Travels Through a Song

August 2013

We all travel for different reasons and some of us have different goals. I for one would like to set foot on all seven continents and, generally, see as much as I can. Fifty countries is the number I’m currently approaching, though I would have no problem seeing another fifty. While I’m mostly drawn to locales off the beaten path, I can also be found in areas dripping with day-trippers.

During these travels, I have had a song playing in my head, which I first heard long before I ever started traveling. Released in 1976, 2112 was Rush’s defining moment. Instead of bowing to record company pressures to release more radio friendly fare, they released an album that opens with a twenty-minute, dystopian title track. Neil Peart, drummer and lyricist, wanted the songs that followed to be more light-hearted, beginning with “A Passage to Bangkok,” a tongue-in-cheek reference to drug use in the 1970s.

Beyond this, it’s a song filled with exotic locales. In order, we have Bogota, Jamaica, Acapulco, Morocco, Bangkok, Lebanon, Afghanistan, and Kathmandu. Along with being a soundtrack accompanying my travles, this song has also become an indirect goal. I’ve now been to Morocco, Bangkok, Kathmandu, and soon Bogota. I’d love to go to either Jamaica or Lebanon, though admittedly I’m in no hurry to see Acapulco. Afghanistan probably won’t happen in this lifetime, though not for lack of interest. There are some areas of the world I may never get to see due to unrest and my American passport, but that won’t stop the desire. Or the air guitar.

Bangkok Temple

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