Melodies and Travel Memories

Leah, from wrote a post about melodies and the travel memories they bring.   It is a great idea for a post and I will be tagging 7 others as she tagged me in her writeup.

As a kid, we did not do family vacations as we did not have the means and we lived in an island (so no big drives across states!).  But songs do bring memories and take me back to different places.  Here are my songs…

Love Is Blue (Al Martino)

(Listen to it here)

It may not remind me of travel but I think it does transport me to one of my earliest childhood musical memories.  As a kid who was learning English at school, I probably had no idea what the song was about except that it mentioned the color blue.

But what I do remember is that the melody of this song, when it would come on the radio, would IMMEDIATELY triggering a crying spree on my part.  Apparently, I cried with so much emotion that the adults around me could not stop laughing.  I recall one time that my Mom had to pull over with my grandma also in the car because they were laughing so hard that she couldn’t drive and was on the merge of going #1 right then and there.  I hadn’t heard the song in likely over a decade until just now when I thought this song had to be listed here. (Happy to report only minor sobbing, barely audible.)

The color blue for those who want to know…

The Pinocchio Song (not sure if it even has a name!  Canción Infantil Pinocho is how I have found it)

(Listen to it here)

Another song from my childhood taking me back to being 6 or under… It was a song my Dad -who had a great voice- would sing to my sister and I about Pinocchio (I remember the age because my memory of him singing it is when he was still married to my Mom).  It was a song in Spanish and I remember feeling it was a sad song though it is the story of Pinocchio which ends well).

The song had evaporated from my memory until my Dad passed away a couple of years ago and my sister and I were trying to remember him in our childhood.  She is 5 yrs older so she remembers more than me.

Since Disney would kill me for putting a picture of Pinocchio, I chose to include here a pic of the family instead. Toddler ilivetotravel on the left!

It’s Still Rock ‘n Roll to Me (Billy Joel – The Essential Billy Joel)

This song reminds me of my drive around Switzerland with a co-worker and friend as we escaped from Paris for a weekend.  This song played during a particularly beautiful part of the road between Bern and Interlacken and I remember re-playing it a couple of times at a good enough volume.  Somehow, the mix of this song, the drive and the enjoyment of the trip was energizing!

What’s the matter with the clothes I’m wearing…

…You get more mileage from a cheap pair of sneakers…

 Don’t Stop (Fleetwood Mac)

I had not been much of a fan of Fleetwood Mac (for no real reason, just hadn’t caught on, I s’ppose) but then I went to the World Expo in Sevilla in 1992.  Yes, seeing the pavilions while it was 40 C was fun.  The pavilions themselves transported you to all these countries (and got you into air conditioning).  But the REAL fun in the World Expo was the parties at night.  This song by Fleetwood Mac played at some point well after dinner and well into drinks.  I remember everyone climbing up on the picnic tables in the outdoor pavilion we were at dancing, and drinking some more.  I definitely felt tomorrow WOULD BE better than before, as soon as the hangover passed.

Though in some ways the following words may seem to tell us not to focus on past trips (stay with me…), they sure tell us to keep planning away, to keep dreaming away our next destinations and discoveries!  The song made me feel – and still does – that tomorrow will always be better.  A great way to look at life indeed.

Why not think about times to come
And not about the things you’ve done
If your life was bad to you
Just think what tomorrow will do

Life Is a Highway (Tom Cochrane’s version)

Now this is a song that defines my outlook in life as a whole and may need to be played at my funeral.  It means that travel is inherently part of life:  going places, not being stationary.  But, more importantly, travel also not in the geography sense but in the sense of movement, of progression, of starting points and endpoints, of not stagnating.  The melody and the lyrics all work for me.  My anthem!

Knock me down get back up again
You’re in my blood
I’m not a lonely man
There’s no load I can’t hold
Road so rough this I know
I’ll be there when the light comes in
Just tell ’em we’re survivors

Here are six fellow bloggers I am tagging to share the songs that conjure up some of their favorite travel memories. Please feel free to tag others after you’ve published!

