It’s a truth universally acknowledged that when it comes to travel, planning a journey can be almost as much fun as the journey itself. This is the time when your imagination runs wild, when the possibilities seem limitless, and when you spend every spare second getting into the zone of your next wanderings.
For me, sinking into the vibe of a destination involves endless Instagram, Pinterest and magazine trawls. Watching movies and reading books set in the destination I’m headed to. And my favourite part: dancing around the lounge room blasting exotic music until my ears bleed.
Here are seven songs that have inspired my travels of late.
INDIA: Mamata by Ananda Shankar
Ravi Shankar will always be my first love, but his nephew Ananda is also a BOSS. I discovered him while living in Mumbai, and every time I listen to this song – incense burning, bindi on – I’m instantly back in the heartland.
PAPUA NEW GUINEA: Iau Ngalie by George Telek
Last year I was completely enchanted by the tribal music performed during the Kinavai ceremony in PNG. I asked a handful of locals which artist sounded like that… Et voila, my love affair with George Telek began.
ETHIOPIA: Shagu by Mulatu Astatke
Oh Mulatu! I have yet to visit Ethiopia but I have plans, BIG plans, and you are largely the reason why. The jazz scene in Ethiopia is rising once again, and I plan to be there to witness it.
SOUTH AMERICA: Sueno en Paraguay by Chancha Via Circuito
This sexy little ditty about that little-visited, little-known South American country is by Argentinian cutie Chancha. His throbbing Latin rhythms take me straight to a land where colour, rhythm and nature reign supreme.
MOROCCO: Kouna Kountou by Jil Jilala
I imagine Talitha Getty might have listened to a fair bit of this 70s Moroccan group while lazing about on the sun-splashed rooftops of Marrakech.
CAMBODIA: Jam 10 Kai Theit by Rod Seresyothea
Last year I went on a cruise along the Mekong through Cambodia and Vietnam, and it just so happened that Rusty Hopkinson (the drummer from You Am I) was on it too. He introduced me to Cambodian Psych Rock and I never looked back.
FRANCE: Black Trombone by Serge Gainsbourg
Serge and Jane, Serge and Brigitte… I can never decide which duo I prefer. And so, I usually stick to Serge toute seule, when the boulevards of Le Marais feel too far away and I’m aching for a fresh raspberry tart and Kir Royale.