Here’s the thing about music and traveling- it’s a double-edged sword. You don’t want to have your headphones on because you lose out on the music of the place, the falling rain of Mumbai, the sound of waves in the Maldives, the ‘swish’ of London, the ‘tring tring’ of the bicycles of Oxford and parts of Beijing. Apart from smell – Vicco Vajardanti turmeric cream always takes me back to standing in front of a mirror during a long stay vacation in Maidenhead, and food- the thought of spaghetti vongale in Venice still makes me happy, music is the next best thing to take you back to a special point in time. Here are some tracks that act like time travel machines; I can be anywhere, focusing on the number plate in front of me in a jam and these songs are instant time capsules. What did you listen to lately? Play it back now.

This song came on while my colleague was speeding across Sydney Harbour Bridge in the year 1999. Goosepimples. I made him do it three times over and we drove over the bridge every day for the rest of our trip, listening to the song on loop. The opening sounds of the saxophone seemed to encapsulate the way I was feeling as I watched the Sydney skyline and the opera house speed by; I was in my own chick flick. This isn’t Dire Strait’s most well loved number but I think its one of their most mellow and bluesy. Perfect Jazz Pop for the perfect ICC Cricket World Cup Semi Final on the 26th of March. You’re probably going to be singing Chak De aren’t you?

There is a distinct ‘London sound’. No other place has it. Whether it’s Drum and Base, Garage, or House; it always starts in someone’s garage (ergo Garage music), travels to a dark strobe lit club and then into the charts. It’s the home of my music be it classical and it’s where I discovered everything cool. Yet the song that takes me back to London lately is the collaboration between the wonderful talents of Stephen Bruner and the Flying Lotus, both American.

New York:
Imagine sitting in the back of a cab as you head home after a nice boozy dinner or dancing at a club. Or perhaps just staring out into a forest of lit up buildings nursing a drink. This one always takes me back to New York and one wonderful evening…

New Zealand:
You’re probably there right now, getting ready to watch tomorrow’s match between New Zealand and South Africa, ecstatic about us being in the Semi Finals as well. I hope you’re making the most of it and heading to Queenstown (a great article to help plan your trip) or visiting Hobbiton in Matamata. Here’s New Zealand’s most iconic song to get you started on your own soundtrack: Nature by Wayne Mason, performed by The Formyula.

We round off with the Lord of the Rings soundtrack, because well it’s New Zealand and that’s synonymous with one of the greatest soundtracks of all time. Imagine driving through Arrowtown Recreational Reserve or gazing at Mount Sunday listening to this. ‘You shall not pass!’

If you happen to be in Auckland, then check out our quick guide. And we’ll round up the best ways to make the most of your trip to Sydney for the ICC Cricket World Cup Semi Finals.

Reshma Krishnan Barshikar is a travel writer and contributes to National Geographic Traveller, India Today Travel Plus and Helter Skelter. When in Mumbai, she can be found at the NCPA library researching her next novel. Her debut novel, Fade Into Red, is a romantic ode to wine and Tuscany and was published by Random House India in August 2014. For more details visit her website

(Image by onesecbeforethedub)

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