This past summer, I visited more than twenty-five European towns and cities. Every few days, I had to orient myself to a new town, find where I was staying, know who to call if I couldn't find it. To get there, I usually had to find a bus, train, or flight in a place I had never seen before; I had to know what track to get to, and where to make tight connections. I might be sleep-deprived; my phone might've stopped connecting to the local mobile phone network -- or, as in rural Scotland, there just might not be any network available. Thankfully, the age of paper travel documents is largely behind us. So I started writing emails to myself.
In the months before leaving home for a long trip abroad, many Americans play out a familiar ritual, visiting a travel medicine specialist in order to be stuck with a series of needles and given pills that cause nightmares. But the most painful part is often the price.
I've written about how I spent the summer of 2018 chasing concerts across Europe. Here's the (heavily editorialized) setlists from many of those shows, below and also available to play on Spotify.
It's no secret that I have outdated taste in music. This summer, I indulged it.
I often check out Pollstar to see if anyone I'm interested in will be coming to town.
When I first started planning how to leave my job and take another long trip, I did the same thing in some of the first cities. I can't remember which concert I found first, but pretty soon one became a dozen. As I started looking up cities and some of my favorite artists' summer tours, things quickly snowballed. I decided that I would use concerts and music festivals to help draw my path east across Europe, to where I would finish in Finland. Since the beginning of this year, I have seen at least thirty bands perform.
I thought I'd make up some arbitrary awards for the shows I've seen. The full list of shows is at the bottom.
In September of 2001, I was just beginning my senior year of high school, still ensconced in my prep school's pastel, stained-glass world; it was a place for academics, where televisions would have ordinarily been rare but for that day.
Outspoken traveler (and inspiration for my North Korea trip) Paul Karl Lukacs explains how being a digital nomad isn't without negative dangers. While he's largely right, I will comment that your employability post-travel largely depends on overall demand for your profession. During travel, unless you're already an independent worker, good luck finding someone to let you work remotely and -- inevitably -- erratically.