Living Our Dreams While Living On The Road

Living Our Dreams While Living On The Road

The dancers rippled and pulsed in tandem across the concrete floor, packed in tight, live music filling the small room.

There were dancers in the aisle between tables, and on the tiny dance floor, and pressed up against the bar. The air was thick with guitar, drums beats and heat generated by all the bodies moving relentlessly to every long blues song. The harmonica wailed.

Spectators leaned against the pool table or cooled by the fan, drinking Pabst Blue Ribbon and eating the complimentary beef and noodle casserole. Dancers took breaks to step outside and cool off in the parking lot.

If you wanted whiskey or something stiffer to drink, you had to bring your own booze. My friends and I showed up with a bottle of Jack that we mixed with Coke all night long, stirring it with little drink straws and sipping until the ice melted.

Bring Me Some Pabst Blue Ribbon…

I was at TC’s Lounge, a modern day “juke joint” in Austin, Texas. They feature live blues and jazz bands in a shack of a bar here every week.

The parking lot is overflowing and the inside jammed, hot and sweaty as locals and out-of-town dancers pack it in to get their groove on, drink some PBR, or just listen and watch.

It was hot, and I don’t just mean temperature-wise.

Deep in the Heart of Texas…

I was in Austin this past weekend for yet another dance event. This time it was BluesShout, an annual event featuring live bands, dancing every night until 4 a.m., and blues dancing workshops.

I danced for twelve hours a day — five hours a day of classes, and then another seven or eight hours of dancing at night.

As usual, it was heavenly to dance with talented dancers from all around the country, to catch up with old friends, to dress up in glamorous outfits for the evening dances with live bands. I’d never been to Austin before and it was fun to get a glimpse of a new city as well, one that is famous for its eclecticism, live music, and whose unofficial motto is “Keep Austin Weird.”

And, because I was lucky enough to stay an extra day, I got to groove at a real live juke joint on Monday evening.

Another Day, Another City

I’ve chosen to create a mobile lifestyle for myself, sometimes living on the road more often than I’m home. This means packing and dragging bags around, tracking down free wifi on the road, finding restaurants where I can eat good healthy vegetarian food on the fly, and keeping my budget in check while exploring other places.

It can be challenging to maintain my usual routines — meditating ½ an hour a day, eating greens daily, taking my vitamins — when constantly on the road. This includes my writing practice.

Once again I fell out of my writing routine while away dancing, and missed a few days of meditation as well. It’s time for me to get grounded and get writing again.

An Hour A Day Dedicated To My Soul Practices…

I am committing to making my writing a daily practice for the next month, starting now —- ½ hour day of meditation and ½ hour a day of writing. I’ve decided that in order to get my book manuscript completed by my target deadline of 10/10/10, and to sufficient time to polish and massage the text, I need to step up my writing pace.

In the past I have typically tried to log a certain amount of pages per work, or words per day. I still plan to maintain a weekly page count to make sure I’m getting closer to the goal of completing 200 pages by June.

This should give me the time I need to edit the manuscript before putting it into my writing coach’s hands in October.

Keeping The Dreams Going While I’m Rolling

I haven’t yet perfected the way to keep all my routines “normal” while traveling – it just sometimes throws me off my rhythm. Luckily I will actually be mostly in one place – not on any planes! – for at least the next month or so.

I plan to use that time well to really accelerate my pace on my writing and some other goals.

I also tend to need some “recovery time” after traveling. After being on the road, lugging bags around, and not having much quiet time, I love being back in my house, unpacking and getting “back to normal” – for a while.

Until the next trip…

…when my soul calls me to head out dancing again, or I head to San Francisco to meet with my writing coach, or I visit some of my wide circle of global family and friends domestically or internationally, or work takes me to a new destination.

I’d be interested to hear how others keep their life rhythms intact and their dreams in motion while on the road. Any suggestions from other road warriors and traveling veterans?

Lisa

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Lisa is a freelance writer, consultant and life coach. She has her BA in English and Creative Writing from Princeton and her MPA from Harvard. Lisa recently finished the first draft of her book manuscript, Burning Down the House. Her dream is to publish this first book and teach the world how to discover their hidden joy. Her post day is Tuesday.
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  • Remy, the photographer

    Keep Dancin Girl! I admire your tenacity and your passion! Hope your trip there was all you wanted! Rem

  • Toni Schram

    I need to book a trip to Austin…stat! I’m glad you’re able
    and do take advantage of the chance to live out these
    adventures! Yeah, baby!

  • Yay! I’m so glad you got a chance to explore and experience Austin … it’s like the SF of Texas, right? I love it there. Sounds like you had a great birthday and can’t wait to catch up more later!! *hugs*

  • Leah

    I can’t offer advice on how to keep a routine going while away because I go away to specifically break any routines that I have in place. I love travel partly because it allows me to live in pure serendipity.

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  • Catherine, Site Admin

    Oh you so must see Up In The Air . . .

    When I traveled for a living I noticed how easy it was to get disconnected from home. There’s something about life on the road, the different airports, the people, and the places that is like an alluring mistress (or sirens) that call you out on the road. It’s addicting.

    The only problem is home begins to suffer from neglect.

    I had cleaning ladies that would clean my place while I was gone and my home began to feel like the many hotels I was staying at – just one more stop on the road.

    It wasn’t until some things happened at home and Brian started crawling into my suitcase before I would leave that made me quit the traveling job. It was a hard mistress to give up . . .

    Running away to other places allows you to forget about any problems back home.

    When Brian is grown I wouldn’t mind doing it again, but you’re right it’s real hard to stick to healthy habits when traveling. The Austin Airport is where i was offered mashed potatoes, and gravy over scrambled eggs with a side of fried chicken and biscuits for breakfast.

    When I asked if there was just any fruit or a way to just have scrambled eggs, the cook laughed at me so hard I thought he was going to pass out. “Honey, don’t you know – you’re in Teaxs!”

    Be safe out there –

    Cath