After I graduated college with a BA in Music, I decided (as many recent college grads do) that I would set out and see the world. Unfortunately, one month after I graduated, student loan bills started rolling in. After receiving many "cease and desist" letters from the loan company after trying to coax them into giving me a year off to see Europe and the Americas, I realized that I had no choice but to get a job. After seeing so many of my friends graduate college only to find debt and low wages on the other side, I knew that I could not just settle down and fill the first position that would hire me. My mind began to stir with ways I could travel AND make money.
After my bum had become sore from my own kicking, wishing I had majored in journalism (hehehe I got into the field anyways!), I read an article in a music magazine about working on a cruise ship, so I applied. As it was, the cruise ship was only a few weeks away from its trans-Atlantic Mediterranean cruise and their dinner-music string quartet desperately needed a cellist. Having played double bass extensively, but never cello, I applied anyways and spent the following week learning all the Brahms and Strauss I could on that old bugger. Unfortunately, the audition piece was from the Baroque period, but I managed through it and got the job.
And what a job it was! I was able to see places I'd never dreamed of, all while enjoying the full amenities of a 5-star cruise ship. My room and board were paid for, so my seemingly small paycheck was all able to be funneled into my student loan. It was fantastic, but as all dream jobs go, it did not last very long-my stringed comrades and I were replaced with a set of speakers and an iPod by the next cruise season. Apparently the ship had been serving sub-par beef and our jobs were the first to go in order to provide better food for the patrons.
This job left me with a rare disease that sends those who suffer from it all over the world in search of a cure … I had caught the traveling bug! With my student loans finally paid off, I had literally no savings to fund such a trip, so I needed to find a job that would either take me on the road, or let me take it. After tossing around the idea of being a trucker, I later rejected the idea because I'd embarked on road trips all around the Southwest … there's nothing to see out there! Just a lot of flat, straight roads and cows everywhere, and boy do those cattle stink! I needed something that would take me further away from home and I found such a job building, oddly enough, trade show exhibits.
At first I thought, how hard can it be? Nailing together some plywood, maybe a little painting and gluing? Boy was I wrong. The exhibit manufacturer is a truly artistic outfit and the design behind their exhibits shows. I was able to travel all across the United States and as far west as Asia building these exhibits. Though I'm not getting paid to rosin a bow and draw strings anymore, I enjoy the work I do. It's still a venue for my creativity, I still get to work in harmony with my colleagues, and between the setup and dismantling of the exhibits, I get to go out and explore the cities we visit. In fact, we're in Tokyo right now for three days! You would not believe how amazing this city is! I can not wait to see it after the sun goes down! Sayonara!