12 Songs Guaranteed To Wake Your Wanderlust

12-Songs-Guaranteed-to-Wake-Your-WanderlustThere’s something special about music. It has power and potential that reaches far beyond the boundaries of human capability. It can transport you to the other side of the world in a couple of bars, it can send you back in time with its melody and it can change your mood with its words.

Pretty magical that music stuff.

And for those of us who suffer from a chronic case of wanderlust, music is invaluable.

Music can help you bond with other travellers in a hostel common room after discovering an artist you both love. Music allows you to plug yourself in, close your eyes and forget that you are on a bus with a broken toilet and are squished next to a person who is taking up their seat and WAY too much of yours. Music can comfort you during those rare moments of homesickness and music is likely to provide the soundtrack to what could just be the best experience of your life.

I thought I’d pull together a list of the top 10 songs that inspire me. Listen to the words and I guarantee they’ll inspire you too. Whether that be to quit the rat race, book a flight and travel or to simply make a change and chase whatever your dream may be.

Agree? Disagree? Let me know in the comments below. I’d also love to know if there are any other amazingly inspiring songs out there that I’ve neglected. No one could ever have enough music and inspiration in their lives. 


#1 Baz Luhrmann – ‘Sunscreen’

I hold my hands up… this song isn’t strictly focused on travel. Oops, may have fallen at the first hurdle here. I debated about whether to include it or not, but how could I delete a song with some of the most inspirational lyrics i’ve ever heard? If you’re a little lost, if you’re a little down – this song will put things into perspective. The straight talking honesty in this song makes me want to grab life by the cahooners right this moment, to stop worrying about the little things in life, to book that flight, get on that plane and live.

“Do one thing everyday that scares you.”

“Don’t feel guilty if you don’t know what you want to do with your life.
The most interesting people I know didn’t know at 22 what they wanted to do with their lives, some of the most interesting 40 year olds I know still don’t.”

 Listen to ‘Sunscreen’ by Baz Luhrmann

#2 Passenger – ‘Scare Away The Dark’

I could never create a list of my most inspirational songs without including this chap. If you haven’t heard of Passenger, you’re missing out big time. He writes lyrics that resonate. It was a tough job picking just one song to share on this list, but the meaning behind this one is just BANG on. So play the video, wang the volume up and prepare to be inspired. I guarantee you’ll want to run for the hills, take all of your clothes off and bask in the wonder of the world by the time it ends. And if you don’t… well there’s something wrong with you.

“We should run through the forestWe should swim in the streams
We should laugh, we should cry, We should love, we should dream
We should stare at the stars and not just at screens
You should hear what I’m saying and know what it means”

 Listen to ‘Scare Away The Dark’ by Passenger

#3 The Dixie Chicks – ‘Taking the Long Way Around’

Have you ever sat there amongst your friends and/or colleagues while they talk about their career progression and their stressful climb up the housing ladder? It happens to me regularly and I feel so bloody out of place. They’re thinking about sensible career moves and carpet colours and I’m thinking about backpacks and potential travel routes. They’re alien to me and I’m alien to them. This song captures that PERFECTLY.

“My friends from high school
Married their high school boyfriends
Moved into houses
In the same ZIP codes where their parents live

But I, I could never follow
No I, I could never follow”

Listen to ‘The Long Way Around’ by the Dixie Chicks

#4 Eddie Vedder – ‘Guaranteed’

If you’ve seen the fantastic film ‘Into the Wild’, you’ll know this song. The film itself *SPOILER ALERT*, may have a fairly sad ending, but my god is it inspiring. The idea that one man can possess the strength of mind and character to leave everything behind and wander the world alone is a great one. The lyrics in this song and the melody itself encapsulate the reasons why someone may choose this life away from convention and commodities. Hit play, close your eyes, listen and enjoy.

“Everyone I come across in cages they bought
They think of me and my wandering but I’m never what they thought
Got my indignation but I’m pure in all my thoughts
I’m alive”

 Listen to ‘Guaranteed’ by Eddie Vedder


#5 Israel Kamakawiwo’ole – ‘Over the Rainbow/What a Wonderful World’ 

It was a very close toss up between Israel’s version and the wonderful Louis Armstrong here. Both are equally inspirational, but this just takes the biscuit I think. I’m a sucker for a medley. The lyrics encourage you to stop and think. To see the world for the beautiful place it is and to reflect on the wonder of the universe around us. It’s a breath of fresh air and it makes me want to experience every little inch of this planet we call home.

 “Oh, somewhere over the rainbow bluebirds fly
And the dream that you dare to,
Oh why, oh why can’t I?”

 Listen to ‘Over the Rainbow/What a Wonderful World’ by Israel Kamakawiwo’ole


#6 Sugarland – ‘Fly Away’ 

I’ve always had a bit of a soft spot for country music. I love the stories, the tone and the emotion. Just fab. It also might have something to do with the time I spent living on a cattle station in Central Queensland, Australia. Sit me around a campfire, give me a beer, play me some country music and I’ll be in my element. This story tells the story of a girl who feels trapped in their life and their town. I’m sure a great deal of people could relate to the feeling of being caged in by what’s expected of them. If that’s you, listen to this as you plan your escape.

