Adventure Music

398: Top 10 Songs to Kick Off Your Next Adventure

I don’t know about you, but most of my adventures have a soundtrack. Whether it’s blaring from my car speakers or filling my headphones, music prepares me for both exploration and adrenaline rushes. Like an athlete during pre-game warmups, I’ve got go-to songs. In case they might enhance your travels and hijinks, here are songs all but guaranteed to do the trick.

“Prove It” (featuring K.B.)
American Prodigal (Deluxe Edition)
Crowder

Before the big-rig-driving, lift-kit-mudding music starts, David Crowder exclaims what has become a catch phrase for me: “Kick ‘er off, Wichita!” This interesting combination of country, Southern rock, and hip hop thrives from a blood-pumping beat. The core theme of finding true freedom calls out your soul when you’re about to defy gravity or surpass boundaries.

“Sail”
Megalithic Symphony
AWOLNATION

What launch mode is for a sports car, this sonic pep rally is for an adrenaline rush. This song gets me in the headspace to test the limits of physics. Its methodical underpinnings steady your heart, while the grungy interjections tell your spirit that’s it’s time to break the monotony.

“You Can’t Stop Me”
Never Land
Andy Mineo

If you need to hype yourself up to try something new or scary, crank this track. This hip hop anthem is for anyone who is their own biggest obstacle. If you wrestle with insecurities or permission to chase a dream, grab the lyrics of this song—especially the line: “Make moves, or make excuses.”

“Starry Eyed Surprise”
Bunkka
Oakenfold

I don’t follow the imperatives of this song or even value the night club lifestyle, but the mojo of this tune makes bustling airports or road trips feel like an impromptu party. Somehow a song about urban clubbing brings magic to desert paths, mountain roads, and international sidewalks.

“Takin’ Care of Business”
A Knight’s Tale
Bachman-Turner Overdive

Adventuring is work, y’all. Don’t let anyone convince you otherwise. This is a great song while packing your luggage or assembling your gear. It’s also great in your vehicle with the windows down and the volume knob up. Whatever’s on your agenda, get to it. This classic will help you create the necessary momentum.

“Paper Planes”
Kala (Bonus Track Version)
M.I.A.

Wanna feel like a baller on the Tarmac or while waiting for your Uber? Drop this in the headphones. Nobody else will know what’s in your ears, but your ensuing swagger might grow awkwardly noticeable. If you’re working up the gumption to do something, this song helps you put an adventure in the chamber and pull the trigger.

“Wake Up”
Funeral
Arcade Fire

The horizon always seems to be growing bigger when this song is playing. The lyrics don’t make a lot of sense to me. When they do, they aren’t happy. For some reason, though, the methodical build of this song fills me with purpose to conquer and makes me pre-nostalgic about whatever memory I’m about to make.

“Can’t Hold Us” (featuring Ray Dalton)
The Heist (Deluxe Edition)
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis

I make most of my international adventures alone, and this song celebrates that individualism but in context of having supportive relationships back home. It’s okay to have different bucket list longings than others do, and this energetic anthem makes a great soundtrack for those “you do you” pursuits.

“Step Out”
The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (Music From and Inspired By the Motion Picture)
José Gonzales

If this song is good enough for Walter Mitty, it’s good enough for you. Adventures rarely happen in front of a TV. Get outside, and make something happen—even it’s just the side hustle to bankroll a future thrill.

“Hey Jude”
The Beatles 1967-1970 (The Blue Album)
The Beatles

This song will forever be burned into my brain because of where I’ve been when this song was playing. Another single where the lyrics are far less applicable to your adventure than the melody, this tune builds anticipation until you’re in full-blown celebration of your present situation. If you know a big, beautiful moment is only three minutes away, hit play.

Sifting this list down to ten was hard! So, here are a few honorable mentions:

“Meet Me in the Morning”
Blood on the Tracks
Bob Dylan

“Southern Land”
Southern Land – Single
Taylor Ray Holbrook & Ryan Church

“Chainsaw” (featuring Tedashii)
Chainsaw – Single
Family Force 5

“It’s a Great Day to Be Alive”
Down the Road I Go
Travis Tritt

“LA Grange”
Chrome, Smoke & BBQ: The ZZ Top Box
ZZ Top

How ‘bout you? What tunes get you ready to do something new or fun or adventurous?

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