I wrote this blog post a couple days after getting back from tour, but never quite got around to editing it close enough to post it. Post-tour exhaustion is a real thing. Anyway, here is the last blog post from our first national tour.
The last few days have been a whirlwind. We played our show in Albuquerque on the 19th, and at 10:30 started our long journey homeward. It is a 21 hours of driving from Albuquerque to Portland. Apart from a 2-hour stint near Arches National Park in Utah where we slept for a tick, we drove all the way there and made it to Chris Benson’s by 12:30 am Sunday morning.
Later that morning, we went to Cannon Beach. I cannot really describe how amazing it feels to be in sub-80 temperatures, listening to waves crash. I got to wear a jacket for the first time in weeks, and it was amazing. Dillan and I stepped out of the car and felt the cool Pacific air on our faces, and suddenly realized that we were home.
Since leaving for tour and coming back, we’ve developed a few lists of things that are either super awesome or not awesome at all while you are traveling. I thought I’d include them here at the conclusion of this trip, possibly for you, and also for me next time we go on tour. Lol.
Things you should definitely bring with you
when you are planning to be gone for longer than two weeks:
- An air mattress. We didn’t bring one with us, so we wound up buying one. Air mattresses are awesome because unlike sleeping pads, they totally deflate, allowing more space for all your other stuff. They’re also just all around great to separate you from the ground. That is never a bad thing.
- Comfortable shoes. I invested in Birkenstocks before I left, and I wore them every day, all day. Because of which, I never experienced foot or back pain. Those may have been the best personal investment I’ve made in quite some time.
- Hand sanitizer. Really you should carry hand sanitizer with you anyway, but when far from home, this will save your bacon. As many gas pumps, door knobs, condiment bottles and other objects thousands of people touch on a regular basis you get to have contact with on this trip, it is worth it to sanitize every once in awhile.
- Oatmeal. Or some other super bland breakfast food. While on a long trip, you have very little control over what you are eating, and if you are going out a lot, there will be a lot of rich breakfast options. It’s really nice to bring something with you that doesn’t require any refrigeration or upkeep, just in case you wind up wanting something familiar. Whenever I got a chance to make my own breakfast, I always made oatmeal and every time I loved it.
Things you don’t really need to bring with you
when traveling longer than 2 weeks:
- A lot of clothes. You never need more than 6 short sleeve shirts. You never need more than one swimsuit. You never need more than two pairs of shorts. A bunch of clothes means a lot to carry around and when you’re on the road, that becomes super annoying super fast. It’s way better to wash your clothes, than to carry around more than you need.
- Anything for that matter, for which you think “I might need this.” Literally you can buy anything you might need when you need it (except in the case of a first aid kit and other emergency kits. Definitely bring those.) But that yoga mat, or extra hairspray bottle? That stuff takes up space, and you don’t want to navigate your way around stuff you don’t need one and a half months into a trip
Things that cost a lot of money
you don’t really think about in the beginning:
- Tires…we wound up buying three on the road, which adds up. Also you will be charged extra for services and other things. Count on paying over a hundred dollars each time.
- Tolls. There are a crap ton of tolls in Illinois and New York State. The closer you get to New York City, the more expensive they become. We spent over a hundred dollars in tolls. We didn’t expect that, but we will next time.
Blessings on the road:
- A clean bathroom. O-M-G. When you are staying in someone’s house and you go into the bathroom to take a shower and the area is clean enough, you don’t have to worry about 1. Foot fungus, 2. diseases, 3. bugs, then we will sing your praises for the rest of our lives. Clean bathrooms are few and far between on the road, and when we found one, we got really excited.
- Homemade, healthy meals. This is a big one. There is a long standing rumor going around that musicians love pizza and beer, and we do! But when we’re on tour, away from consistency in our bedding situations, our nutrition and exercise, we also love vegetables and fruit. So. Much. One of the best memories I have of this tour is when we got to sit down to a homemade meal, and sit with our hosts and talk around the table.
- Air conditioning. I don’t think Dillan and I would have survived without air conditioning. We come from Hobbiton so when we experienced Mordor heat, we really loved that air conditioning.
This trip was everything we hoped it possibly could be. We left home totally unsure what we would find. Total and complete failure? Potentially. Adventure? Definitely. People will tell you that you should take risks in life, but once you go to take the first big jump, it can be pretty daunting when you consider that you might not fly but fall, and fall hard.
What we actually found once we left was immense kindness, the kind that looks out for a total stranger, we also found immeasurable generosity, not just financial generosity but also generosity with one’s time and personal space, and we found a ton of friendship. We found friends everywhere. It didn’t matter where we were, whether we were in New York City, Little Rock, or Minneapolis…no matter where we went, regardless of political climate or the latest local news, we always found amazing people. That has been the theme of this trip for us and we are so excited to plan the next one!