We hear a lot about how difficult the pursuit of art is. “The struggling artist” seems to be one of the stock characters of American cinema and an archetype recognized by cultures around the world. I, too, am guilty of getting caught up in the struggle of being an artist, rather than remembering to step back and take in all of the beautiful positives that come with the experience as well. One of the main perks of being a musician (in my opinion anyway) is the opportunity to travel. Some places are certainly more exciting than others, but every single place I go seems to offer its own brand of adventure and learning.
I do realize that some people view the necessity of travel as one of the downsides to being a musician, but for me, I’ve always thrived on this aspect of my job, of the musical journey in general, before I did it professionally. Music is one of the main reasons I’ve found myself bouncing around and living in different areas of the country and why I’ve been able to embrace new adventures with such enthusiasm. In fact, music is the reason why this California girl now lives in Philadelphia (but that story is for another time….).
I believe travel to be one of the most important experiences that a person can have for a number of reasons. Firstly, it often takes you out of the familiar and the comfortable, and this kind of challenge is vital to personal growth. Also, you become immersed in a learning environment that expands what you know about the world around and that pushes your thoughts and feelings to new places you didn’t even know you could access. I can’t even begin to articulate how much my travels have shaped the way I view myself, the people around me, and the world in which we all live. Another amazing part about traveling is the fact that every location has its own personality and set of rules, and I’m absolutely fascinated by the process of discovering these specific quirks!
Though I’m sure to abound in great traveling stories as this blog progresses, I’ll offer San Francisco as an example for now. I recently visited this beautiful northern Californian city because my best friend, Hannah (an artist in her own right and someone whom I’m sure you’ll hear about throughout my posts), is now living there. She and I have both bounced around a fair amount, and as a result of our gypsy-esque tendencies have enacted a rule that requires each of us to visit the other whenever one of us moves somewhere new. Hannah moved to San Francisco earlier this year so I was overdue for a trip and decided to finally make good on our pact. I’ve been to San Francisco a number of times, but each time I revisit, I’m always taken aback by its beauty and its warm welcome for people of all walks of life. It has an undeniable energy and vitality that is unlike any other place I’ve been. Just being in this open and kind-hearted city for the week opened my eyes to the ways I often close off to my environment instead of soaking in all that it has to offer. I can’t stress enough the value of traveling and allowing yourself to step outside of what you know. In fact, I’m already gearing up for several other trips; I’ve found that (for better or worse) I have a hard time keeping my feet still for too long. That being said, I leave you with one final nudge: find somewhere you want to go, and go there! No more excuses!