Most of us don’t need to be convinced of the perks of travel. But have you ever thought about the lasting impact it can have on your music career? Think about it—new places, new faces, new opportunities, new connections—it’s ripe with prospects.
While traveling to far away places might be a bucket list item, you can get just as much inspiration from simply going a few cities or states over as you will going internationally. So if you’re looking for an excuse to pack your bags once more, check out these 3 ways that travel can transform your career.
You’ll find new inspiration
There’s nothing like getting out of your comfort zone and breaking routine to spark inspiration and a fresh point-of-view. My favorite part of travel has always been the opportunity to see things from a new perspective and to (usually) have enough time away from my daily responsibilities that my creativity kicks into gear and the ideas start flowing.
When you’re in a new or at least different environment than what you’re used to, it allows your brain to relax enough that the pressure comes off and the clamp that’s been holding down your creativity tends to lift. It’s the same kind of concept that means when you don’t have to do something, you tend to want to do it more. It’s also why you can spend hours at your desk at home trying to write something decent but the second you go to a coffee shop, suddenly it’s all flowing. It’s the change of scenery, and the change of expectations.
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You’ll meet new people
This is exciting for two reasons. The first is that it’s just cool to make new friends and connect with people you might have never otherwise met. The other is that knowing other artists, industry, or even possible fans in other cities, states, or countries can only help you as your career begins to grow. For instance, when you decide you want to embark on a tour and you’ve just made a great connection with someone in one of the cities you plan to tour through, you now have the perfect opportunity to call on them for support.
If they’re an artist, maybe they either headline the gig for you (since it’s their hometown and they likely have a bigger draw) or recommend a band who can. Maybe they’re a new fan that will bring 10 of their closest friends.
I suggest keeping a spreadsheet of all the people you know in different cities across the world. While it might be tricky to compile at first, it’s going to become immensely handy in the future.
You’ll create new opportunities
New cities and new people mean new opportunities. Sometimes they’ll be opportunities you plan in advance (like to attend a seminar or conference, or to meet up with someone while you’re in town) and other times it will be things you stumble across like a show that introduces you to your new favorite band or seeing a piece of merch that totally inspires your next creation.
When you’re anticipating an upcoming trip, don’t be afraid to ask for introductions or ask friends what you should see or who you should meet while you’re in town. I’ve met so many incredible people this way! In fact, I recently took a trip to Iceland and before I went I asked one of my editors if he had any recommendations for what to see and potential article ideas. He introduced me to Greenhouse Studios in Reykjavik, who have worked with Björk, Sigur Rós, and a slew of Icelandic and international artists. It was a completely eye opening, inspiring opportunity to get to tour the studio and speak with the staff and it’s one I never would have had otherwise.
Of course, there are always ways to expand your career from the comfort of your own home, but the truth is there’s nothing like a trip somewhere new every now and again to reignite the spark and awaken your motivation—plus, it’s a pretty good excuse to travel, isn’t it?!
Angela Mastrogiacomo is the founder and CEO of Muddy Paw PR . She loves baked goods, a good book, and hanging with her dog Sawyer.
Dennis Barnette - August 27, 2018
Thanks always for sharing that information. Best regards dbarnette
Marisa Leoni - August 30, 2018
Thank you Angela, that is very inspiring.
My hubby and I have joined forces after many years of performing separately and the creative juices are flowing.
We can’t wait to get on the road and we have a gut feeling it’s going to go really well. I’m not letting ageism get in the way either, I even think we could work this into our branding. Maybe we will contact you down the track for some PR. Thank you for the great article.
Lori Lynn - August 31, 2018
Your advice is so true. That is why major artists over the years are able to write so many new fresh songs. They are constantly touring and traveling. I wrote one song on a Greyhound bus to Florida. What an experience that was, it will be on our upcoming EP. Thank you so much and we are always looking forward to our next traveling adventure.
Dennis Erickson - September 10, 2018
Travel is a great way to generate new song ideas, hear new music styles and see new cultures which, in turn, inspire us to write better and more interesting songs. Go to Barcelona, walk down the River of Light and tell me you aren’t inspired. I was!