Samantha TeagueComment

The Playlist for Being "There"

Samantha TeagueComment
The Playlist for Being "There"

What is a phrase that is synonymous with road trips?

Here is a hint: it’s the title of a hit 2005 movie starring Ice Cube.

Fine, I’ll tell you.


I’ve said that phrase many times as a child, anxiously wiggling in the backseat, beach bound. Gazing out the window, with a yellow Gameboy in one hand and container of 3D Doritos in the other.

At the first sight of a palm tree, I LOST IT. My inquiries doubled, much to my Mom’s dismay.

Isn't it funny how some things never change.

Let me clarify, as an adult, palm trees don't evoke QUITE the same emotionally charged reaction, but I am still asking that same old question:

Am I there yet?

Since this is largely a travel blog, I will focus on trips. But honestly, it doesn't matter if its an adventure, a milestone, a goal or just in the every day, its hard for me to stay in the now.

Of course, I get “there” and for a while I am present and fulfilled, but eventually I begin planning my next big endeavor and then before you know it, I am metaphorically yelling in the back of a Pontiac Grand Prix while everyone wishes I would just shut up.

This time last year, I was sailing through the Caribbean on my honeymoon, and I did my very best to stay present. I stayed off my phone, I wasn’t obsessed with taking pictures, and I tried to enjoy each day without thinking of the one coming next or becoming sad that eventually it would be over.

I mean, it totally worked, and those memories are so vivid and special, however it’s unrealistic to think we can be that way all the time or on every trip. We are human beings and it is literally impossible for us to be ‘all there” all of the time.

All of that being said, there is some good news, because think there is a life hack to being present, and I mentioned it on the first part of this blog series.

The ultimate time stopper?


While I briefly discussed this in the first part of my three part music series,  in case you missed that, I am convinced that music can tie you back to memories in a way that nothing else can.

I am sure this is why we somehow remember all the hilarious details of crappy middle school field trips, as well as all the words to the mediocre hip hop songs we sang on the bus. (Do YOUR Chain Hang Low?)  Back then, we weren't concerned with being “present” or intentional, in fact, we were probably more distracted than ever.

Music is the reason that sitting in a booth at a Wendy’s in Utah, can create memories as clear as your wedding day. We hear a song, and it puts us in the moment, we are goofing off and having fun and then the next time the song comes on, we are reminded of the exact outfit we had on, the spicy chicken sandwich and beautiful sunset hanging over the neon fast food sign.

I’m sure if you're reading this, you have many memories from songs you love or maybe don't love but just somehow..know. In the first part of this series of posts, I discussed making playlists for getting ready for a trip and getting in the mindset for traveling.

This time, I want to suggest something different.

Think of some songs, from traveling or otherwise, and think of why you love them or remember them so well. Where were you when you first hear them?

Looking back like this, you will most likely realize that you experienced  that song in “the moment”. You weren't being mindful, and you didn't know it then, but looking back, you realize you were “there”.

I advocate making playlists and practice being aware of moments whenever you can.

But more often, there won't be a playlist, and we will just be existing, probably distracted or eagerly awaiting the next big thing. Luckily, in our pockets of preoccupation, we can get caught into a moment by a song .

Which songs and moments found you?

Maybe that is our soundtrack for being there.

Maybe it’s easier to know where “there” is after we have left.

That’s kind of sad, but it really do be like that sometimes.