Addicted To The Road

musings of a professional dreamer

It’s a week before I ride off into the sunset on the next edition of tours, and I’m chomping at the bit to get back on the road. I’ve realised over the past few weeks at home that I am, in fact, addicted to touring. It’s crawled under my skin and gripped my being entirely. I won’t lie, the last year of touring has not always been the easiest ride, but it’s certainly been a life-changing and thoroughly rad experience.

When I was at ‘varsity, I always had this urge to get in my car and just drive somewhere… anywhere… everywhere… just away. It was a ridiculous thought at the time because I was far too responsible and guarded in my early 20s, but I remembered this old craving a few months ago and realised that I’ve been living that desire wholeheartedly. The concept isn’t as whimsical anymore, and certainly involves none of the “running away” motivation that I had back then, but the basic format is the same.

Coming home after a long period on the road is a beautiful thing, and I’ve realised over the past year how much I love the place I call home. Things I’ve so often taken for granted take on a whole new meaning when I arrive back in my own space, sleep in my own bed, get back into some semblance of a routine that allows a certain degree of normality to set back in, and spend time with my family and friends who I miss so much when I’m away. Durban is exceptionally gorgeous in winter, so over the past few months especially, my appreciation for my hometown has grown tenfold as I’ve returned from the “real winters” of Joburg, Cape Town and Grahamstown. There aren’t many venues to choose from in Durban so I only play here every few months or so between tours, but this also means that I get to rest my voice a bit, regroup and focus on writing.

There is one thing about being home, however, that I don’t much care for. As a self-managed musician, I am my own booking agent, which is certainly one of the most essential parts of this job in that it secures the work, therefore allowing me to play music in the first place, but it is my least favourite role. Scheduling dates at the right venues along planned routes to fit just right into a period of time that doesn’t clash with other big events or exams or rugby matches… not fun. But necessary. And I get that. At the end of the day, I don’t think it matters what you’re doing, there is always going to be something about your job that you don’t really like, and unless you give that job to someone else, you’ve just got to get on with it. So that’s what I do when I’m home – I book the next tour, plan the next route, find more venues, schedule more dates, and try my best not to wish the days away to the next epic adventure.

Essentially, it’s all part of the ride and it will get easier over time, but I can’t hide my excitement as the next tour fast approaches because that is, after all, why I do what I do.

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© Shannon Hope 2017