It feels weird to be starting to travel again... pre-Coronavirus, the life of a musician was one of constant travelling, with tours and various concerts here and there. So, it was a pretty familiar ritual the night before leaving. Saying goodbye to the kids and wife (feeling guilty about leaving her with the kids alone...), telling the little one to be good... the older one to look after her sister and her mother...
... packing, instruments and clothes and everything that would be required. A well worn ritual, and one that I could always just do whilst half asleep... making sure that in the early hours of the next morning, I wouldn't need to be thinking too much, just grabbing the right instrument cases and bags and walking straight out the door to the train... and then onwards to the airport.
Now, I haven't traveled (or performed much...) since March... about four months of musical inactivity. It feels weird to be packing... I'm wondering if I have everything that I need... knowing full well that the only critical things that I need are music and instruments. Everything else can be found at the destination, annoying and potentially costly, but survivable.
This travel, I will need three instruments with me... a violin, viola and viola dámore. Luckily, two of those can fit in my nifty double case!
I found my trusty old little touring suitcase... with all the electronic kit ready to go. This time, in addition to the clothes and shoes, I have needed to augment my kit with masks (both reusable and disposable) for traveling on public transport plus a bottle of disinfectant gel for hands and surfaces. I will be catching the trains to where I need to go... it is slower, but I'm a bit wary of getting on a crowded plane. There is much more space and control on the trains...
I am feeling a bit unsettled... but I think it is more to do with the idea of travelling again, and knowing that I will be away from family for a while. My wife is a little nervous about me travelling out to and through countries that have larger infection footprints of Coronavirus. I'm thinking that Coronavirus would be a pain in the arse to get, but the odds are against any serious consequences... however, you never know when the dice will be against you. That said, I'm not going out of my way to get infected!
... and finally, my trusty travelling messenger bag. It's an old friend that hasn't seen much use in the past few months. All the pockets and inner compartments still stashing useful kit and gear.... as I'm not an EU citizen, I'm required by law to travel with my passport and visa documents... unfortunately, my visa documents are expired, so I have to ALSO travel with additional documentation from the Dutch Government saying that my Visa application is in application (since May!). I'd prefer it if I don't get stopped and questioned... but hey, I'm a bit funny looking... so, I generally get an ID check.
... anyway, I think that everything is now all packed and ready to go... it's going to be a long long day of travelling tomorrow. I leave around the crack of dawn and hope to arrive at my destination after dinner. Being a musician is just one of these jobs that doesn't work online... no work from home for me!
Still... all said and done... I'm looking forward to playing again. I never liked the travelling part of things, but it is and was a necessary evil. Still... things could be worse, the trains in Germany have power outlets, so I will be nicely hooked up to power for most of the journey!... and I paid a little bit extra to travel in first class as well (on trains, the difference isn't too bad...), so I will have more than a little bit of peace and quiet for the ride as well.
Hopefully all the notes on the violins are where I last left them!