Songs for the Road No. 22: A Soundtrack for a Road Trip on the West Side of Colombia


In Colombia, there are distinct Afro-Colombian cultures on both the Caribbean and Pacific Coasts. The Pacifico Afro-Colombian culture is even more obscure to outsiders and harder to access than that of the Caribbean Coast. Perhaps because of that, the Afro-Colombian culture there is quite strong. African rhythms and call and response singing are combined to […]

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7 Empowering Anthems for International Women’s Day

female travel

International Women’s Day has a powerful energy fueled by the inherent inclusion, unity, and diversity of the holiday. It’s inspiring to see celebrations and activism around the world and know that you’re part of an international sisterhood of women that is driven to achieve equality. So to commemorate International Women’s Day (and any other day […]

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Songs for the Road No. 19: A Soundtrack for a San Francisco Dia de los Muertos


Day of the Dead has come and yet again I’m wishing I could experience it in Mexico. But as always, I’m also looking forward to the festivities here in San Francisco. In a city that loves to party publicly from May to October, Day of the Dead always seems to signal a transition into a […]

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7 Songs for an Epic and Introspective Journey

slow travel

Certain songs have a way of pulling you into your travels. They draw you closer to the heart of your journey with tempos that evoke the rolling of wheels and landscapes drifting by. Their melodies and harmonies are ethereal and the voices are brimming with passion. Their lyrics tell tales of relentless wanderers, roads to […]

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Songs for the Road No. 18: Underground American Hip Hop Music I Discovered in Berlin


For a long time, I’ve been intrigued by the ability for so many different kinds of music to permeate Europe years before Americans will give the same music a chance — if they ever do at all. In high school, I entered a phase where I began to explore the possibilities of music beyond the […]

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Songs for the Road No. 14: Discovering Afro-Brazil Through Banda Didá, An All Female Drumming Ensemble


When I look back at the time I spent volunteering in Salvador da Bahia, Brazil in 2006, it seems so natural, so inevitable that I would end up in there at some point in my life. I often forget about what drew me to it in the first place: Banda Didá, an all female drumming […]

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Songs for the Road No. 8: A Mehndi Folk Song


I’ve had Mehndi/Madhorama Pencha in my music collection for a while now and have always loved the joyfulness of it. The percussive clapping and the freewheeling female vocals always inspire me to move. It wasn’t until after the wedding I attended in Kolkata that I found out that mehndi is the application of henna and […]

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7 Songs to Empower You for a Solo Road Trip

solo travel

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 […]

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