To be honest, at the beginning of the tour I thought our run out in the Pacific Northwest was going to be a wash. I didn't have many gigs booked and we were traveling to an area I haven't toured in since 2009.
Today, being the last day of the month, I can look back and say I was wrong. Our shows in Washington and Oregon were great. We booked a lot of last minute gigs and the audiences were wonderful.
As badly as that (sucks) we can't help but think about the people we've met and the things we've seen that really put these kinds of unfortunate experiences in perspective. That's what working in Africa will do to you...
When unexpected things (or costs) come up that aren't really in your budget you have to make a choice as to whether or not it is going to affect your attitude.
We have no reason to complain. We really don't. There are so many people out there that would give anything to have our 'problems.'
I was a completely different person back then with completely different intentions. I was 19 or 20 years old when I moved out there. I was an aspiring 'businessman' hoping I could ride the road to riches and become a millionaire by the time I was 25. No joke. That was an actual goal of mine back then. (Just so you know. I'm very grateful it didn't work out).
Back then, my life was ruled by the almighty dollar. That was my god. Any and everything I did was about how to make money. Looking back now, I see how I was a sucker. Fooled into believing that money and material objects would bring me happiness. When in reality it enslaved me.
My theory is this: You can either fly with the eagles or scratch with the turkeys. The winner of the rat race is still a rat and if you want to know how rich you really are; count up everything you own that death can't take away.
I've learned a few things: Live for something greater than yourself. Dream big, but not in a selfish way that takes from others. Be a man (or woman) of your word and always take the high road. No matter how humiliating and/or money it might cost you. Never compromise your morals and ethics. Your character will always outlive your body. We are all leaving a legacy. What kind of legacy are you leaving behind? These are things I have to ask/tell myself daily. I have a long way to go.
For anybody traveling around this country I highly recommend getting a National Parks pass. They're $80 for 12 months which gives you entry into any and every National Park. If you're going to be out west you'll pay it off in three or four visits.
In my opinion the National Parks have been the best idea our government has ever come up with
A few other parks that are a 'must see' include: Arches, Canyon Lands, Grand Teton, Yellowstone, Rocky Mountain and The Badlands.
So long as the oil companies don't bribe... I mean lobby our politicians these parks will always be some of the most beautiful places on earth. Do yourself a favor and go see them! You won't be disappointed.
Life on the road sure does take a lot out of you. But the places it will take you is what fuels you to keep on going.
So as the old Irish Blessing goes:
"May the road rise up to meet you. May the wind always be at your back. May the sun shine warm upon your face, and rains fall soft upon your fields. And until we meet again, May God hold you in the palm of His hand."