7 Songs to Empower You for a Solo Road Trip

by Ekua on January 8, 2011 in solo travel,songs for the road

One of my most awesome travel experiences in 2010 was an impromptu five day solo exploration of the Eastern Sierras at the end of the summer. If you have never taken a solo road trip, I highly recommend it. It’s an exhilarating expression of freedom and you can connect much more with your surroundings when you’re not tempted to chat. And of course, you can sing loudly to whatever music you like.

Like with 7 Songs by Women to Empower You for Your Journey, I perused my music collection to come up with a playlist of more unlikely travel song suggestions for a solo road trip. I wanted to steer clear of the obvious, so no Free Bird or Born to be Wild on this list. I’ve come up with seven songs about yearning, busting out, movement, and coming home to inspire you and to sing along with:

» Over the Rainbow/What a Wonderful World covered by Israel Kamakawiwoʻole

Play this song when: You’re longing to take a road trip.

» Turn and Run by Alice Russell

Play this when: You’ve broken free and you’re leaving town.

» Gone Wanderin’ by Jackie Greene

Play this when: You’ve taken to the open road.

» Feeling Good by Nina Simone

Play this song when: You’re absorbed in your beautiful natural surroundings.

» Everybody Ona Move by Michael Franti

Play this song when: You want a song to groove in your seat to; when you like your bass “loudy, loudy, louda..”

» This Land is Your Land covered by Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings

Play this song when: You’re seeing or experiencing a less than ideal reality of wherever you are.

» When the Night Feels My Song by Bedouin Soundclash

Play this song when: You’re on your way home.

What are your favorite road trip tunes? Feel free to suggest a song!

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Nicolas De Corte January 8, 2011 at 4:32 am

I like to connect songs to experiences, this way whenever I hear the song again, it takes me back.
There are a couple of songs that are always on my ipod when I’m travelling, I think that “Old Shoes” from Tom Waits is the one I listen most to.

“Though I held in my hand, the key to all joy
Honey my heart was not born to be tamed”


Ekua January 10, 2011 at 9:44 pm

Thanks for the suggestion, Nicolas! Listening to it now and it sounds like a good driving song 🙂


Candice January 9, 2011 at 5:10 pm

Nice! I kinda love the “Over the Rainbow” remix with Jason Mraz by DJ Dain, it’s called “Don’t Worry I’m Yours.” Check it out!


Ekua January 10, 2011 at 9:49 pm

Thanks for sharing this post on the interwebs! My fave “I’m Yours” is the little boy from Japan with the ukelele 😉


Phil January 10, 2011 at 10:29 am

You have great taste in music!!! Here’s another one from Alice Russell that I love: Hurry on Home. My theme song right now, though, is “Sabali” by Amadou & Mariam – sooo good.
B well, Phil
PS First time commenting, but I’ve been reading your site a while and it’s great – very thoughtful posts!!


Ekua January 10, 2011 at 9:53 pm

Thanks for stopping by, Phil! I love that Alice Russell song. And she is one of the best live singers I’ve seen in the last few years. Thanks for the Amadou & Mariam suggestion, very cool.


Cathleen Howard August 10, 2012 at 2:45 pm

Dar Williams’ “Road Buddy”. Especially good for roadtrips through SW of the US — i first heard it on the soundtrack of “Smoke Signals”


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