10 Life Lessons from a Bus Trip

From Thursday evening to Sunday evening, I was on a drum corps bus trip from Minneapolis to Lewisburg, Pennsylvania. We took charter buses for the almost 24-hour trips there and back. Randy and I rode the “baby bus.” The “wine and cheese bus” (adults, light drinking) was full, so we had to choose between the “party bus” (drink lots, up late, usually puking involved) and the baby bus (under 21 has to ride there, no alcohol). No contest. Our bus was full of funny kids and great energy. And no vomit smell. Yay! This was my first ever bus trip like this with a team. It was exhausting and fun, and here are a few things I learned.

1. Never test the cologne in a men’s bathroom at a truck stop. Ryan did, and he got back on the bus in a cloud of Obsession and laughter. I couldn’t write on the bus, but you’d better believe the Obsession incident will make it into a story someday!

2. When a big bus pulls up to a truck stop at 1 a.m., a Subway worker might put up a “Closed. Computer down” sign rather than make 40 sandwiches. Lame.

3. “Sleeping” on a charter bus works out better for 17-year-olds than for me.

4. A hotel bed never feels better than when you spent the previous night on a bus.

5. Front of the bus=first in line for food and bathrooms plus the most air-conditioned, least stinky part of the bus.

6. Bananas do not travel well.

7. Snuggies have ridiculous commercials, but they make awesome bus blankets.

8. Lines on maps don’t mean a lot. Rural Pennsylvania looked and felt a lot like rural Minnesota. 

9. Being the weakest link on a team stinks, but being part of a talented collaboration is awesome. I can’t believe how skilled and dedicated this drum corps is. I never did anything like this as a kid, but I wish I had.

10. Your seat-mate matters. Choose your partner well and travel with a fantastic group of people, and you can’t go wrong.

Thanks, Minnesota Brass, for an unforgettable adventure.

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