Traveling immerses us in the world, but sometimes in the less eventful moments in between destinations, we just need to escape. “The Layover” is a weekly roundup of books, music, podcasts, and other forms of entertainment brought to you by your favorite world travelers.
This week, we reached out to Austin Welch, a travel photographer with a passion to see as much of the world as possible. Austin is always on the go, looking for inspiration, and trying to find ways to show his audience how he remembers the places he visits. Today, he discusses the entertainment he turns to during travel’s quieter moments.
Whenever I travel somewhere, I like to choose a soundtrack or a theme to accompany the journey. I’ve been to Tokyo more than any other location, and if I could “enhance” the mood of the city with any sort of visual stimulus, it would be the 1982 movie “Bladerunner.”
The entire city of Tokyo bleeds a cyber noir essence that feels almost dystopian. The bright lights, the fog and steam from the restaurants, and the extraterrestrial vibe are all magnified when this movie accompanies you. I watch it before every trip to Tokyo, and I’m always left feeling like I was thrust into the year 2049.
If “Bladerunner” represents my experiences in Tokyo, “Ex Machina” symbolizes my time in Shanghai. In contrast to the cyberpunk atmosphere of Tokyo, Shanghai has a clean, minimalist, futuristic feel to it. “Ex Machina” showcases a theme of modern, cutting edge, technological exuberance that cannot be captured by any other journey except to Shanghai.
I traveled to Shanghai precisely to capture the feeling I got when watching this movie. Without the inspiration from the film, I may have never felt so compelled to go to Shanghai in the first place.
“Shove” by Angels and Airwaves.
In addition to visual stimuli, music is the other important part of every journey. I want each trip I take to have a soundtrack, starting with this song. It’s the perfect “takeoff” song for any flight.
“Forget the things that you own and travel almost anywhere you can go.” It doesn’t matter if I’m going to Australia or Iceland — this song instills in me a sense of adventure like no other track can.