it's hard to put into words how much my european adventure meant to me… it's getting harder every day, too, being home now for what feels like forever. most days it feels as if the whole thing didn't even happen, but looking through the few moments i captured helps satisfy the wanderer in me, wanting to get out and do it all over again.
touring (like i knew it would be) was some.thing.else. having known many musicians over the years, i feel well versed in the "hey, this is what's going on today!" and "oh my god, i'm glad to be back, but these things happened!" type emails and conversations, getting the inside scoop both from the road and in the flesh post-tour(s). with all this in mind, i braced myself for the experience i was so ready to have -- a greasy month-long party, a faster-than-fast whirlwind of a time. i knew it would be full of uncomfortable sleeping, loads of driving and a less-than-fancy gas-station-food-diet, but i wanted it. i wanted to be up til all hours, saying yes to everything, soaking it all in, living the life on tour that i had always heard so much about. i figured that i was about to turn 30 and i had to do a trip like this at some point in my life... why not now? why not with the love of my life and a crew of heavy metal maniacs?
seventeen shows... seventeen load-ins, seventeen load-outs, seventeen games of gear tetris... seventeen nitebreakers, seventeen heat seekers… you'd think it'd drive a girl insane, but i was more than happy to stand behind the merch table every night, glass raised, secretly bursting with pride to be with the band. (even if the phrase made me barf a little the few times i actually had to use it...?) seventeen nights i got to go along for the ride as these guys did what they love. can you say… "swoon"?
cramming into a van and then travelling with seven dudes every day though… it was an experience all on it's own, but i think i came out an even more low-maintenance lady. sticking with one tiny carry-on packed lightly was one of the most freeing things, ever. three and a half weeks abroad = a handful of choice layers, a book, and my trusty élan ii... fresh skin, air-dried waves, and my favourite blanket of a scarf. (it was enough to make me want to throw out everything else i own once i got home!) being the only girl rollin' with a bunch of metalheads meant becoming one of the guys pretty quickly, but i also got hit with the little-sister vibe pretty hard, too. i was into it though. many laughs were had, bonds formed. being taken under the wing(s) of such a group made for fun, and lots of it. i won't quickly forget the night of the seven dogs, kim mitchell and myles almost out through a window in basque country, the high of my thirtieth and the low of marseille, brescia's heavy metal parking lot, innsbruck, the hotdogs and smoke detectors of frieberg, copenhagen's steel inferni and of course, dragon sound being played as a soundtrack to everything in between.
and even after all that, as if there wasn't enough to revel in already… i got to end my euro-stay with a two hour soak in one of the world's most beautiful places; the blue lagoon. i arrived late in the night and after a short snooze, i was whisked off into the dream-like wild of iceland, my wide-eyes glued to the scenery -- was i on the moon?!? black lava rock, bright green moss, lakes the colour of a robin's egg… my lens didn't know where to focus first. the true beauty though, was being able to relax after go-go-going… and going… and going. the second my toes hit the next-to-empty hot spring early that morning, i knew i was in for a treat fit for a mermaid and i left feeling like i'd just floated out of a fairy-tale. i mean, how could you not, with sights like these…?
going into the whole thing knowing that there wouldn't be much time for sight-seeing was a bit of a bummer at first, but once the novelty of being in a new country every day set in, it was hard to shake. i'd wake up in total disbelief that i was a) not in toronto, and b) about to go somewhere else i'd never been. it was so wacky. most days i had to just laugh at how surreal everything felt. "lucky", was the other feeling... greatly, greatly felt. but also...! my sweet man made very sure that we (at the very least) found a good cup of coffee and sometimes more -- photo ops, bratwurst, postcards, cemeteries, late hotel checkouts, etc, etc, etc -- every morning. being able to take a trip like this together was incredible, more special than i could have ever imagined. i could go on, but it'll just be a romantic ramble that'll reduce my keyboard to a soggy mess and probably trigger more than one gag-reflex, so maybe i'll just leave it there…? just know that it was good.