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Who need mp3 to travel?

Are you a music person?

I don’t go out anywhere without my iPod. However I didn’t use any musical devices during whole backpacking. In my normal life I used to use CD player or mp3 to block the world. When I want to concentrate or just want to be in my own world. Music is certainly good way to mixing your world and exotic other world but I want to just melting in the foreign world I was going to go that time.

I knew music can be very powerful tool for leave memories last long, but decided just go without it for a change.

Even though I didn’t have my musical devices, I did have many musical experiences during the traveling.

Music. very powerful global language

The time I was backpacking through southern New Zealand, in Franz Josef, the glacier town. First night at a cozy hostel, I was resting and exploring hostel. Suddenly I heard music came out from somewhere, but it doesn’t sound like come out from speaker, very alive. Half a month without music myself, I just dragged into where the sound came out.

There they are, in one room three guys beautifully playing guitar. Music was great, and I was learing how to play guitar so I was naturally being a part of their jam session. I was sit in a corner of the room, listening. After one session ended, I asked “Are you guys traveling together?” and they said “No, we two are friends, but we just met him.” Music is certainly powerful tool to bringing people together. They weren’t playing a song or anything, just jamming.

We were chatting and music-ing, and out of a sudden they asked me to sing or play some Korean song. They were curious about how Korean or Korean song sounds like. Frankly I love to sing but I was so nervous. But, what the hell, I gave them some code and starting to sing a Korean love song. Many people stayed at hostel were gathering around the room. They must be fascinated or surprised from exotic foreign language.

It felt so good, I’ve never been physically high before, but I can imagine what the feeling must be like from that experience of the night.

Beautiful didgeridoo

The jamming was getting bigger, so we spend a night sitting around a fire place to listen, play, and sing music. There was even a player of didgeridoo. That was my first and only time to saw didgeridoo. This sound was so deep, peaceful. He said it has even a power of healing from the deep vibration of sound. Wonderful experience..

Maybe Franz Josef is one of my favorite towns because of this moment. Certainly, music is a global language for sure.

The next long term travel I’m planning, I will use my iPod wisely. Thinking about it.




Juno Kim
Juno Kim
Juno Kim, a happiness-seeking storyteller. Photographer, writer, and trained mechanical engineer. Life-long nerd. I left the cubic farm to follow my true love: the world. A firm believer of serendipity, astronomy enthusiaster, and living by passion and love in life. Currently, on a quest to discover stories and find the place where I can call 'home'. Follow my journey through @RunawayJuno and Google+ .


  1. Adam says:

    Music and travel go hand-in-hand don’t they! Can’t believe you didn’t bring music on your RTW..

    • Juno says:


      haha It wasn’t RTW 🙂 I wish! but it wasn’t. Just one month of backpacking thru NZ. That is why i can survive without music!!! 😀 sure will bring iPod when i leave for RTW!


  2. ciki says:

    very cool juno! i never leave for traveling without my mp3 player. it’s really great for setting the mood, or filling in the gaps during long boring journeys or just plain shutting out the crying babies when you need to! great post:)

    • Juno says:


      I actually brought my CDP for my first backpacking but never used it during. 🙂 Taipei trip was first time brought musical device. 🙂 But i think, music is following me around wherever i go. 😀 haha


  3. Ted Nelson says:

    I spent a night in a remote guesthouse near the Banaue Rice Terraces in the Philippines. These two Philippine brothers had a campfire and we passed the guitar back and forth all night playing and sharing music. It was so fun. I had not played guitar in several months since traveling, so I was rusty, but no one else minded.

    • Juno says:


        Such a nice moment!! wow. Yeah that is what I’m talking about. The spontaneous jam with other travellers or locals. Campfire with guitar, wow sounds just perfect. Who cares you are perfect or not, right?

        That night in Franz Josef was many years ago, but i still remember the feeling very much too. Thanks Ted!


  4. sunny says:

    Yeah, you had realy Wonderful experience!
    i’m using iPhone, and i like music very much actually, but now i almost use it for studying chinese language lol. but when i’m going bed, i listen a few favorite music to see the good dream 😉

  5. Raam Dev says:

    Hi Juno! I loved this post… really great story about music and traveling! Music has always been a big part of my life (listening to it, not really playing it).

    I read some of your other blog posts here and I really love all the pictures and commentary! Keep up the great work! 🙂

    • Juno says:

      @Raam Dev
      Thanks for the nice words 🙂 I’m really glad you like my postes 🙂
      Music is really big part of my life. I think,,, Music is following me around!!! 😀 hahaha
      Really good to meet you in twitter!
      Let the journey begin! right? 😀


  6. Marnie says:

    I usually bring my ipod to keep me company while on long bus rides =) but when I was in Indonesia backpacking for a month, guys would normally hop on the bus and sing with a guitar. Some are really pleasing! I don’t mind ditching my ipod for a while so I could listen to some fresh acoustic jam =)

    • Juno says:


      Exactly!!! 🙂 I do love my iPod and all, but nothing compare with live jam session on the road. 🙂 Backpacking Indonesia is so cool! Would love to do that someday. Thanks for such a sweet words Marnie 🙂


  7. Doc Wends says:

    As much as I can, I will use no MP3 when I backpack. The music i hear on the street store for example is far more OK than the ones I am used to listening at home or in my office. I am a sucker for local music even if I do not understand the lyrics, the melody just take my soul to new heights.

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