A lot of people imagine a life of a travelling musician to be a dream scenario. They place it in their mind as an unattainable goal, a vision of the best version of their future self. But this places limits on them that are unnecessary.
First of these assumptions is that music should be the way they fund their travel, as well as their entire lives. That’s not the case and it is actually quite difficult to do that. As many aspiring musicians know, music doesn’t pay well for a long time. I’ve been playing guitar since I was ten years old, and I think I’ve made an average of $15 per year with it. Music doesn’t pay the bills for a while (I’m not confident it will ever pay mine) but that doesn’t mean that I cannot travel and that I cannot play music while I am anywhere. The best part of travel is that lack of a schedule, the new sights, and the unexpected happening. Don’t let trying to tour get in the way of the music or of the travel.
We’ve all heard of miserable stories from tours and the idea that travel is difficult for musicians. Why is that part of your goal?
In my most recent trip, the best moments were waking up in a sunny room with large windows and just playing for myself and my wife, there doesn’t need to be an audience.
This brings us to the second assumption, we should be on tour if we are going to bring our guitars, we should always be working toward becoming self-sustaining on music. This simply is different from travelling as a musician. When I got on the plane with my guitar in hand, no one checked my upcoming shows to make sure that I had one. I got on a plane with a guitar, its that easy. I got on a plane with a guitar and after 4 hours I was in San Francisco with a guitar.
Don’t let assumptions get in the way of your life becoming a bit closer to what you imagine. You deserve the ability to say you are a travelling musician, but here’s the only two things you need to do: you have to travel and make music. That’s it.