My 30s life: the soundtrack to my adventures

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Every week, Flash Pack operations director and resident columnist Jenni Shaw discusses a different aspect of her life as a 30-something adventurer. This week: the music that throws it back to her travels. 

I hate silence.  Wherever I am, I need to have noise and that usually takes the form of some sort of music.  I would say that my taste is pretty eclectic, I like most things as long as there is a tune and some words that I can sing along to.

This means that most events or experiences in my life can be easily remembered by playing the song that I was listening to at the time. Crank up that tune and I am immediately transported.

Where, you may ask, am I going with this mindless rambling?!  Well, I thought I would do something a little different and light-hearted for this week, and tell you about my three favourite travel memories and the songs that go along side them. So, in no particular order, here we go….

1. Fleetwood Mac – The Chain, and Vespa’ing through Spain

I joined Flash Pack in March 2017 after having quit my corporate job, googled “luxury travelling for 30-year-olds” and jetted off to ‘find myself’ in Vietnam and Cambodia.  On my return, I was hugely lucky to be able to secure a dream role with Flash Pack and the rest is history.

I am pretty sure it was Day One where I was asked, “are you free in June to come on a team trip to Spain to cruise around on Vespas, eating, drinking and enjoying the gorgeous scenery?” Of course, I said yes and for the first of many times, pinched myself at how I had managed to land such an awesome job with such an awesome company.

Read more: “Why I camped out at the top of Ben Nevis alone on Christmas Eve”

June came around and we headed off to Madrid to embark on our Flash Pack team adventure. It all started with learning to ride Vespas in a sleepy Spanish town before we were let loose on the wide open roads.  Once we had food our feet and were picking up some decent speed, I chucked in my headphones and put on some good old Fleetwood Mac.

As I am sure you know, the instrumental bit of The Chain is often used in Formula One, as it’s a great beat to accompany some speed. I channelled my inner Lewis Hamilton on that Vespa and cranked it up nice and loud. It was the most liberating and endorphin-releasing experience. Still to this day, when I hear that song, I am reminded of that wonderful feeling 🙂

2. Aerosmith – I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing, and arriving in Sydney

I was lucky enough to travel to some pretty exciting places in my childhood and therefore, I experienced many a long-haul flight.  Do you remember the days where there were shared TV’s, Walkmans ran on battery power and you always forgot spares? And in-flight listening options were limited to three playlists consisting of 10 random songs, smushed together according to some sort of loose theme?

It was on one of these planes that I took my first trip to Sydney aged 11.  My Walkman battery ran out somewhere over Singapore and I had no interest in the rubbishy films on the screen so I was reduced to listening to one of the pre-selected playlists.  Dipping in and out of sleep, I have no idea how many times I must have listened on a loop but it seemed to be that I would awaken to the sound of Aerosmith every couple of hours – not a bad tune to have on repeat, I think.

Read more: New Year resolutions – the power of do over don’t

Anyway, as we neared the end of the mammoth journey, I once again woke up to hear the dulcet tones of Steven Tyler, I looked out of my window and as Tyler reached that crescendo, I was greeted by the most incredible view of the iconic Sydney Opera House and Harbour Bridge, sparkling in the morning sunshine.

It was the start of the most incredible holiday and felt like a defining moment in my childhood, so much so that I still, to this day, feel that same sense of gratitude and amazement every time I hear the song.

3. Queen – Don’t Stop Me Nowand childhood holidays in France

When I was younger, we used to go on awesome family trips to the south of France in our battered old Volvo.  I remember driving for hours through the beautiful countryside with my window down and the wind blowing my long, thick hair into horrible knots, which my mum would battle with every evening.

Read more: Why your 30s are an important age for adventure

This was long before the days of car air-conditioning, therefore open windows were the only source of ventilation.  I loved going to small French towns and discovering new delicacies.  The fact that my two sisters and I looked like little triplets also used to get us a lot of attention from all the old French ladies, and my favourite thing to do was to ask for the bill in French – I thought I was such a pro 😉

The soundtrack to many of these trips was the Queen Greatest Hits CD (sorry, I actually mean tape – it was a looooong time ago!) and the one song that we would ask for on repeat was Don’t Stop Me Now.  Even now, 25 years later, that song will always remind me of some of my earliest travel memories.

So there you have it, the three songs that evoke the most vivid travel memories for me.  I’d be super-interested to hear anyone else’s! Let us know on Flash Pack Facebook, Instagram or Twitter

Images: Flash Pack, Shutterstock

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