Okay, lets begin…

I have no idea how to start this but I’m utterly determined to try. I’m aware of the fairly unique nature of travel I am doing; of the lifestyle I have elected to live, in short, for the next three years. Already, within the first two months of my tour – most of which has taken place in a world unbelievably familiar to me (ie on the street across UK towns and cities) – I have had so many ‘memorable’ experiences which, ironically, have been forgotten. I am not blessed with an excellent memory, and thus documenting my travels accordingly is imperative. I hope that those of you who choose to keep an eye on what I’m up to and take the time to read what I put out there can take something from my adventures, be that simply to follow where I am or what I’m doing; to hear some (hopefully!) interesting stories, or perhaps even to learn how not live your life!

For those of you who don’t know me, my name is Dan – I’m a violinist and a singer, and I am touring the whole planet in a naïve attempt to see what the world has to offer, to give my own musical endeavours a little bit of context. I don’t have much money, so this journey is financed exclusively by the tips I receive from performing on the street, alongside any gigs I may pick up along the way. I cannot drive; my ethics declare the ownership of a vehicle to be utterly unnecessary and the environmental impact of flying to be worse still. As my journey has progressed I have become more vehemently against these modes of transport (though I suppport the hitchhiking ideology very much). With these criteria in mind I have made it my quest to ‘busk the globe’ using public transport, boats, hitchhiking and, importantly, my fold-up bike. Not only is this to stubbornly and stupidly prove an environmental point, it is also my own quiet battle for the sanctity of good travel, and of a life which is better lived outside of the 9-5-gluedtophone-stripmall-readymeal-instantcoffee/gratification society which I have grown to detest. The purpose of travel, I feel, is outrageously true to the word itself, yet nowadays so few people recognise the journey as an integral part of a holiday. When flying so many thousand feet up in the sky, it is impossible to get any sense of the scenery or the intricacies of the lives lived down below. However, in meeting a local when hitchhiking, or gazing out of the train window as the procession of carriages meanders gracefully through mountainous vistas with no roads in sight, the adventures are being had right there on the spot: Unique to your own self at that moment in time. These are the opportunities which don’t exist in daily life – but you may not even have to stray too far to find them. For those of you reading in England, ask yourself: How much of your own country have you seen? I asked myself, and the answer was ‘very little’! I felt that before galavanting across the world it might be a good idea to see what exactly I would be leaving behind – plus I reckon that the UK might be a slightly more lucrative place than Bhutan, Kyrgyzstan, East Timor or Swaziland for me to get out busking…

Admittedly, I am in fact writing to you all from a tiny village (with a population of 60!) roughly 1200m above sea level in the mountains near the Portugese border in León, Spain. Though i can tell you that I am certainly not finished with the British Isles. I’ve had a good whack at it so far in my life, but I’ve only scratched the surface in reality; this will no doubt continue to be the case wherever I visit. After an entire year spent living in the USA a few years back, and three years of my life spent with the most spectacular American girl (if you’re reading- hi there Alyssa!), I still find myself at times baffled by various cultural idioms, and misunderstood by those from the ‘States. It’s quite beautiful really: no matter how ‘worldly’ you may think you can be, most days life will be no doubt capable of tripping you up and/or slapping you in the face (please select appropriate analogy, or perhaps literal translation here.)!

Anyway, I fully intend to recount my experiences of touring the UK, as well as my antecedent travels across Northern France, Belgium & the Netherlands in December; my recovery after breaking my foot in the USA in November including the fantastic journey which led to such a surprising turn of events…
Future posts will be more geared, I hope, towards busking, travel and my stories, rather than preaching of my intentions and opinions, but I suppose what prose flies from these fingers is a little beyond my control…
In time, I would also like to write about other key experiences prior which shaped me into the person stupid enough to take on a trip such as this. It’ll be a cracking exercise for me (you’ve got to love a healthy dose of self-reflection!) to think back to what led me to street performing in the first place, and how the lifestyle was nourished and developed in its own organic way, paving the future for a potential life as a full time travelling musician.

Cheers for reading guys: get in contact! I’d love to hear from you 🙂
Dan x

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Author: danhoddmusic

Freelance Musician & World Traveller.

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