Notes on traveling

(Originally posted here, October 22, 2012)

I’m in a friend’s house in Estonia and was just served a cup of tea. And somehow the taste of it opened up a link to so many parallel’s in my life. All the other times I’ve been in friends houses and been served a cup of tea. Especially it reminded me of England, where I’ve been going a lot during parts of my life. Going there, visiting people I know or people I know-but-don’t-really-know, getting a bed, a cup of tea, some music, friendship. Always the cup of tea.

The thing is, it really works. The tea makes me feel comfortable, at home, even if I would be surrounded by complete strangers. There is something about getting a warm drink and somewhere to sleep which I think opens up the trust in me.

I really like traveling and meeting people, but I don’t really like being a tourist. For me it’s completely different if you go somewhere and stay in a hotel, eat at restaurants and go to museums or if you stay in someone’s house, share their dinner and go for a walk in the park with them. And it’s far more inspiring, challenging, opening, instructive to meet people like that. People who have a life which is not about serving strangers. Even if it’s sometimes hard to talk with people when you hardly have any language in common, it’s still a way to learn, meet and understand.

After a fantastic, inspiring, great week at Womex it’s nice to be in Estonia. I’m here to teach at the Estonian SügisEtno (a folk music course for youths) and do a couple of concerts together with Johanna-Adele Jüssi releasing her solo debut album. I’m really looking forward to a week that is actually filled with real live music and music making, as opposed to Womex which is a week that kind of circles around music but mainly without actually touching it. Womex is so much more about business, marketing, networking, talking, drinking and maybe listening and it’s all nice and great but it’s nothing like feeling the vibrations of the fiddle.