Do you love travel and music? Technology makes it easy to listen to music on the road, and you may even plan a trip around dates and venues to see professionals and emerging artists perform live. However, what if you want to make your own music as you explore new environs? Bring a musical instrument along with you! In fact, a vacation may be the best time to start learning to play a new instrument. There are several options available for experienced and novice players. Most fall into three general categories: string, wind, and percussion.
Some travelers may produce the sound of the islands on ukuleles, or pluck traditional sounds on mandolins. Many guitar players love the option of toting acoustic travel guitars as they journey around the world. Imagine strumming old favorites or composing original works gathered around campfires from mountains to beaches.
Many wind instruments are intrinsically portable. Of course, flute players have it easier than trombonists! Flutists and aspiring flutists even have a mini version, the piccolo, available to take on the road. At half the size and an octave higher, piccolos offer sweet bird-like melodies. Smaller still are familiar-sounding harmonicas and less-familiar, mysterious-sounding ocarinas. Slide either of these in a pocket and pull it out to liven the trek wherever you go.
You probably don’t want to haul a whole drum set around with you on your travels. Consider a single drum like a small djembe. Like a magnet, its sound can draw an audience and encourage new friendships. Other possibilities include thumb pianos (modern versions of traditional African mbira) and spoons — yes, it’s possible to play music with your utensils (just don’t play with your food).
Making music while traveling regionally, nationally, and internationally can enhance your adventures. Consider these instrument options and others to bring a smile to your face, connect with your traveling companions, and up your chances of meeting new people along the way.