Get Out, Get Lost
An 8123 Community blog by Julia Swanson.
Growing up, I was known as that intense music-lover who traveled to shows out of state no matter what day of the week it was. At the time, I thought I was just seeing my favorite artists on more than one date. Now that I’m older, I can reflect back on those times and see why it is that the shows I traveled for were the ones where I truly found my passion for music and concert going.
Now I know you’re all thinking, how did a girl in middle – high school travel to shows in the middle of the week? Well, truthfully… I’m very lucky to have parents who grew up just as passionate for music as I am. My mom would truck my sister and I with our friends to shows in Philly, New York, and New Jersey (my home state) in the middle of the week just so we could see our favorite bands. Now I understand not everyone has this same scenario growing up, but I’m writing this to share with you the things I’ve learned over the years that make traveling much more accessible. I hope that in this post, I can show you that traveling is possible (and well worth it) even while you’re maintaining a job and paying for your own gas and other travel expenses.
First, I’d like to start off with some reasons why one should pause their lives for a day or two to travel for concerts.
1. You’re literally seeing your favorite band/artist in a new place. This is your perfect chance to get out there and start exploring the country.
Since I grew up so close to New York City and Philadelphia, I’ve been able to take day trips to go shopping, or see the Christmas lights in Manhattan. However, visiting venues in these cities in places that I never would have explored otherwise has allowed me to understand that the best places are usually not the one’s people know about. It takes a lot of digging and searching to find a hole-in-the-wall location that might now be your favorite place in the world. Visiting different cities also teaches you a lot about different cultures and how people are raised from many different backgrounds… some cool stuff you actually can get to see in person. Since those shows growing up, I’ve traveled to Ohio, Massachusetts, Maryland, and yep, you guessed it, Arizona for concerts that all have allowed me to really dig my feet in to the culture and explore a huge variety of different landscapes all within my own country.
2. You make friends with similar interests with you that you may have never met otherwise.
I cannot even begin to tell you the amount of friends I have made by traveling for shows. I have friends from all over the country, and even some from different continents. That little fact STILL blows my mind. You have the ability to meet people from different backgrounds that can teach you something about the world, or even yourself just by becoming acquaintances. We also have the powerful gift of social media now, where you can actually keep up with each other’s lives, even when you live on the other side of the globe. Some of my closest friends, I would never have even met if it weren’t for my urge to travel. Take the chance! Plus, if you ever want to travel to that city again, maybe you’d have a place to stay!
3. Every. Show. Is. Different.
I cannot stress this one enough. It kills me every time someone says to me, “You’ve seen this band so many times, why do you need to go to multiple shows? Don ‘t you get tired of seeing the same performance every night?” *EYE ROLL* No. That is not how it works. Sure, it’s the same set list, and maybe the same choreography, but every crowd is different, your company is most likely different at each location, and heck, who wouldn’t want to let loose for another night while screaming back the lyrics to their favorite songs. Not every show is the same. Each show will give you new memories, new friends, and hopefully, a new perspective on your own life.
Okay now that I’ve given you some reasons WHY you should travel, I’m gonna share some tips I’ve gathered over the years that may help traveling become more accessible and affordable to do.
1. Carpool with the concert buddies you’ve made at home.
This one seems pretty obvious, but it’s something I notice a lot of people overlook. If everyone chips in for gas and parking, the trip as a whole becomes a whole lot cheaper. Also, if you do stay in a hotel, you’re STILL splitting the price, which reduces the overall costs tremendously.
2. Referring back to my #2 reason for travelling, ask your new friends if you could crash at their house for one night.
Obviously, this one will come after travelling for shows a few times, but if you trust the person enough, and are close enough with them, and they’re going to the show, ask them if you can stay at their house for a post-gig sleepover so you don’t have to pay for a hotel room. Not only do you save some money, but you get to talk about how much fun you had at the show, while catching up on your day-to-day lives too! I guarantee you will make some life-long friends by doing this. But this should go without saying – always be respectful of the person whose house you’re staying at!
3. Don’t feel ashamed of setting some money aside specifically for traveling.
I’m not saying you should cut your paycheck in half and put it in a savings account for traveling. I just mean, take note of your spending each month and put any extra cash you have left aside for traveling. If you spend all the money you can in a month, don’t panic. This tip is just for those months you lay low, and cook every night instead of eating out and have some extra spending money!
4. SAVE YOUR COINS!
I don’t know how everyone doesn’t already do this. But if you keep a jar for your coins, I can guarantee you that when it comes to a good time to travel, you can cash those in and have some extra cash ready to go!
These are all just some basic tips that I’ve picked up on over the years that have helped me tremendously with my avid concert going. If anything, I hope this post has inspired you in some way to become a bit more curious to get out there and explore, while enjoying your growing love for music! Get Out, Get Lost. 8123.