If you've been following my blog for any stretch of time, you'll know that I like to have a soundtrack for my travels. It should come as no surprise then that I turn to music when it comes to navigating a new diagnosis. As far as I know, none of these songs or musicians I use for my soundtrack have any connection to type 1 diabetes, but I found meaning in it nonetheless.
During my trip to Vancouver the end of April (stay tuned to hear about this trip!), I magically chose to visit at the same time as Bastille. Interestingly, my mom and sister recently managed to visit the Grand Canyon the same day as Bastille... A sign that I am going to marry a British musician? I think yes and I even sent my mother videos of the concert asking what she thought of her future son-in-law. She seemed to approve. Anyway...Bastille's "new" album was released just two weeks before my diagnosis. Even before I knew I had diabetes, I was already applying it to my own life.
Song: "Lethargy." Defining lyric: "Lethargy got ahold of me and I don't know how to shake it." Ignoring the fact that that is grammatically inaccurate because Bastille can do no wrong...that pretty much sums up the weeks leading up to my diagnosis.
Song: "An Act of Kindness." Defining lyric: "You caught me by surprise in this town of glass and ice...and now it follows me everyday." #relevant
Song: "Shame." Defining lyric: "I never knew I could be slowed down. Until I met you." Almost sounds like he's singing right to diabetes, eh? (Sorry, I've been to Canada a lot recently.)
Song: "The Anchor." Defining lyric: "Bring me some hope by wandering in to my mind, something to hold on to, morning, noon, day, or night. You are the light that is blinding me, you're the anchor that I've tied to my brain because when it feels like I'm lost at sea, you're the song I sing again and again." This is how I felt about my other type 1 friends at diagnosis.
Aside from that album, I gathered plenty of other applicable songs and put them in a playlist on Spotify titled "Ma Maladie." I hate it when people refer to my diabetes as "your health condition," "your disability," or "this disease that you have." I learned the French word for this from the French diabetes book that mysteriously arrived in the post.
Song: "Your Body is a Weapon" by The Wombats. Defining lyric: "My body is a temple of doom." Lol - Je comprends la lutte.
Song: "Future Looks Good" by OneRepublic. This also came out right around my diagnosis and I listened to it with irony, considering that my future with diabetes did not look good. However, I found the irony entertaining and OneRepublic songs always seem to be released at pivotal points in my life so it works haha.
Song: "Tickle Me Pink" by Johnny Flynn. Defining lyric: "The one I've got is shoddy, I need a brand new body and then I could have a brand new start." He's talking a heart, but I think of it as a pancreas/immune system.
Song: "I Wanna Get Better" by Bleachers. Pretty self-explanatory...
Song: "Black Water" by Of Monsters and Men. Defining lyric: "Swallowed by a vicious, vengeful sea, darker days are raining over me, in the deepest depths, I lost myself, see myself through someone else." Perfectly captures the harsh beauty of Iceland's landscape, the site of my diagnosis.
Song: "Fixin'" by Walk the Moon. Defining lyric: "It starts with a glimpse, a shimmer, a shadow of something I had once but since lost and now I've got a feeling that I'm not complete anymore." This, I relate back to life before and after diagnosis.
Song: "Silver and Gold" by Noah and the Whale. Defining lyric: "You're just hanging on to a shimmer of hope of the life you had before, but it's too late." This follows the same pattern.
Song: "Prospekt's March" by Coldplay. Defining lyric: "So here I lie, on my own in a separate sky. I don't want to die on my own here tonight." Kind of morbid, but I think of this every low blood sugar.
Song: "Low" by Coldplay. Defining lyric: "Because I feel low." Lol, a less serious take also for every low blood sugar.
Song: "Hopeless Wanderer" by Mumford and Sons. Defining lyrics: "How I long to grow old." This is something I never would have thought of in this way before. Growing old is seen as bad, after all everyone wants to be young forever, right? But when the future is uncertain and life expectancy is much shorter, I find myself talking to people in their 60s and 70s and wondering if I'll live long enough to have experiences like they have.
This month saw another visit to London and a road trip to the south coast of Iceland (which I will blog about shortly).
I frequently write on my ever-evolving travel soundtrack and here is the monthly round-up of my additions to the current travel playlist. To those of you who read my last playlist post, you all followed up on my advice to listen to Ten Tonnes' EP and are also going through a folk music phase, right?
Luna and Shuffle by Bombay Bicycle Club
A friend kept listening to Shuffle while I was staying with her in London. I also discovered Luna, which I listened to for the first time simply since I have a cat named Luna. Both of these songs became a soundtrack for my trip to London, which is appropriate since the band is from London.
Atlas Hands by Benjamin Francis Leftwich
A different friend recommended this song (also by a British artist), citing that I would like it given my travel obsession. She was right, it is lyrically brilliant!
She's American by The 1975
The title says it all, as do the humorous lyrics. I entertained myself by listening to this in London.
Way Down We Go by Kaleo
The same friend cited above also recommended this Icelandic indie band to me. Perhaps I need to designate her my official musical consultant. Plus, they've also played this in one of Iceland's volcanoes!
Cautionary Tale by Dylan LeBlanc
I'm still in the folk/Americana music phase. I actually saw Dylan LeBlanc live when he opened for George Ezra in Washington DC, but never really listened to his music again until Spotify kindly suggested I give his music another go.
Wherever I Go by OneRepublic
I can't stop listening to OneRepublic's latest single! This is definitely more mainstream than most of what I listen to, but my fellow Coloradans are always reliable at producing great songs!
Home by Dotan
Saving arguably the best for last, is the absolute perfect song for a road trip in Iceland. It really captures the magic of the land. The friend I was with introduced me to this song, saying it reminded her of Iceland. I'm sure she now regrets sharing this song with me considering that I played it about twenty more times that day! The singer was born in Israel, raised in Amsterdam, but most recently has worked in the US, London, and now Iceland. I always appreciate creative works inspired by my favourite places!
What are your favourite songs for travel?
Hi, I’m Crystal! Just like you, I love to travel. You’ll get all the best tips and insights from my experiences as a former ice-skating coach in Iceland and former study abroad student. Of the 24 countries I have visited, a type 1 diabetes diagnosis has been the strangest land yet. Type 1 has not slowed down my travels and you'll learn how to take type 1 with you on the road! You can connect with me further on Instagram @CrystalChilcott, or send me ideas of where I should travel next via email: email@example.comHappy Travels, Crystal
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