Why Music Is Essential for the Adventurous

We adventure. But what helps us do so?

Whether it's your daily adventure to the watering hole or a massive cross-country undertaking, music undoubtedly has a large role to play in our exploits. So for all you dreamers, doers, adventurers, and wanderers...here is an itemized list to help articulate what you already feel. 

MOTIVATION - "Music feeds the soul, it's a catalyst for that fire that we have sitting inside us." - EM

One thing that I've learned during my time in the outdoor community is that we are a different breed altogether. We are an inspirational, emotional, and crazy passionate bunch. Because of this, music plays a huge role on fueling our journeys and motivating us to get our ass out the door and up the mountain. 

DISCOVERY - "Where words fail, music speaks." - Hans Christian Anderson 

During my recent road trip that spanned the course of 10,000 miles and 53 days, all within the confines of a car with 3 other guys, I learned that music is a foundation for discovery. Even after we learned each other's deepest darkest secrets, we continued to explore new territory through the medium of music. Without it... well, I'm quite sure we would have all gone insane.

CONNECTION - "Introducing someone to a new song is like introducing someone to a new way of thinking. It expresses which cannot be said, it is something that never lies and something we can always rely on." - EM

Music is also a powerful tool for connecting with others. When I moved to Alaska to first start guiding, I was thrown into a tiny apartment with 5 other strangers and the first thing that brought us all together was our mutual taste in music. It became a ritual for us. Every night, one of us would take charge of the speaker, putting on something new for the others to enjoy. That created an instant and long lasting connection and it was the base of which our relationship built upon. 

MEMORIES"Music produces a kind of pleasure which human nature cannot do without." - Confucius 

One of my favorite memories while out adventuring comes from music and from my trek up to Angels Landing in Zion National Park. With my Bluetooth speaker strapped to my pack, I hit the trail. Matching the tempo and feel of the hike, I carefully selected my playlist -- "Old School Groove." The result was spectacular. As I passed the throngs of people, nearly every single person I met either burst out in dance, gave a smile of approval, or a combination of the two. By the time I reached the top, there was an impromptu conga line of hikers following along behind us (and the music). To this day, I still remember every step, every smile, and every high five from that hike. 

COMMUNICATION"Music is the universal language of mankind." - Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Even when you can't connect with others through speech, everyone understands and appreciates the art of music. It is the voice of culture, of who we are, and where we come from. Play the Beatles or Beethoven in any corner of the globe and you will be able to communicate at a level that no matter of articulation could achieve. 

CREATIVITY/JOY - "To be creative means to be in love with life. You can be creative only if you love life enough that you want to enhance its beauty, you want to bring a little more music to it, a little more poetry to it, and a little more dance to it." - Osho 

The people that I have met throughout my adventures have proven to be the most creative and happy people that I have ever come across. Their capacity for what is possible and their ability to enjoy the present is one of the greatest things about adventuring and music is a mechanism for its illustration. 

ENDING THOUGHTS "I never liked Jazz music because Jazz music doesn't resolve. Until one night in Portland when I saw a man playing a saxophone. I stood there for fifteen minutes, and he never opened his eyes. After that I liked Jazz music.

Sometimes you have to watch someone love something before you can love it yourself. It's as if they are showing you the way." - Donald Miller

This quote is perhaps my favorite that I came across when searching for help in writing this blog post. It summarizes both the passion that I feel towards music as well as the outdoors. It is a descriptive that signifies the benefit of sharing our adventures with others. 

Published: December 27, 2016

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Eric Murdock

Juneau

Wilderness adventure guide and amateur photographer