In our career working together, Paul and I spend anywhere between 70-130 days each year on the road, and have racked up over 50,000 flown airline miles apiece for each of the past three years. I don’t mention those stats as a way of saying how awesome it is to travel all the time, nor to use it as a springboard for bitching about how terrible the road is.
As with most things, the truth is in between. Yes, it’s fun visit new places and old favorites, but it sucks that you rarely have much free time to explore or hang out. Sure, the audiences at shows are as much fun for us as a day at Disney World is to a seven-year-old, but the airports, airplanes, and long drives in between gigs soak up most of the energy we get from performing, like an old dirty dish sponge dropped into a fresh, steaming mug of hot cocoa.
Today? A good day. The photo to the left is the actual view from my hotel room (or was, about five hours ago), smack dab in the middle of Chicago. Through the miracle of (and Paul’s skill with) modern online booking services, it didn’t cost more than a generic sleepatorium in the suburbs would have. And so for at least one night, I do feel like the jet-setting adventurer that people imagine we rock stars* to be. (Through a glitch in our travel planning, I’m here alone, sans Paul or Jonathan.)
Never mind that all I did was walk around the open-air architectural museum that is downtown Chicago, ate dinner on a barstool next to another (rather sad-sack) party of one, and tweeted as I wound my way back to my granite aerie. The important thing is this: in a few days when I’m operating on three hours of sleep and need to drive 400 miles, I will have the memory of guacamole and chiles rellenos to sustain me.
And that will make all the difference.
*I’m pretty sure you would have interpreted “rock stars” as an ironic statement, but I just wanted to be sure.