“Oh I swear this town gets smaller everyday, 
and I’m waitin for my chance. 
I’m gonna break away.
I’m so sick and tired of being told what’s good for me.
People got lots of ideas, of who I’m supposed to be.”

 Listen to ‘Fly Away’ by Sugarland


#7 U2 – ‘It’s a Beautiful Day’ 

Bit of a change of pace with this one… but the message is strong and simple. It’s a beautiful day, don’t let it get away. We don’t have an infinite number of days to enjoy, so we should be treating every single one as though it may be our last. I want to see all of the things below and more, do you?

“See the world in green and blue, See China right in front of you
See the canyons broken by cloud, See the tuna fleets clearing the sea out
See the Bedouin fires at night, See the oil fields at first light
And see the bird with a leaf in her mouth,
After the flood all the colors came out
It’s a beautiful day, Don’t let it get away”

 Listen to ‘Beautiful Day’ by U2


#9 Modest Mouse – ‘The World at Large’

This song explains the feeling of wanderlust to a T. That feeling of restlessness and a desire for more that you just can’t seem to shake. It’s about walking away from possessions and the trappings of modern life in favour of freedom, adventure and travel.

“Ice-age heat wave, can’t complain.
If the world’s at large, why should I remain?

Walked away to another plan.
Gonna find another place, maybe one I can stand. 

I move on to another day, to a whole new town with a whole new way. 

Went to the porch to have a thought.
Got to the door and again, I couldn’t stop. 

You don’t know where and you don’t know when.
But you still got your words and you got your friends. 

Walk along to another day. Work a little harder, work another way.”

Listen to ‘The World At Large’ by Modest Mouse


#10 – Eli Young Band – ‘So Close Now’ 

If you ever question your wanderlust, this song will sort you right out. Plus the lyrics below couldn’t possibly be more fitting for my position right now. I am so close to my big adventure I can almost taste it. And I think my dreaming is starting to get so loud that it’s pissing everybody off. Do I care? Do I ‘eck.

“The same old lines, the same routine
Nothing changes and that’s not good for me
I need a break. I need something new
I need to replace these old worn out broken shoes

I am so close now to walking away
About to walk a path I’ve gotta take
I am packing up heading out
I can’t sleep I’m dreaming way too loud
I’m so close now, so close nowto getting out”

Listen to ‘So Close Now’ by Eli Young Band


#11 – Stereophonics – ‘Long Way Round’ 

If you haven’t seen the TV series that this song is highly associated with: Watch it. Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman hop on their bikes and make their way around the world: The Long Way Round. It is absolutely brilliant, a must watch for any adventure lover. The song itself is an inspiring one. It’s different to a lot of the others on this list as it mentioned ‘coming back’ and ‘coming home’ a lot more. However the same sentiment and desire for adventure is there. Do what you’ve got to do, go where you’ve got to go and then settle. I always pop this tune on when I’m planning a trip. Add it to your wanderlust-loving playlist!

“Sooner or later, I’ll get me off this track.
Gotta do what it is that I do and then I’m – coming back.
Got sun in my face, sleeping rough on the road.
I’ll tell you all about it, when I get home.
Gonna roll up the sidewalk, I’m gonna tear up the ground.
Comin’ round to meet you, The long way round.”

Listen to ‘Long Way Round’ by the Stereophonics 


#12 – Phil Collins – ‘On My Way’ 

Hit play on this song and you’ll be bopping along in no time. The music itself will make you want to pack your bag and take off and listening to the lyrics will make the idea even more appealing. It evokes the deep sense of excitement that is associated with planning a big trip. That feeling you get in the pit of your stomach when you know something life changing and incredible is on the horizon. Plus, the Disney fans among you *respect*, will recognise the song from Brother Bear. If that’s not a reason to love it even more, then I don’t know what is.

“Tell everybody I’m on my way
New friends and new places to see
With blue skies ahead, yes I’m on my way
And there’s no where else that I’d rather be

Tell everybody I’m on my way
And I’m loving every step I take
With the sun beatin’ down, yes I’m on my way
And I can’t keep this smile off my face”

Listen to ‘On My Way’ by Phil Collins


So there you have it… 12 songs that wake my wanderlust and inspire me to chase my dreams. I really hope they have the same effect on you.

These days it is SO easy to put things off. So easy to say “I’ll get onto that tomorrow” or, “maybe I’ll travel next year…” What if there isn’t a tomorrow? What if this is the last year you have? Would you still be happy to wait? Or would you get your arse in gear and do what makes you happy TODAY.

This list of songs make me ask those questions of myself. So whatever it is that you think about whilst listening to or reading this post, whatever it is that pops into your brain as being THE thing that will make you truly happy… Start making it happen RIGHT. THIS. SECOND.

And as I said above, please do share which songs stir these feelings within you in the comments below :). 

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  • http://www.bottled-air.com Laura @ Bottled-Air

    I love U2, haven’t heard of a few songs on your list, but will check them out! And it’s so true, we have such a short amount of time…need to make the most out of it.

    Today truly is a beautiful day 🙂

    Be happy 🙂

    • http://www.theglobewanderers.com TheGlobeWanderers

      Hi Laura, thanks for your comment! U2 are fab aren’t they. Hopefully this list will make your feet as itchy as your list made mine! 🙂

      Hope you have a fab Monday wherever you are on this wonderful world of ours! x