So right now, I’m sitting in the front passenger seat of my 12-person van. The entire family – eight kids and my wife and I – are traveling down Interstate 80 East about an hour outside of Salt Lake City on our way to Denver from the Sillycon Valley, CA. We’ve been driving since 8:30 last night. I took the first shift, which lasted a little more than eight hours. I dig driving down the highway, listening to tunes, or just making up songs in my head.
About a week ago, I was dreading going on this trip because I had a really tight deadline, and was stressed out about leaving town. And even though this was going to be a half-working, half-fun vacation, I didn’t want to leave town and leave my team hanging. But I finished the major pieces of the project from my end, and all that’s left are some niggling details that are dependent upon other team members, so I can get online Monday and stitch everything together.
Getting my stuff done yesterday took a HUGE weight off my shoulders, and when I got home to pack up the van, I was jazzed to go drivin’!
Taking a road trip has always been a boon for making music. I only take my acoustic with me, and spend my free time wherever we might stay, just sitting back and playing. It’s that aimless, musical meandering that has given me some of my best ideas. But I don’t woodshed on these trips. The point is to break the routine and simply enjoy. If an idea comes to me, great. If not, I’ll just play from my wide repertoire of cover songs. But the point is to play.
Of course, since I’m on a “working” vacation, I don’t really have as much time to play as I’d like, but with the time I have, it’ll be spent sipping a cold one with my wife and/or eldest son, and enjoying life; playing guitar just for the joy of it. Doing just that helps to remind me of why I play guitar and perform in the first place. With as many gigs I do each year, it’s easy to lose sight of why I do it. Yeah, the money’s great, and I get paid pretty well for being somewhat of an “unknown.” But more importantly, I play simply because I love to play, and trips such as the one I’m on right now help me remember that.