What song do you hear that immediately takes you back to a place, a moment?
I have been working on mindfulness (being in the moment), and last night I was lying on the couch, candle lit, listening to my favorite playlist that I call "true vibe" because it's all songs that speak to my soul. Usually, I have a song in mind that I am trying to get to, but last night I just let the music and my mind run.
Stolen Dance is a song by Milky Chance that came out in 2013, and one of my all-time favorites.
My summers in University usually stumbled between training, competing, coaching and travelling (RIP travelling). My second summer travelling with my best friend Mel, we hit a couple big cities and planned on a bus tour through Albania that would start in Croatia and end in Greece - it was truly cheaper than the single flight between the cities. The first year we travelled, I remembered being so naive and awe-struck by the world and being able to do whatever I wanted, despite having travelled many times before. The second year, we thought we were pro's (lol) but I really let loose and enjoyed the 'journey' of that trip. There is something about travelling that opens your heart a little more for soul-searching, no?
Our last stop before the bus tour was Dubrovnik, Croatia and it was exquisite. We had decided to "ball hard" and get "nice places" on this trip where we could afford it. I had found a "hotel" online that had an amazing view of the port. Little did we know that we had to climb stairs to get to this view (a couple thousand, I would say) and in true Ryan fashion, I wasn't backpacking like Mel, I was, what I lovingly call, Suitcase-ing it.
The view from our place in Dubvronik, 2014
The place was very nice - room, bathroom, living area and kitchen. The "hotel" part comes into play because it was actually an apartment with three rooms for rent, so we had to share the bathroom and communal space. But hey, ya live, ya learn. The clientele was nothing like what we saw at on our previous hostel visits.
It was the first time that we got groceries on a trip, and bought bottles of wine, and got to sit and enjoy our space - with an exceptional view. It was at that kitchen table that I found La Belle Mixtape, which is a YouTube channel with long, song mashups with a certain folk-y vibe and theme. It was one of those divine moments - you're exactly where you want to be, doing something you love, enjoying a glass of wine, and the music makes a perfect moment into a perfect memory, every time. I've only had a few moments like that, this being the first one I can remember.
On this gorgeous playlist, was Stolen Dance, and I couldn't believe how much it suited the moment I was in, and the next few weeks of my life. An experience and a song to set your soul on fire. I listened to that Mixtape every chance I could get Wifi (a little shotty through Albania and it never ceased to make a great moment better.
That trip was wild - we visited Budapest, one of my favorite cities in the world to this day, we got on the wrong bus headed to Bosnia when we we're aiming for Albania (story to come), we saw the highest of high palaces, and the worst slums I have seen. The trip start to finish was an adventure, and I look for nothing more in life. Stolen Dance brings me back to that feeling, that excitement, that adventure, every single time.