Now it’s your turn. Do you have a song that instantly transports you to another place and time? What is it? Where do you go?




  1. I’m glad to see someone else appreciates the Tom Cochrane version of Life is a Highway! It’s the top song on my travel mix list. I’m also pretty fond of Cochrane’s No Regrets. Others include: Roam by the B52s; Learn to Fly by the Foo Fighters; Fly Away by Lenny Kravitz; Would I Lie to You by the Eurythmics; I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles) by the Proclaimers; I’m in Love with my Car by Queen; Especially in Michigan by the Red Hot Chili Peppers; Blow at High Dough by the Tragically Hip…
    Thinking I need a Midwest road trip mix list…
    Dominique recently posted..Photo Friday: Waiving the Magic Wand in Churubusco, IndianaMy Profile

    • Wow, Dominique, great list though I’ll confess I’ll need to look up a couple of them. Yes, a drive on a vast expanse of highway is called for indeed!

  2. Great list Raul…I’m a big fan of Don’t Stop and others by Fleetwood Mac myself:)
    D.J. – The World of Deej recently posted..The Soundtrack of My TravelsMy Profile

    • Classics for sure! Lots of great music out there to inspire one while traveling though I’m not sure I could here the same song over and over on a 16hr flight (referring to your post)!

  3. life is a highway is one of my favorite songs. i’ve always loved it as it just made me want to hop in a car and drive off into the sunset. cute family photo too 🙂
    lola recently posted..‘The Mikimoto’ at Beverly WilshireMy Profile

  4. Raul, first you write about crying when you were a kid, then about your funeral. You crack me up!! Great post, it’s fun to see everyone’s take on the theme. 🙂
    Pola (@jettingaround) recently posted..Photo of the Week: Chicago’s Skydeck LedgeMy Profile

  5. Very cool, Raul. I love how you included the two from your childhood. It makes me even happier to know that you didn’t sob too much when hearing “Love is Blue”. And the photo of you as a baby? Ahhhhhh….
    Leah Travels recently posted..Capture the ColorMy Profile

  6. such a sweet story about your dad, raul! also hope that your post-fleetwood mac hangover didn’t last too long…
    the lazy travelers recently posted..laws to travel by – #19My Profile

  7. A great compilation! Life is a Highway is one of our favorites!
    Tawny- Captain and Clark recently posted..Living the high life in San Juan, Puerto Rico. [Video]My Profile

  8. I like how you used this theme to travel back in time to your childhood. Thanks for sharing such precious memories and heartfelt emotions (and adorable photo 😀 ).
    Francesca recently posted..Melodies and travel memoriesMy Profile

  9. The album Glass Houses, which “It’s Still Rock and Roll to me,” was one of my first musical purchases. Through the Columbia House music club, I bought this on 8-track. I remember listening to this album on the way to early family vacations including my first hike in the Porcupine Mountains in Michigan.
    Traveling Ted recently posted..Capturing the color of my worldMy Profile

    • I totally had forgotten that ABBA and Grease and some 45s aside, my major music purchases early ln were with Columbia”s X tapes (NOT 8 tracks!) for 99 cents!

  10. Great song choices, and thanks for tagging me! I’m loving this because I feel that music and travel have a lot to do with each other.

    I also am loving the ilivetotravel toddler – too cute!!

    • 🙂 thank you. I hear the nursery nurses at the hospital I was born called me the peach because of my cheeks. Now said cheeks are not as cute!

  11. The song that instantly comes to mind is Cher’s “Believe” – I was in Brussels, watching Euro MTV and contemplating ending a relationship… I was at a crossroads and having the time of my life in one of my favorite cities! Music is magical.
    Kristin Shaw (Two Cannoli) recently posted..Let Your Tears Rain HappinessMy Profile

  12. I still remember you crying when the song Love is Blue will come in the radio….it was an immediate reaction. The Pinocchio song….what can I say….fond memories of dad singing it…I can still hear his voice and tears roll down…..

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