Yes, I traveled across the U.S. with my family for 16 months. My son was the drummer in the touring company of a Broadway musical called School of Rock: The Musical. And for the last four months of the tour, my 10-year-old joined the cast as well.
Five days ago we took our final flight. Home.
Folks keep asking me; How the heck do you travel with four children to 57 cities? Do you ride in a tour bus? Do you stay in hotels?
Don’t you all want to strangle one another?
Here’s how it goes:
We stay in rental houses and fly almost everywhere because there’s not enough time in between shows to drive to the next city. (Plus, I might actually strangle someone if I had to drive in a car with my tribe for hours and hours every week.) Since we seldom stay in the company hotels, I find and book our housing and transportation for each city.
Every week on the road involves homeschooling, researching rental houses, finding flights, and booking rental cars. Plural. Two cars. (I haven’t figured out how to fit everything and everyone into one car.)
On Sundays we pack up two guitars, a bass, a keyboard, a drum set, five scooters, six skateboards, pads and helmets, clothes, and tons of books. (Southwest Airlines, please let me know if you find the ukulele we left in Denver!)
On Mondays we all hop on a plane and move into a new city where we order groceries, do laundry, and unpack. It never fails that I end up repacking several bags while sitting on that gross maroon carpet at the airline check-in desk. Curse that 50lbs. limit!
During the week we take our brood to museums, Skype with tutors, take over skateparks, and explore the city. We’ve had frozen windshields in Buffalo, New York, heat-headaches in Tempe, Arizona, and a weird stomach thing that we agreed to never mention again. I booked over 180 flights, 30 houses, 12 hotels & 36 rental cars.
It’s a life I NEVER imagined. I NEVER planned. But, it turns out… I loved it. There were tour parents I grew to love, incredible actors who became like family, and towns I explored and enjoyed more than I ever imagined. I bumped fists with rockstar Geddy Lee in Toronto, toured the incredible Mammoth Caves in Kentucky, froze my tail off at Niagara Falls, soaked in open air baths in Quebec, met an astronaut, and toasted with friends in almost 50 different cities.
Lesson Learned: Maybe your happiest place is a world you never imagined. Open your mind to more than what you see every day, and you NEVER know what might happen.