The Gypsy Life
"Come find me."
The world beckons to my gypsy soul.
Those persistent whispers started back when the band I managed began to take off and they were getting more and more gigs, which required me to pack up and head down the road with them regularly. I noticed after a few years of this sort of travel that it had gotten under my skin. Packing a bag, then packing people, gear and merch into my SUV and heading off here and there week after week morphed into an involuntary need to travel. We'd arrive home on an all too early Monday morning after being gone 3-4 days and come Thursday of that same week, I'd feel the lure of the road stirring again. Even at the end of every year, when my body and mind were crispy fried tired, that pull to pack a bag and go somewhere took hold nevertheless.
Trekking around with a band is a fairly unique way to experience the world and ignite a gypsy spirit for adventure, not to mention a pretty cool life lived in an altered reality love bubble. We all became road warriors and love junkies looking for a fix that only life "on tour" could fulfill (or so I believed at the time). We'd traverse many miles in a very short period of time and every place we arrived, there were a group of people who couldn't wait to see us. Crowds who sang, laughed, cried, danced and expounded on their love and joy over our presence, their sadness at our departure and longing for our return. Not to mention that all of this bright, shiny adoration happened at breakneck speed over several hours before we squished ourselves and our stuff back into our vehicles, hugged every fanned out fan goodbye and headed off to the next town to experience all of that again the very next day...and so on...and so on.
Miles passed, hours, days in motion on the roads to and from gigs...down time spent with each other crammed in cars in silence, deep discussion, light napping, laughing, crying, arguing, screaming "moo" at cows out the window (yeah, we did stuff like that), freaking each other out on late night drives where we convinced each other that weird lights on the horizon of a night sky were definitely alien ships landing on farmer's fields...and then back to amicable silence, phone calls, silly "what if" games, astrology readings, singing along to "Mr. Blue Sky" by E.L.O., gossip, childhood stories...through myriad landscapes...sunny, cloudy, starry night skies, wind, sleet, snow, rain, sand storms and hail...healthy, sick, sleep-deprived or rested, we were bonded together in our pursuit of the next load in, set up, sound check and show. It was an addictive cocktail and during the good years, my heart would nearly burst with gratitude for that surreal & magical life I felt blessed to share with my traveling band and family of choice.
As the cliche saying "nothing lasts forever" goes, eventually that life became grinding and hard. All of that packing, re-packing and wandering was physically grueling, and my little peace tribe became anything-but-that behind the scenes. In-fighting, betrayal, power struggles and more became the norm, and eventually I wanted off that gypsy-life ride. When I finally let go of my hopes and dreams for this group, I was quite ready to bid it all adieu. I was legitimately exhausted. Hell, even my eyelids ached. Adrenals burned to nubbins, all I wanted to do was lay in a prone position forever. I remember lying on my couch and howling to my husband, "I never want to go anywhere ever again!" Not even offers of sexy international artist management during that time remotely tempted me to travel. That feeling lasted a whole 4 months. And then I felt a familiar pull stir within.
As I began to emerge from my recovery period, I felt my spirit's need for that gypsy lifestyle of adventure re-awaken. As it would turn out, what started as wanderlust in the pursuit of fame and fortune, wasn't killed off when that dream died. The grand adventure is deep within me. To travel "over here" and "over there"--to see it all with my own eyes and know who and what lies beyond my own backyard is part of who I am. I'm back to the gypsy life; packing myself and my bags into planes, trains and automobiles when the lure of the road calls, albeit without any band in tow these days.
Exploring this big blue marble has infused my spirit with so much joy-gratitude-wonder-peace, there is only one word that encapsulates what I feel as a result: Bliss.
During my years in artist management I was often asked about what it was like to be "on tour" and usually answered in vague terms because that life is so unique, intense and hard to explain. I often felt like it must be what an astronaut feels like trying to describe what flying to the moon is like...it's expansive and isolating, simultaneously exhilarating and exhausting. I will say that whenever I happen upon a pro-musician or tech crew member, we usually have a kindred spirit connection for a life lived beyond words.
I know most will never travel that way--I doubt I ever will again either--but I hope that in sharing a bit about it, it ignites a spark or validates a yearning for travel and adventure in so many of you. To experience other cultures and see the sights, builds courage to dare to dream of a life beyond the usual day-to-day and to live our dreams. As I now travel like a "regular" person, for the "normal" reasons most people do--vacations, weddings and occasionally business, I am inspired by the people and landscapes, humbled by different ways of being and doing, and reminded that life is a magical ride I am blessed to experience across piles of miles seen and still unknown.
My wish for you: Take the trip! If not now, when? Go, Go, Go...Chase Your Bliss!
You just might find you've got a gypsy soul too!
Bliss Bubble Radio is BACK! Hours and hours of kirtan, mantra chill and groovy sacred instrumental tracks sure to ignite a state of inner bliss. It's streaming for free, 24/7 here: https://live365.com/station/a93068