Why We Worship Musicians

NOTE: This post doesn’t really have much to do with travel except they were thoughts I had while traveling with the Salty Dog Cruise. Also, musicians travel a lot. I just needed to get some ideas down.

Wikimedia/ Tomascastelazo

Wikimedia/ Tomascastelazo

Not so long ago I had an active blog on the alternative music scene. I was fortunate enough to meet quite a few musicians and artists along the way, some were fantastic people and others left a bit to be desired. At every concert and show I saw people throwing themselves at these artists that they didn’t even know and it got me wondering, why do we obsess over and adore them? They’re people just like us with good and bad personalities and habits. So what is the quality that draws us in? It certainly isn’t just charisma or fame. What sparks us initially to want to be in their presence, beyond their ability to write catchy lyrics and play their instruments well?

I believe we hold musicians in esteem for the same reason we hold generals, revolutionaries, and leaders in esteem, because they have courage. They take the negative feelings we’re all too shy, ashamed, inhibited, to admit we have as well as the positive feelings and translate then into something we can intertwine ourselves in. They provide a voice and a space where for just a few hours we can really say what we’re feeling, even if they aren’t our own words. They make all our trials, tribulations, and successes sound romantic and even cinematic. They put a sound to our lives and provide the outlet for the emotions society tells us not to share. They are the ones who are courageous enough to every day wear their hearts on their sleeves for a group of strangers. Through musical osmosis we take courage from them, courage to cry out when our emotions get the better of us, courage to stand up for what we believe in, courage to tell the world we aren’t happy with what’s going on and we want it changed, courage to remind us that we aren’t alone in how we feel, courage to dance for joy even if we aren’t very good at dancing.

So to all the musicians out there I say, thank you. Thank you for pouring your heart out to the world. We are listening and every time you hear someone singing back your lyrics please know that that’s us telling you you’re not alone. Thank you for having the courage to do what you do, to work on being a better musician, work on songs to share with us. Thank you for having the courage to follow your dreams because you do more than give us hope that we can do the same. Thank you for the trials and tribulations you’ve gone through, the countless hours spent touring, the sleepless nights, the times you were broke and hungry bringing us music. Thank you for those moments you helped is to truly be ourselves. Thank you for making a soundtrack for our souls.



13 Places to Go in 2015

Cruising with Rock Stars in the Bahamas

FloggingMollyOne of my favorite bands, Flogging Molly, is taking to the seas with various punk bands (including Gogol Bordello who has the best live performance EVER) for a three day, pirate-themed St. Patrick’s Day cruise extravaganza. On the Salty Dog Cruise you have the opportunity to get up close and personal with the artists and are treated to special performances and DJ sets. I don’t even know what a punk DJ set would be like, but I really want to find out.



Photo by William Cho

I was supposed to go to Thailand a few months back with friends, but unrest and protests broke out and I thought the better of it. In hindsight I wish I had gone. Thailand boasts amazing night bazaars, glittering beaches, astounding islands, and vast palaces. It’s also on The Blonde Abroad’s list of safest places for solo female travel.

New England in Autumn


WikiCommons/ bdesham

I live in the desert. Leaves don’t really change colors here and I never get to wear scarves. I just want to see some leaves and wear a scarf. For everyone else who actually has a change of seasons, you can take a drive up the scenic Mohawk Trail, one of the countries first official scenic drives, or engage in some outdoor activities like canoeing.



Inagh Valley

While staying in Dublin I took a tour over to Connemara and it was love at first sight. I don’t know if it’s because it reminds me of Seward, where I once lived (sort of), or if it’s just some sort of ancient magic, but there’s a sense of home there and interconnectedness to the land. Connemara, especially in the spring/summer months, offers a myriad of activities including, kayaking, hiking and cycling, and horseback riding. You can also take a drive along the Wild Atlantic Way, the ultimate road trip through the West side of Ireland.

Horseback Riding in Scotland



I’ve always wanted to see a country on horseback and I can’t think of a better place to do this than the Scottish Highlands. Highlands Unbridled offers an Outlander ride for all my fellow lovers of the novels and most companies offer a stop at the Glenlivet distillery for lunch and tastings.

Running of the Bulls, San Fermin, Spain


wikimedia commons/ Mortorell

Just a few weeks ago I was having lunch with my family in Chicago and my cousin looks at me and says, “Taylor, you can run, right?”
“Yes… why?” I warily replied.
“You want to do the running of the bulls?”
And that’s exactly how I was recruited into doing the Running of the Bulls in San Fermin, Spain. We threw La Tomatina in Valencia for good measure because great family vacations are running from angry beasts and large-scale food fights.



Lago Chungara (Wikimedia Commons/David Guallini)

I’m currently watching the Dakar rally race and felt rather inspired to pick one of the countries through which this race goes. With 8,000 km of trails, I’m sure you can find plenty of hiking or cycling to occupy your time. Chile also has mummies, the famous Easter Island, skiing, a ton of National Reserves, and volcanoes. Chile really has it all, especially for you outdoorsmen.

Ur and Nineveh, Iraq

ninevehAdad Gate

Adad Gate at Nineveh (Fredrarch/ WikiCommons)

While in college I had to do a massive project that focused on the archaeological sites at Ur and Nineveh. Ever since then I have been dying to go and trek the cities I know so well on paper, cities that played an integral role in the urbanization of the rest of the world. More than that, I want to see these fascinating sites before they are destroyed (ISIS recently issued a threat to destroy the walls of Nineveh).

The Stampede Trail and Magic Bus in Alaska



Like every good adventurer I am a fan of Into the Wild. It’s a bit macabre to visit the site in which this young man perished so needlessly, but I suppose if you’re going to be hiking the Stampede Trail anyway, you should probably get this one in soon or wait for the river to freeze again so you don’t get stuck on the other side of the river like Christopher McCandless. If you don’t care about the trail then go visit the replica made for the movie in Healy.

Any City Hosting an F1 race

COTA 2013-22

photo by Studebaker Hawk Photography (my dad!)

I love Formula 1 and all the cities on the list are dream spots. From Monaco to Sochi, to Budapest and Catalunya, and my favorite U.S. city, Austin. If travel were free (and I didn’t have a day job) I would be at every race.

See the Northern Lights in Reykjavik, Iceland


Wikimedia Commons/ McKay Savage

Reykjavik isn’t just fun to say, it’s a fun place to be! Not only can you go searching for the Game of Thrones filming locations (oh goodness, now you all know how nerdy I am), but there are dozens of outdoor adventure tours on horseback, ATV and pretty much anything that moves. Let’s not forget all the Viking sites to visit.

Up Helly Aa in Scotland


WikimediaCommons/ Mike Pennington

In a nutshell, Up Helly Aa is a festival where a bunch of Scots dress up in Viking costume (obviously I have a thing for Vikings), carry torches through the town, and light a galley on fire. This is followed by parties that last until morning during which the Jarl, who is head of the celebration, makes a stop at every one. I want to go this year since I will be so close, but I read that the parties are private so I will need a friend in Shetland first.

Oktoberfest in Munich


photo by Andreas Steinhoff

I have been trying to make it to Oktoberfest for quite a while, but I always forget that it’s not actually in October. Who wants to go?