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[personal profile] vinceconaway
I've wrapped up the Italy leg of the tour and I'm off to Croatia!

This means that it's a good time to do some evaluation of how things are going so far. When I booked this tour I had five goals:

1. To find out how profitable Italy busking is in June
2. To spend a significant amount of time in my grandmother's region of Umbria
3. To find out how well Croatian busking goes after several years away
4. To make my first foray into Bosnia
5. To answer how well I can handle three months of touring as I enter middle age

It's obviously too soon to evaluate the Balkans, but Italy has been very educational. In the past my main touring season has been February-April, with limited exposure in January, May, and July. I've known better than to try August, when half of Italians go on vacation and the cities empty, and my July jaunt in 2009 taught me that the other half goes on vacation for that month and the cities likewise empty out, but June was an open question.

It is open no longer! I've been a little disappointed by my grosses for June, but far from troubled. Tips have been very good, but CD sales are significantly down from previous tours and from May. Also, the weekly schedule has changed, when Sundays go from being one of my best days to one of my worst. I have plans to adapt in the future, and the overall dynamic matches spring in Greece and summer in South America, but such a break from the familiar came as a bit of a shock.

My decision to focus on Umbria was delightfully successful. I had suspected that the lure of the beach might impact June busking elsewhere, so an inland region made sense. I also wanted to spend more time in Terni and Foligno, cities I'd briefly visited in years past, and to explore Orvieto for the first time. And, while CD sales have been down, I've had an amazing time in this incredibly beautiful area that was already ancient before the Romans showed up.

As for my endurance into my early forties, I've been pleased so far. While I have three more weeks to go and I've had a few signs of crispy burn out around the edges, I feel pretty solid. I'm not sure three-month tours should be a regular part of my schedule, as they also weren't in my thirties, but it's nice to think I've still got it in me!

August 2017

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