I get this question a lot, along with; do you get tired? do you get sick of driving? don't you miss Bryan? (really - you're going to ask me that - isn't that obvious?)
Anyway, there are plenty of negatives that you could focus on about touring; it's super exhausting sometimes, you can get a little sick of driving, you miss your own bed and pillow, and of course, you miss your family. But there are trade-offs with anything you do. So - here are some of the things that tip the scale in the other direction.
You get to connect with friends! I recently got to sing at a wedding for two friends of mine. I was so happy for them, I got to pick out all of the music, and even write a little bit just for them - and I wouldn't get to do that if I weren't a musician! Also, when I arrived at All Asia in Boston, guess who surprised me at the show? It turned out that the newlyweds were on their honeymoon in Boston. I got to 're-celebrate' with them, thank them for having me, and got to congratulate them again so soon after the wedding. It was really great.
With the DiPrato's!
You get to try new things. When I'm in new towns, I'll often do a landmark search in my GPS and explore places that I think are interesting. Last summer for example, I got to go to the Louisville Slugger museum and factory - I would not usually think of going there, but I really enjoyed it. So this trip, on my way up to Burlington, Vermont (way in the north) I got to stop at one of the Ben & Jerry's factories and take a tour. It was really cool. I don't even eat ice cream usually, but it was really interesting to watch all the different machines.
And, I got to meet a real, live taste-tester, which is just cool.
Umm...does my tour bus make me look fat?
You get to take a break. When I have a 30 minute break and I'm home, I usually check my e-mail, work on a press release for an upcoming show, design a flyer, etc. Not a lot of minutes are wasted - and not a lot of those minutes are remembered. When I'm in a new town and a new place and I have an extra 30 minutes before I need to go in for a sound check, I get to do something fun! I take a walk around a new town, I go into a fun store, I strike up a conversation with people having coffee, whatever, it usually turns into something memorable.
When I had time up in Burlington, I took a walk by Lake Champlain, and it was beautiful! I also took a bunch of photos with my new iPhone and played around with different filter apps to make the photos come out impressive-like. Here they are with their 'artsy titles', maybe that will be my next career path!
Train tracks to nowhere.
You learn what you're made of. Seriously. My show at St. Michael's in Northern Vermont was OUTSIDE. And it was 41 degrees, windy, and I couldn't exactly wear gloves and play the guitar. That's not for wimps. That's for a Wisconsin-type thick skin. Did I know ahead of time that I could play a full set of songs with my teeth chattering or without feeling in my fingers? Nope. And now, I know! It might not be my first choice though - next time I might ask for a concert date in May - or maybe even August.
I had to tape my set list and my new songs to the stage!
And of course, I get to meet new people. As I say a lot, part of what I love about traveling is meeting new people. I got to meet people in Boston, northern Vermont and Brookfield, CT. All different ages, all different stories, and you know me - I can talk to a rock! So I love meeting new friends, learning about them, and making plans to see them again in the future!
That's why I do what I do.
Hope it makes sense!
Lots of love,
Pencil-Sketch Kristen (courtesy of playing around!)