One of the perks of this career is that many contracts come with travel opportunities. I embarked on one such contract a few weeks ago that tours up and down the US Eastern Coast. This sort of travel takes me to places I would never have planned to go to on my own, but have proved to be killer destinations. Not to mention, there’s something so satisfying about sleeping in a hotel room you know you didn’t pay for!
TRAVEL. Of course one of the main reasons to take a touring contract is to see the world! This tour is traveling to 30 cities (performing in 24) in 40 days. That is a lot. A LOT. One-nighters galore. Luckily, we have an incredible company manager who makes us feel like rockstars who can do anything, but it can be a bit crazy at times. If you want to get a taste of a ton of different cities in a short time period, this type of contract is for you.
NO PLANNING. One of my favorite aspects of touring contracts is not having to make decisions. Every day is carefully mapped out for you. If you don’t mind going with the flow, the concept can be very relaxing. You can shut off your brain, and just get on the bus when the call time tells you to! A nice vacation from being an adult.
NO BILLS. Our apartment is being carefully looked after. We don’t have utility bills, transportation costs, and are given a per diem each week for meals. Icing on the cake.
The not so perks that are somehow still perks:
YOU ARE WITH PEOPLE ALL THE TIME. I am the type of person who appreciates alone time. I like to go to movies alone, take day trips alone, and recharge alone. A tour that caravans 40-50 people around on one bus doesn’t allow for a lot of personal time. You work with, travel with, and room with the same people every day. Luckily for us, the members of this company are AMAZING. The group you tour with can make or break your experience, but somehow this company managed to be blessed with some of the kindest people around. I had never been on a “bus and truck” tour before, and had my hesitations. Although there are moments I wish I could have an hour without seeing another person, I've been surprised at how much I’ve enjoyed the companionship and close quarters. With a large group of like minded people, you are guaranteed never to be bored, never stop laughing, and never feel alone (like...at all).
EXPLORATION TIME. This is luck of the draw on a tour like this. You don’t have any say so on which cities you get to spend several days in, versus which ones you will breeze through in a day or less. It forces you to look for the unexpected in places you might not have thought you would enjoy. A few days in rural Wisconsin might end up being more fun that you could have imagined, but you would have never discovered unless you were dropped off there with no escape ;)
FOOD. Most of the stops during the long drive involve fast food. I am not a cook, nor am I particularly nutrition conscious, but after a few weeks of exclusively fast food meals, you start to look for alternative options. I found mine unexpectedly in Shakeology meal replacement shakes by Beach Body. A friend recommended these to me, and I have found these to be a life saver on tour. It’s one less meal I have to hunt down on the road, and less worry about nutritional content. Will be remembering these on trips to come!
BUS TIME. As we are driving the entirety of this tour, you can imagine that a lot of time is spent riding on the bus. This can either drive you crazy, or can be a great opportunity to work on projects you don’t normally have time to dedicate to. I like to think of the bus rides as “office hours” to catch up on emails, make progress on existing projects, and check off goals. It’s time I’m forced to sit, think, and plan for things like…our quickly approaching wedding! (but if anyone wants to do this for me, I am accepting applications)
There are so many different opportunities to affordably see the country and the world! Volunteer, teach abroad, apply for jobs that require travel, work remotely…just can do it!
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