A Soundtrack to Travel Season
As admissions counselors, we spend a lot of time in the car. When I set off each morning, I simultaneously feel like I am Bilbo Baggins from The Hobbit shouting, “I’m going on an adventure!” and like I am in a Wes Anderson film, viewing the world through an amalgamation of windshields.
No adventure would be as fun without the tunes that keep us going through long nights, on bumpy roads, and especially in my case, when stuck in Houston traffic. Below are playlists compiled by myself and my colleagues of our soundtracks to our fall road trips. To start, here's my Spotify playlist, "Admissions: Fury Road." (Can you tell I love movie soundtracks?)
Robyn Bowers – Spotify Playlist: “Home”
There are a few things I can count on as I set out to visit high schools and students across the country. Interesting conversations with wonderful students. Warm and welcoming high school counselors. Endless cups of coffee. Getting lost. Being surprised. Finally, and most reliably, missing home.
As I travel freeway after freeway (I'm looking at you, Los Angeles!), I inevitably feel a deep ache for the back roads surrounding Kenyon — rolling green fields spilling into golden orange woods. A mix of hand-clapping, foot-stomping anthems, quiet and reflective ballads, and a touch of bluegrass, these songs bring me back to Kenyon — even if just for a few minutes.
One hidden gem: "This Must Be the Place" by Iron & Wine is a Talking Heads cover. The lyrics to the original are framed on my wall at home.
Maurice Hill – Spotify Playlist: “Pump Up the Volume”
This may or may not be similar to my workout playlist. I do lots of driving while I'm on the road (I drove 311 miles in two days in New Mexico), so I need those songs that can pump me up any time of the day. “What Do You Mean?” by Justin Bieber is a great way to start the morning, and I dare you to listen to Silentó’s “Watch Me (Whip/Nae Nae) without dancing. And yes, “7/11” by Beyoncé — my name is Maurice Hill, and I am addicted to Beyoncé.
Darryl Uy – YouTube Playlist: “The Soundtrack of My Life”
I started this compilation with a recent favorite: “Story of My Life,” by One Direction. Whenever I hear this catchy song on the radio, I turn up the volume and sing along. Plus, it’s an homage to the other boy bands that I have liked over the years — 98°, New Kids on the Block and Westlife. It also sets the theme of this mix — the story of my life.
Another note about a song on this playlist: My partner Bob knows a lot of things, but top 40/pop music is not his best category. So, you can only imagine my surprise when he was able to name “100 Years” by Five for Fighting (and every other song and artist) that played during breakfast at a small diner in Manchester, Vermont. It wasn’t until we got up to leave that I noticed the Sirius radio behind me that was displaying all the music for him to read!
Have a favorite road trip song? Let us know in the comments!