Busking My Way To Ireland

I’m going to be 50 on the Winter Solstice. I’ve spent my whole life on the West Coast of the United States, specifically in the Bay Area. This really is an amazing place to live, and I applaud my parents’ good taste in choosing to settle here (they came from Ohio originally). However, I’ve never been off this continent, unless you count the fact that I have been offshore and just out of sight of land on both coasts. Both trips were in tallships and I remember vividly being aloft off the Atlantic braced against the swell furling t’gallants. On the West Coast I remember the three members of our watch tacking the Lady Washington late at night without having to wake anyone else. It took a bit of time, but we felt like giants when we were done. I wouldn’t trade either of those experiences for anything, but the fact is, I’ve never been to any other country other than Canada.

Lest this turn into a pity party, I have a plan, and what Chris Guillebeau recently called a Big Thing on his blog, The Art Of Non Conformity. I thank him for the inspiration, and all the concrete advice he gives out for free on his site, as well as his excellent book, The $100 Startup, which is a great read.

The germ of my idea is this: I will busk my way to Ireland, which is a place I have always wanted to go. Every penny that comes from my music goes in the fund to do this. My drum will take me places my salary can’t.

Now I know it will take me centuries to pass the hat for enough money to buy a plane ticket. But I also know that adventures often begin small. If I set out my hat, start singing, and say yes to every good idea that comes to me, I’ll get there, probably sooner than I think. Along the way, I’ll get a lot better at my craft, and there are other things besides busking that I already plan on doing. I have two albums half written that will grow as I stand in the BART station or on that sidewalk. Busking is like fertilizer, I have always known that. It is the greatest teacher there is.

So for now I’ll pack up my drum and my produce and head for the crop swap. I’ll be playing on the corner of Adeline and Alcatraz in Berkeley in about 2 hours. And I’ll post some more details on why I want to go, and what I plan to do when I get there in the next few days. If you are intrigued by this idea, and find my journey entertaining, please spread the word. I need as many eyes and ears as possible on this blog to make this work. Thanks for reading this far, and may your road be as much fun as mine is going to be!

2 Replies to “Busking My Way To Ireland”

  1. If you are anything like me you will find that the worst thing about visiting Ireland is that it feels so much more like home than the place you have to go back to when the visit is over. I wish you luck on your quest and look forward to hearing about your goals and progress!


  2. You may well be right. I’ll never know till I get there. Though I have to say, living on the golden haired hills of the western shore of the Great Western Sea is a great and powerful thing. To live where Land and Sea meet is to live where poetry is born. And the Celts have ever traveled to the West.


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