Just when I thought I was out…they pull me back in.
-Michael Corleone, The Godfather Part III.
That quote? That’s how I feel about commuting. I mean honestly, I can’t seem to escape it. It the bane of my existence. I try to escape it by bailing on freelancing. It pulls me back in. I move over to eduction. It pulls me back in.
I hate commuting with a white hot passion… and I commute more than just about anyone I know.
My Freelance Years
After spending my college years blissfully free of a car (albeit with a few assorted annoyances of being a bass player without motor transport), I started to freelance. The gigs were rolling in (yay!), and I began to stitch together a career, playing every week of the year… though frequently in a different city and even a different state!
Here’s a typical monthly gig schedule for me from this time period:
|Milwaukee Ballet||1120 (160/day x 7 trips)||20||$800|
|Elgin Symphony||480 (80/day x 6 trips)||11||$850|
Throw in a weekly trip teaching at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater (184 miles and 4 hours round-trip) and three days a week teaching private lessons in the ‘burbs (50 miles and a couple hours per trip) and you’ve got something like this for the month:
- 3134 gig miles + 334 teaching miles = 3468 total miles
- 55 gig commuting hours + 10 teaching commuting hours = 65 total commuting hours
That mileage averages out to a little over 41,000 miles for the year, which is about what I did (or a little more than that) for eight years. No wonder I had so many car problems!