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The Daily Tar Heel

Office DJ: Songs with destinations

Photo Courtesy of Reagan Allen.

Growing up, my favorite Disney movies involved travel and adventure — but not because of heroic princesses, funny side characters or catchy songs. Children's movies like "The Road to El Dorado," "Atlantis: The Lost Empire," and "Peter Pan" fueled my desire to explore. I become increasingly interested in going to different places. I created a bucket list of all the places I planned to travel to — which was everywhere.

Traveling is something many people hope to experience. Who wouldn’t want to see new places and have adventures? It took me a long time to realize music and traveling go hand-in-hand. Both allow us to understand more about the human experience and empathize with one another.

Everywhere you go and every song you listen to has a story to share. From the smallest towns to the biggest cities, there are things to be learned. From the Hannah Montana theme song to Beethoven to Kanye — actually, scratch that last one.

The point is, being the desire to see new things and the pleasure we experience when listening to music is ingrained in all of us.

Songs can inspire us to travel and give us the confidence to do so. Many popular songs are about places. Like the famous “New York State of Mind” by Billy Joel or “Africa” by TOTO.

During my trip to NYC, I indulged in the former as well as “Empire State of Mind” by JAY-Z featuring Alicia Keys and “New York, New York” by Frank Sinatra. Hearing the singer's love for the city only increased my awe while walking amongst skyscrapers, through Central Park and Times Square.

All these songs as well as many more highlight different places around the world and are featured in my playlist. Some artists included in my late-night Spotify creation are Tyler Childers, Harry Styles, Weezer, Leon Bridges, The Beatles and, of course, Lana Del Rey.

This playlist is a reminder to me and those reading, travel as much as possible whether you go an hour away or across the globe — and do it while listening to music.

I’ll end my Office DJ rant with a quote by author and travel documentarian, the late great Anthony Bourdain:

“It seems that the more places I see and experience, the bigger I realize the world to be. The more I become aware of, the more I realize how relatively little I know of it, how many places I have still to go, how much more there is to learn."


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