Back in the Swing of Things

Well, Ross and I just spent the night parked at the Harrisburg Mall in Pennsylvania, so I think it’s time for an update! We are back on the road again and are thankful to be traveling. 

But we’d be remiss if we didn’t acknowledge all of the wonderful family and friends who hosted us, welcomed us and made time for us in New Hampshire. And what a fruitful time it was too! We performed our family show in Littleton, NH after a day of preschools and a senior center performance, and we performed at a bar in Fryeburg, ME called Top of the Ninth. We also led an incredible ukulele class for seniors and enjoyed some in-person lessons and a recital with some of our New Hampshire music students. And we shared our duo show in Concord and I performed with the amazing Jocelyn Duford in our Broadway show, Jocelyn’s ABC: Adult Broadway Cabaret. 

The time flew, as we knew it would, and after some repacking and repairing/checking on ourselves and our vehicles, we headed out again. We left Wednesday mid-afternoon and made it all the way to Glen Falls, NY. The next day we drove all the way to Harrisburg and enjoyed wandering the mall after we arrived. The hills and foliage in VT, NY and PA have all been beautiful. 

Our next leg of our journey will take us a few hours south. Beyond that, we need to determine how far east or west we will keep as we head toward Florida. We may connect with family on the way, and we may just keep trucking toward FL.

Last night it was below freezing here, but the RV is still at 55 degrees, so I am not complaining! PJs, two layers of socks and heat warmers and I was good to go. 🙂 Our house battery is still struggling to regain its charge when we drive, unfortunately, despite a “normal”ish report from our mechanic. So we may need to plug in tonight or tomorrow, which is fine.

That’s all for now. Thanks for reading, and have a wonderful day! 

Concord, NH This Weekend!

Hello, New Hampshire friends! (Other friends, hello to you as well!)

We just wanted to send out a quick note to make sure you know we’re back in New Hampshire for a few weeks. We’re teaching and performing a lot while we’re here, but the most exciting weekend is THIS weekend, where we are in Concord for three days in a row!

On Friday, September 29, you can see Ross and I sing and play at the Hatbox Theatre in Concord. It promises to be a fun and silly event – and you’ll get a free double album with your ticket purchase. How awesome is that?

On Saturday, September 30 and Sunday, October 1, I’m accompanying the phenomenal actress and singer Jocelyn Duford in Jocelyn’s ABC: Adult Broadway Cabaret. It’s recommended for ages 12 & up due to some adult language; and trust me, you’ll love it, whether you love musical theater, hate it, or don’t really care either way! It’s a show you won’t forget.

Jamie is also performing in downtown Concord as a part of the Piano Project from 9:30-11:30 AM. Stop by if you’re around, it should be very fun. At the Capitol Commons building.

Thanks for reading, and we hope to see some of you soon!

Six Months on Ross and Jamie’s Adventure

Happy Friday! I’m happy to report that we’ve passed the six month mark of our full-time RVing life change/adventure! When Ross and I agreed to do this, we promised each other we’d stick with it for a year and re-evaluate then. I’m happy to report that after six months we’re just as excited to be doing this and looking forward to year two this fall.

One of the amazing things about this lifestyle is the way it changes your sense of time. We had many conversations two and three months in where we realized it felt like we’d been doing this for months instead of years. After all, we’ve visited tons of states (20 I believe, with notable time in all but a couple of them), hanging out in nature, exploring museums and historical sights and trying to learn what living like a local would look like in cities and towns across our nation. It’s amazing what we’ve been able to see already, and we aren’t ready to stop, although our pace is slowing down currently to give us more time to make money along the way. As we celebrate this milestone, I wanted to talk about how this experience has differed from our expectations so far, and about some of the lessons we’ve learned along the way. 

Assumption: Life on the road will be full of adventures.

Reality: Yes, life on the road will be full of adventures. Some of them will be awesome and some of them will be frustrating, like when your house battery won’t stay charged or when the pilot for your fridge won’t light. Also, maintaining a balance between real life and playing tourist is harder than it looks! 

Assumption: Once we have more time to ourselves, booking shows will get easier. (Not that we ever thought we’d be an easy sell!)

Reality: Free time helps, but the lack of great internet while we travel kind of balances this out. Booking shows has proven to be one of the hardest types of work we do on the road! That being said, it does get easier with practice and a routine.

Assumption: Finding part-time work when we settle in a place should be pretty easy, especially in a tourist area. 

Reality: Most businesses don’t want temporary workers, so getting a gig isn’t as straightforward as we wanted and we can’t emphasize that we are nomads when we apply. (And this problem was much worse before we had a car! Limited businesses within walking distance narrows your options further.)

Assumption: Being on the road will be stressful, but the freedom will help make up for the new stress. 

Reality: Overall, we are MUCH less stressed than we used to be. It’s gotten easier with time. Financial stress is real, but if you organize your time well, this lifestyle is usually a dream come true. And days when you have to work super-hard are easier knowing they’re financing this lifestyle. That being said, your anxiety and depression don’t go away because you hit the road! Make sure you have strong self-care habits, maintain your personal space and work to keep the lines of communication open with your partner. 

Assumption: We’d have tons of free time to work on music projects and booking once we hit the road. 

Reality: We have to work VERY hard to make time for this. Because we’re juggling so many income streams and responsibilities, the music making sometimes takes a far back seat. We’re working on making this a regular part of our schedule, but it’s something we are still working on. 

Assumption: We probably wouldn’t be back to New Hampshire for another year or so. 

Reality: I’ve gotten two gigs in New Hampshire since I left. So I flew back in December and in March for a few weeks. Who’d have thought I’d be offered higher-paying theater work once I moved out of the state?! (Ross, unfortunately, is waiting for New Hampshire to call with his gigs. We will be both be back this fall for a month to teach workshops and perform.)

Assumption: It will be harder to not have a regular community on the road. 

Reality: We have made friends wherever we’ve gone. Although our social lives aren’t particularly exciting, we find people who care about us and share stories with us everywhere. It’s been pretty wonderful. We miss our friends and family, but we definitely feel welcome wherever we go. (It helps to be able-bodied, white, a male-female couple and relatively privileged. We know this and are constantly thankful that we can feel relatively safe and welcome wherever we go.)

As we look forward to the rest of this year, we are currently on the Outer Banks of North Carolina. (Report on Florida, Savannah and Charleston to come!) After Labor Day, we will visit New Hampshire and then head back to Florida if our plans stay on track. We will stay there through the winter and possibly spring. 

Thanks for reading and following our journey!