The Thru-Hiker’s Mix Tape: Songs for the Wanderlust

We all have those days. You know the one where you’re pretty sure you could just go for a drive and never come back. Screw it, maybe hop on a train to god knows where. Hell, maybe you’ll even walk across the Eastern Seaboard! I understand your intense case of wanderlust. Here’s 10 songs that might inspire you to take that leap!

1.) The World At Large by Modest Mouse

This band has been around longer than I have, since 1992. And since their conception they have created music for the modern day vagabond. This song is my go to for a road trip into the mountains and inspires me to do much more than just drive. The lyrics explain the simplicity about traveling in a very transcendentalist manor.
Best Served: Around any jaw dropping scenery

2.) Vagabond by Wolfmother

This rocking song of free travel was my anthem when I traveled across Italy in the summer of 2016. The percussive, rhythmic beat and simple, acoustic melody is enough to bring a smile to my face and give me that extra boost I sometimes need on rainy days.
Best Served: As loud as humanly possible

3.) Rise by Eddie Vedder

Pulled straight from the sound track to the movie adaptation of Into the Wild this short and melodic acoustic song is a no brainer addition to a playlist for the wanderlust. Actually the entire sound track should be on here.
Best Served: While slowly driving down a windy dirt road

4.) Coconut Flakes by Love as Laughter

Once again this song comes from a sound track but this time from the documentary 180 Degrees South. This song, the entire sound track, as well as the movie, oozes the feeling of a free floating existence so many of us crave. This song is a perfect mood setter for when you are lazily killing a few beers in your backyard hammock while dreaming of the next adventure.
Best Served: Any calm scenario you can think of

5.) Wheels by Fink

This five minute song has a total of 16 lines, six of which are just repeats of previous lines. That is part of the beauty of it though. The rhythm is repetitive just like the lyrics and just like the wheels that turn beneath you on that cross country road trip you always told yourself you were going to do.
Best Served: Driving through Monument Valley on a road trip

6.) The Weight of Lies by The Avett Brothers

This is one of those songs where it is great till you really closely listen to the lyrics and realize how depressing it actually is. Nevertheless I decided to include this acoustic song just because I love the chorus so much. In gist it tells you to not run from your problems when you travel, because then you’re just in hiding.
Best Served: On the final descent in an airplane

7.) Free by Zac Brown Band

To say I am not a big fan of country music is an understatement. That being said I am partial to this band as it was my first concert experience. At the concert they played this song and Zac Brown said he got the inspiration for the lyrics while standing on top of a mountain top in New Zealand… not your average crap kicking!
Best Served: On top of a mountain in New Zealand with the love of your life

8.) Sleep On The Floor by The Lumineers

This song has been popular even with main stream audiences as of late, and with good reason. More of a love story than a song, the lyrics describe two lovers just trying to escape to start a new life with no plans but a lot of hope for the future.
Best Served: With a glass of scotch while pondering your life decisions

9.) When My Train Pulls In by Gary Clark Jr.

This song has an advantage over the other songs here, you can choose a calmer acoustic version or a mind blowing electric version. Either way this man has serious skill on guitar and vocals as well as lyrics that speak to anyone who wants a fresh start.
Best Served: Around a camp fire with a few beers or while working on the hot rod in your garage

10.) Ramble On by Led Zeppelin

Oh yeah no way any playlist of travel is complete without this classic. This song probably more than any other song here is made for road trips. Just get in and go for a drive! And it’s about The Lord of the Rings which makes everything that much better!
Best Served: While going on an expedition into the heart of Mordor with your friend Samwise


To see my full version of The Thru-Hiker’s Mix Tape (50+ SONGS!!) feel free to find me on Spotify at:

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Comments 1

  • Hoozurmama : Feb 17th

    Thanks for the list! For your consideration….

    On the Road to Find Out – Cat Stevens
    Shambala – Three Dog Night
    Further On – Bronze Radio Return
    I Don’t Mind – The Tobasco Donkeys


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