I am starting this blog from the airport. I should be leaving in less than 2 hours now and be back in America in less than 10. I know that one of the big questions that I will receive from family, friends, and family is the one that I posed as the title to this blog. Was it worth it? Was the trip worth the cost? Was it worth the time and energy spent planning? Was it worth the horribly long and expensive plane rides? What about the time away from work, especially since I didn’t see any shows? The answer is unquestionably yes. Yes, it was.
Much of what I will say here make not make sense to people who are not in my shoes. I will do the best to explain why I think what I do. I guess that is the challenge of writing–being able to convey in words what you are thinking and feeling so that others can understand. Anyway, last night my personal facebook status read: “Ready to go home and feel as close to Duran as ever,” or something like that. I still feel that way despite not seeing any show. So how come I feel this way? There are many reasons, really. Some I will mention here and others will be kept private because they are too personal.
First, this was my first time in England. Since the age of 8, I have wanted to go. The reason is obvious: Duran Duran is from England. Any place that produces a band as cool as that has to be quite fabulous, right?! Of course, I really believed that I would never get there. My family didn’t travel much as a kid and when we did, we didn’t go anywhere as glamorous as overseas. Michigan was a common choice, for example. Now, that I have been lucky enough to see it and get a real sense of a country and a real sense as to the background of my favorite band. Rhonda already talked fondly about our visit to Birmingham but I want to reiterate how meaningful it was to us. I know that I have heard not-so-great things about the city but I really liked it. The nightlife alone made it fun. I miss clubbing as I used to go out frequently when I was younger. I would have loved to have been in a city with as many clubs as that city does. Is the city perfect? Clearly, it is not. It definitely seems like some places have been fixed up and others neglected. Nonetheless, it gave me an insight to the band and really, really understand that the band didn’t start with much at all. This enhances my appreciation for them because it is clear that they had to work really hard to be successful.
Second, I really enjoyed meeting other fans. Once again, I have to say that everyone I met was SO nice to us. People have mentioned that we have handled this situation well. If that is true, part of it is due to the fact that everyone has been so sweet to us. If it wasn’t for them, I swear that Rhonda and I would not have been able to have been able to deal. Instead of getting salt poured in the wound, we got some band-aids and pain killers. Beyond this, I learned some things from meeting Duranies from not only the UK, but also from Italy, Finland, Denmark, Argentina and more. I learned that, for most part, Duranies are really pretty similar when it comes to how we express our fandom. All Duranies seem proud to wear Duran t-shirts or jewelry. All Duranies express disappointment with the canceled shows and excitement over hearing any Duran song. It also seems like Duranies do bond over their common interest and develop strong friendships in the process.
Third, it seems to me that the theme of “All You Need Is Now” is as important as ever. When Rhonda and I decided to go on this trip, part of the reason is because we decided to really live this tour up because we both recognized that we can’t worry about what has been done and can’t focus on an uncertain future. Thus, we looked at our dream to go see Duran in their home country and went for it. It wasn’t wrong to do that. The fact that Simon isn’t doing well is all the more reason to go for it, when he comes back. I think both Rhonda and I will seriously consider going back when these shows get rescheduled because we have to live in the now. The now might be all we have. I don’t want to regret having this chance and not going through with it. That said, I also plan on savoring every moment of every show I get to see from here on. Speaking of touring, I think it is safe to say that Rhonda and I have also learned more about how to tour well. We went on our first tour together in 2005 and since that time, we have slowly perfected touring. Was this one perfect? Absolutely not but we did learn from it and the next tour will be better because of what we learned. 🙂
Now, I will try to get myself back on US time and get ready for work on Tuesday. I will also be watching for good news about Simon’s progress and for rescheduled dates. Our blog will continue and we will be focused on finishing the book. I’m feeling like a pretty motivated Duranie after this trip. 🙂