with flowers in my hair

Something about this song strikes a chord and was definitely a contributing factor in my decision to stick with the road less traveled and come back to SA for this adventure.

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Rainbows and Sunshine.

Passenger, Let Her Go: While researching routes for Global Handprints Volunteer Road Trips, myself and the boy visited Port St John’s in the Transkei Wildcoat. As we sat around the fire at a backpacker’s in true backpacker style, someone started plucking away and their guitar strings setting the low key tone for the evening. This has been a favourite song of mine for a while and reminds me of several other places but hearing it sung acoustically in this magical setting definitely gets it on the 2015 list.

The view from the backpackers over the ocean

The view from the backpackers over the ocean

Omi, Cheerleader: Before packing up and heading off in the caravan, I did live in a house with 4 walls. This song reminds me of being there, in Saint Lucia, KwaZulu-Natal, with friends popping in and out, spontaneous braais, drinks and fun times.

Guard Duty at 'The House' seeing off all the monkeys

Guard Duty at ‘The House’ seeing off all the monkeys

Timo ODV, Find My Way: We left the Midlands with the simple idea that we would ‘wad west’ until we got to the coast. We didn’t really factor in the fact we would be pulling the caravan therefore driving a lot slower when we made a rough estimate of where we might be for the first few nights. Needless to say we were behind our supposed schedule pretty quickly. We had a few long days of driving as the areas we went through are barren between towns. This song reminds me of driving from Kimberley, through the Northern Cape, simply heading west with vast expanses of land stretching either side of us and as far as the eye could see.

The biggest bird's nests sit in the wires lining the roads, set amongst vast expanses of land.

The biggest bird’s nests sit in the wires lining the roads, set amongst vast expanses of land.

Justin Bieber, What Do You Mean: Who doesn’t love a bit of Bieber? We made it to Cape Town, to civilization and socializing. Having spent some time coming down the rural, rugged West Coast with just ourselves and the dogs for company, it was lovely to be in the city and to have other people to talk to! Bieber conjures up images of being en route to a party at a beautiful vineyard in the footfalls of Table Mountain.

Sundowners With A View Of 'The' Mountain

Sundowners with a view of ‘the’ mountain

Kelvin Jones: Call You Home: This song reminds me in general of being in rural Zululand from driving through the iSimanagliso Wetlands park, through Zulu villages at sunset, back from Cape Vidal, one of the most beautiful beaches there is, feeling sun kissed and happy or heading out for sundowners over looking the hippo and croc filled estuary. Hot sticky, humid summer days, warm evenings, fascinating culture and beautiful nature.

TiMO ODV Feat Sarah Jackson, Save Me: this reminds me of a person rather than a place or time but as it’s my list I figured that’s ok and it still makes me smile. It simply reminds me of The Boy and the simple fact of us hanging out, whether on the road, in the caravan, on an adventure or just both working, not talking and listening to this.

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Jess Glyn, Don’t Be So Hard On Yourself: To pass the hours driving, myself and The Boy played Music Trivia when there was a radio station available. This song came on several times over the course of thousands of KMs…for some reason, it just doesn’t stick in my head who sings it (what would we do without Shazam?) However, it makes me think of the frustrations of a simple music game that bought out the competitive side in both of us and highlighted the different tastes we have in music. Pop is my thing and lucky for me, most often the radio DJs choice.

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Sunsetting over another competitive game

Bastille, Pompeii: This is kind of a cheat entry into the list as it’s more that I love the whole ‘All This bad Blood’ album. Over the last two years has been my go to album wherever I am in the world. This song just strikes a chord for some reason, it reminds me of being all over the place from Toronto, to Edinburgh, to London to South Africa. It’s one of those albums that you can put on and it instantly picks me up and puts a smile on my face. It doesn’t remind me of a particular time or place but more of everything that has happened and changed over the last two years and that I have come out of the downs and had plenty of ups.

Recently The Boy and I went to a ‘RofJol’ (party) here in Pringle Bay, and this was played amongst a mix of very random music. It definitely made my night 🙂

Home; my safe place between adventures.

Home: my safe place between adventures.

 

 

 

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14 thoughts on “2015: A Musical Reflection

  1. Melissa Legarda Alcantara says:

    I LOVE this post! I completely agree with Cheerleader, Rather Be, and What Do You Mean. Those damn pop songs will forever associate themselves with incredible travel memories from 2015. It’s crazy how just hearing a song can bring back so much nostalgia, can fling you back into an amazing memory of a certain time and place. Cheers to your playlist of 2016! 🍸

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Marta says:

    I love how music conjures back memories: it does it in such a powerful way, almost a physical experience! Thank you for sharing your favourite songs: I don’t know many of them so off to youtube now 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Tom and Sheila says:

    Hey Lottie! Great post. Thanks for introducing me to some songs I’m embarrassed not to know 🙂 Especially love your description of sitting around the campfire with the guitar playing backpacker!

    Liked by 1 person

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