Music is part of me. What does music mean to me and during my travels?

A lot of you will recognize it. Music means a lot to you. You often listen to music, in the car or at home. When you are taking a shower you sing along with music, even when you cannot sing, just like me. A street musician makes you happy and your eyes get shiny enjoying a live band.

And then you hear this particular song that reminds you of that holiday in Turkey, a winter skiing holiday, your first boyfriend, carnival, etc, etc. Moments of joy. As if you step back into memory for a moment.

I love hearing old songs that I used to like. They are like memories that you can always go back to.

As a child
As a child I grew up with a lot of live music, since my father played in bands and has been organizing musical performances for almost 50 years on a small music stage in Zeeland. At home there was always music in the background. And one of the dearest memories are about the camping weekends in the Ardennes with a large group of friends. The evenings around the campfire where the musical instruments were played, the peanuts that were shared and the cosy and warm atmosphere. As a child, I was sitting in a low folding chair with my fleece pullover and rubber boots on, staring at the flames and enjoying the sounds and the singing around me. An ultimate feeling of happiness. Eventually the moment was there that I had to leave, brush my teeth and go to bed. Lying in the tent I heard the sounds and songs of Simon and Garfunkel in the background and fell asleep with a smile.

Me as a little girl..

As a girl I went to music school and also had piano lessons for 3 years. Since a year I’ve felt I would like to play an instrument again. I hesitated between the piano and the guitar. But since a guitar can be taken on a world trip and a group of colleagues was going to do a course named ‘Guitar at school’, I decided to go for it. The goal: being able to grab the guitar and play songs around the campfire.

So I’ve been practicing a lot during recent weeks. I play the songs I learnt at the course, but I like most to focus on other songs from Youtube. Perfect! A kind of karaoke for the guitar. Playing the right chords in the right order more quickly is getting better and better, and I’m getting to know more and more of them. Yes, there is progression, but I still feel like a guitar dummy and still have a long way to go. But when I imagine my world trip and just take my time and sit on a beach, against a tree or door and practice and play quietly, I’m thinking.. Wow, that would be great!

Styles of music.
Actually I only know a few music styles that I don’t like. Heavy metal is not on my Spotify playlists. For the rest I listen to almost everything: from a top-40 hit to music from the past, from reggae to a ballad, from instrumental to a happy rap, from happy hardcore to an arab track, from a carnival hit to soul, from jazz to folk music, from a singer-songwriter to a choir, from relaxing music to a capella.

Depending on my mood I prefer quietness, happiness or just doing crazy things. I frequently jump or dance in my room. But I can also get goose pimples from a beautiful song, or be moved. And yes, when I like a track very much, it can easily be on ‘repeat’ for an hour. I always have my ear plugs with me. So I can listen on the beach, in my hammock and in the train. Not all the time, I like bird sounds and other sounds as well. At work I also use my ear plugs frequently. It makes me typing a report more happily and I’m less distracted.

On my travels music means a lot to me as well. This extremely long bumby bus ride is no problem at all when I put my favourite music on. And I’ll never forget landing in Jamaica, with the music of Bob Marley in my ears.. How appropriate! But also sharing music with other travellers is part of travelling for me.. With a local beer in a hammock above a river in Laos, taking turns in sharing a track. Swinging in my hammock, staring at the water, looking at the stars or with my eyes closed. Dear memories!

This way I have collected quite some different kinds of music and I have good memories of lots of them. Last summer in Sri Lanka there were a lot of monkeys, of which I’m not a fan anymore because of their brutality. But when the happy song ‘Biggest monkey’ from Chef’ Special sounded in my head my fear faded away. It’s nice that music can be so personal. Why does an unknown track mean something to you? Why can it cause goose pimples? I don’t know the answer, but it’s curious.

And how nice is it when you can be in the music, by dancing. That’s one of my big passions. In my next blog you will read why.


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