Memorable Moments Are Magical

Colin MacLeod

Leave Space For Memories

Sometimes NOT filling your itinerary to the brim can lead to the most memorable moments being created. 

Back in 2000, I was backpacking around Australia and had just left Perth, West Australia (WA) to head for Broome, also WA. 

I received a phonecall from an Irish gentleman, whose name was Pearse Ward and he was looking for a fiddle player for a gig. 

What I did not realise was that the playing gig was actually in WA's most northerly Irish pub which was in Broome! 

Needless to say, I said YES to the possibilities and had a wonderful time in a town where there was the chance to discover more about the pearling history, meet some great people and play music!

Music And Stories Help To Bring Culture Alive

Whilst in the Unites States, it has been very interesting to find out more about the Scottish emigrants who arrived in the USA and lived in the Appalachian mountains.  

During a recent visit to the Grandfather Highland Games in North Carolina, I found out more about the connection between the Scots and the Cherokee Indians and how their cultures were very similar, partly in the way in which music and stories are passed orally from one generation to another.  

The Scots brought with them 'mouth music' and the Gaelic singing traditions of the Highlands. This helped to keep their culture alive in the USA.  

Of course, the violin or 'fiddle' and the playing of bagpipes was part of the culture.  

The first fiddle competition was held in Henrico County in Virginia in the 1730s, nearly three hundred years ago!  

And possibly why music and stories help to bring culture alive is the lightness and mobility of their transport as this leaves room in the luggage for other things!

DISCLAIMER: These opinions and suggestions are my own based on how I enjoy travelling and by no means suited for everybody.

Gut's Violin To Illustrate Improv

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Packing Tips

1 – Under-Do It

Sometimes whilst travelling, I see a family, friends or couples outside a coffee shop catching up on conversation or having morning breakfast. 

When I was in Melbourne, Australia, I might choose to have breakfast in Lygon Street, part of the Italian Quarter of Melbourne. 

Cafe peak time for breakfast was defined as only being able to read a folded version of the local newspaper, the Melbourne Age. 

Off peak time was defined as being able to spread the whole newspaper all over the table! 

When travelling, leave time in your itinerary to have a coffee or stop at a cafe. You never know whom you might bump into!

2 – Pack Light. Plan To Shop OR Schlepp Lightly To Shop  

Shopping is a great way to immerse yourself in the culture of the places you visit. 

Packing more lightly means that there is more in the suitcase to take memories home. 

This might be ornaments, pictures, a set of bagpipes, confiture or perhaps clothes. 

Packing lighter also provides a clearer idea of what you will really need on your travels.  

3 – Remember What You Can Carry On The Plane

When I am travelling, I usually take the violin and rucksack on board the plane.

It is possible to buy violin cases which more closely fit the instrument and this takes up less space in overhead luggage.

The rucksack will have the computer plus note pad and other sundy items

4 – Remember To Celebrate When You Arrive

It's a real joy to arrive in a place and have your suitcase, violin and rucksack all arrive with you.

Remember to celebrate this, perhaps via a Facebook Live.

5 – Take Pictures, Play Tunes, Create Memories

Going on a trip somewhere can be an awesome adventure and there might be some friends who would like to catch up with you afterwards and listen to your stories.

You never know unless you go!

The finale: last tidbits on packing tips

 So there you have it… we hope these 5 tips before going on holiday and travelling to your destination lighten the load.

Colin MacLeod Celtic Fiddle Guru playing at the Resipole Fiddle Fest, Ardnamurchan Peninsula, Scotland

About the Author

Colin MacLeod, the founder of 'Play Mor Tours loves to travel, experience different cultures, tell stories, teach music, is a musical educator of culture . When Colin is not serving his clients, he loves to paddleboard, cycle, learn new skills and entertain. Colin calls the world his home.