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Uke Gently Weeps
05-19-2010, 03:03 PM
In my line of work (insurance) I do a lot of traveling. I bought my first quality uke during my last trip, and have since been taking it with me, in a hard case of course, around the country with me. I keep it as a carry on through the airport, and if I have a longer layover I'll pull it out and strum some chords. Most of the time people just ignore me as I play pretty softly, but twice now I've had people come and sit next to me and ask about it, tell me to play louder etc. Even had a lady make a request (which I was able to find the chords for on my iphone). The best so far through was this past Monday in O'Hare. An older lady saw me playing and came 3 gates down to site across from me. She said that she hadn't heard a uke played in 60+ years and that was by her late sister. I was happy to play some older songs (5 foot 2 etc) for her and she thanked me when it was time for her to board. Totally a great experience.

I also get a lot of weird looks and questions going through security. The tweed case does help to draw attention to it.

Anybody else take their uke for travel?

KevinV
05-19-2010, 03:25 PM
Very cool story...you made some people happy. I don't travel much myself, but keep a uke stashed in my locker at work to play on break and at lunch, and when I hang out locally I usually carry with me then too...never know when the chance to jam will come up.

arw
05-19-2010, 03:25 PM
That is just too cool. I always take mine on vacation, but never on business - but I'm thinking about. I travel a lot for work and there can be a lot of down time on the road.

Uncle Rod Higuchi
05-20-2010, 04:42 AM
Wouldn't it be great if we could all have a UU Luggage Tag on the cases of the ukes we take on trips
so that we can identify one another as we happen to meet at the various airports and terminals across
the country... and the world?

I take my uke just about everywhere, however, I do not always bring it out during down times. I've got
to plan on doing it. After all, I may bump into one of you UUers and it would be a grand meeting.

Hope to meet each of you, one by one, or at a local gathering (40th Annual Ukulele Festival, Kapiolani Park,
Honolulu, HI). It's not that I travel a lot, however, it would be wonderful to share a quick, impromptu Jam
wherever and whenever!

Keep uke-in',

cletus
05-20-2010, 04:46 AM
"Four strings of nylon always put a smile on."

Pueo
05-20-2010, 05:25 AM
When I just played guitar, I would see people in airports traveling with their guitars and say to myself THAT'S what I need to do, take my guitar everywhere, there is so much waiting around time when you travel, it would be great for practicing, but it is kind of a pain. Once I started with ukulele though I do bring it everywhere and it is wonderful. Sometimes people see the case and ask what I play, I have also had neighbors on a plane ask me to play, that was fun. No one has ever told me to stop!

SailingUke
05-20-2010, 05:54 AM
Sometimes people see the case and ask what I play, I have also had neighbors on a plane ask me to play, that was fun. No one has ever told me to stop!

I get requests all the time, but I just keep playing.

SailingUke
05-20-2010, 05:57 AM
Wouldn't it be great if we could all have a UU Luggage Tag on the cases of the ukes we take on trips
so that we can identify one another as we happen to meet at the various airports and terminals across
the country... and the world?;

A really cool case sticker would work as well.

SailQwest
05-20-2010, 06:04 AM
We always take our ukes when we travel. We frequently play while waiting for flights, and occasionally attract an audience. However, our cat usually ends up getting most of the attention. :p

GrumpyCoyote
05-20-2010, 06:11 AM
In my line of work (insurance) I do a lot of traveling. I bought my first quality uke during my last trip, and have since been taking it with me, in a hard case of course, around the country with me. I keep it as a carry on through the airport, and if I have a longer layover I'll pull it out and strum some chords. Most of the time people just ignore me as I play pretty softly, but twice now I've had people come and sit next to me and ask about it, tell me to play louder etc. Even had a lady make a request (which I was able to find the chords for on my iphone). The best so far through was this past Monday in O'Hare. An older lady saw me playing and came 3 gates down to site across from me. She said that she hadn't heard a uke played in 60+ years and that was by her late sister. I was happy to play some older songs (5 foot 2 etc) for her and she thanked me when it was time for her to board. Totally a great experience.

I also get a lot of weird looks and questions going through security. The tweed case does help to draw attention to it.

Anybody else take their uke for travel?

I always have at least one. I took one to Thailand, China, Spain, all over the US. Buses, cars, planes, trains, and one elephant. I play in the airports too (I cant help it). In Narita I went out of the way to find a quiet corner and still had a crowd of people form to watch me plunk along. It's a huge hit on beaches. I only got asked to stop playing once - on an amtrack train in the US, and that was because some teenagers were singing along and we were making a racket.

Folks always seem to ask about it, in or out of the case and no one seems to mind much. I can't fathom traveling without one.

GrumpyCoyote
05-20-2010, 06:13 AM
A really cool case sticker would work as well.

Yep - I have a UU and a UWC sticker on my travel case. Just added a "uke crazy" sticker too.

Vindelanda
05-20-2010, 06:31 AM
I took my Fluke with me when I went to Toronto a couple weeks ago. I just put it in it's gig bag and took it on the plane with me. I think most people just thought it was a duffle bag or something. Security wasn't particularly gentle with it, but they didn't seem to question it, either. I didn't play it until I got to my accommodation, but a friend of mine also brought his uke so we were able to play together.
I haven't seen any random people with ukuleles, other than this one lady that we saw (while we had our ukes) walking around carrying a uke by it's neck in the airport, no case or anything. I would have said hi, but she was a bit far away.
I think I'm always going to bring a uke with me now, it's really fun for road trips, and my gig bag actually makes a pretty good carry-on bag.

Skitzic
05-20-2010, 06:56 AM
I just throw the Fluke in my backpack and go. I usually pick a quieter corner in airports though, especially since I tend to take very early or very late flights...most people are sleeping.

Had a few interesting conversations about ukuleles while wandering. Was asked to play a few times at the last conference I was at because someone spotted it. I want an all plastic uke for the car...

Skottoman
05-20-2010, 07:41 AM
I have taken a ukulele on most every trip I've taken since I got started in Dec 2007.

The best was the Flea my wife got me for a solo 40th birthday trip to Europe. I had all my Euro-friends sign it with a silver sharpie. I got stuck in the Atlanta airport (hate that place) for 5 hours. I found a small corner to hang out and play ukulele in. Helped pass the time.
Here it was featured in the Flea Museum. - http://fleamuseum.blogspot.com/2007/07/grafitti-flea.html

Usually I make buying a new uke part of the trip, but that's mainly because I've been to Hawaii 2 times since Dec 2007. Each time getting a new uke.

I even took my other Flea on a Mexican cruise. Sat on my balcony and played to the ocean just chillin'.

So yes, I do travel with my ukes, and I love the idea of a UU "tag" you can attach to your cases when travelling! :)
Cheers,
Skottoman

itsme
05-20-2010, 10:41 AM
Back in the day when I traveled a lot for business (pre-uke), I actually bought a rather expensive SoloEtte travel guitar (http://soloette.com/) to accompany me on my journeys. If I were traveling now, it'd be a uke for sure. :)