This past summer I was blessed with the opportunity to travel coast to coast (almost) with my best friend Kodee. We loaded up the van and hit the road with barely more than a plan. We hadn’t set out on this trip for a musical tour, but that’s sort of what we ended up with! Everywhere we went, every city, every state, Music had found us.
We started off in Washington for a music festival. Which was one of only two planned events. From there we always seemed to find ourselves in front of a stage. We listened to folk songs in the hills of Mariposa, California, danced the Polka at Yosemite and sang country music all through Texas. The artists of Santa Fe welcomed us with open arms as we grooved to an experimental beat and raged at the Reggae fest before seeing Dirty Heads in Austin.
Banda Liberdade do Vale, Yosemite, California
I’ll never forget the people who let us join in as if we were family. The memories made from these gatherings will forever be imprinted on my mind. I’ve never felt such belonging with a group of strangers before. Music in America is what connects communities regardless of personal views or opinions. We got a taste of what every town was like, without even being there for more than a day.
I know now to cherish these moments because they’re so rare and fleeting. Every day I think back on how those times shaped me to be a better person. I don’t think I’ll ever go back to any of the places we visited, but a part of me will always be there. Maybe it’s in the rock I tripped over dancing with bare feet, or chairs we sat in singing our hearts out.
High Country Chimes, Mariposa, California
Music will always be the great connector. It’s one of the most important things in American culture, and I know that now more than ever.