I find myself afflicted with imposter syndrome every time I try to write this blog. I feel like my experiences are so specific, and each tour so different, that I couldn’t possibly offer any words of wisdom that would be applicable to a wider audience when it comes to suggestions for making life on the road easier. I’ve sat down and tried on several occasions with no luck.
Here’s how this usually goes: I search for a coffee shop with good wifi. I order my coffee and find a seat. While my computer boots up, I glance around at the other patrons on their laptops, and I’m immediately struck with a sense of being out of place – these folks probably live in this town, they might be doing real work, and they’re dressed like they belong. Meanwhile, here I am with this crazy lopsided hair that I probably forgot to brush this morning, it’s been a while since I’ve visited a shower, my shoes are all messed up because they were soaked in gasoline from the generator, and besides all that I’m wearing these crazy garish tights and I have nothing resembling a ‘real’ job and suddenly I can’t bring myself to write because it seems so glaringly obvious that I probably couldn’t communicate with someone if I wanted to, let alone about something so personal and so specific. I can imagine what they’d say: Why would anyone want to read what you wrote, you weird vagrant hipster?
Just the simple fact that I’ve ditched a stable life in a beautiful coastal town for a semi-permanent life as an artist living in a van has come as a bit of a shock to a lot of people, myself especially, which furthers these feelings of being something of a fraud (what makes her think she can just up and leave life behind while the rest of us take responsibility for ourselves?).
I’d like to recognize that there’s some truth in this: in a lot of ways, I am a weird vagrant hipster. Much of what I understand about being a touring artist has less to do with music and more to do with thousands and thousands of miles and hundreds of hours behind the wheel of a 38 foot rig.
We’ve performed in nearly every state in America including Alaska, in every kind of weather you can imagine, down buttery smooth roads and down miles and miles of gravel and dirt and dust. There are so many things involved with this kind of mileage that I didn’t expect to be learning, and I hope I can pass at least some of that on to you.
I’ll also take a moment to point out that the way we travel as a band is very unconventional, and we are blessed with support from our families that allows us to be on the road for so long and still have a place to call home when we take a break.
I don’t want to pretend that there’s some intensely deep, philosophical thing I’ll be providing to the world here that you can’t get somewhere else from a better writer. I imagine I might have entire posts dedicated to specific topics, while others might be descriptions of certain personal experiences that I found poignant on one of our tours. I’ll also have a series of how-to posts that I hope other musicians might find helpful as they traverse the country. If there’s anything in particular you’d like me to write about, please leave a comment and I’d be glad to consider it. I do welcome feedback on these entries, and I’d be especially interested in hearing solutions when I mention issues we’ve had while exploring the USA.
Thank you for reading this far, and for taking this little journey with us. I’m looking forward to sharing more with you.