For a college student, ‘home’ is described a variety of ways. It can be your best friend’s couch, the back seat of your car, your dorm room, your childhood bedroom, or the feeling you get when you’re with family. Wherever you’re coming from or wherever you’re going, the feeling of traveling home is unparalleled and therefore deserves a playlist of pure elation.
I consider my home to be in St. Louis, Mo., because the majority of my family is there, most of the time. It’s a 277 mile, four-hour drive from Jackson and I am notorious for getting sleepy while driving, so I like to start out strong with an upbeat pop ballad from John Splithoff: “Sing to You.” Since this particular song tends to give me a lead foot, I try to slow it down afterwards with a tune that is easy to sing to but leisurely such as Chris Stapleton’s, “Tennessee Whiskey.” Not going to lie, I enjoy the lyrical irony of driving through Tennessee while listening to songs about Tennessee so on my way back to school I listen to “Jackson” by Johnny Cash.
Fast-forward about two hours into our road trip. We are no longer on the back roads of Tennessee, but rather on interstate 55 north for approximately 179 miles. The third hour is always the longest because of the plethora of cop cars trolling the highway for unwitting college students trying to get home for the weekend. I save the best of the best for this hour commencing with my current favorite Coldplay jam, “Adventure of a Lifetime,” as well as this alternative/indie angst anthem about dating gone awry entitled, “Birds Don’t Sing” by TV Girl.
Finally, pulling onto my street unleashes all the nostalgic memories of childhood so I take it old school with some Solomon Burke, “Cry to Me,” and dance as much as my safety first, seat-belted body can.
I know you’re thinking, wow this playlist contains way too many genres, I usually stick to one for all my road tripping needs. I’m here to tell you that you have the wrong mentality, friend. Diverse music taste is a finely honed skill that only the most experienced globe trekkers will acquire. Being open minded musically could open a door of possibility you never knew existed and you just might find your new favorite artist, song, or genre. You’re welcome.