Touring is my traveling. Mixing work, seeing the world and meeting new people is my passion. And then when I’m not on the road I love to find ways to travel with my family. I’m Miguel Antonio Caraballo and I’m a musician seeking to live a great life experiencing the world with my family and creating great things to give back to the world.
EC: What kind of traveler are you?
MAC: Currently I travel mainly for work. I have toured to the Middle East and back playing music and speaking about music and my own struggles with OCD and depression. I’m also married with four kids. My wife and I love taking our four boys on trips to experience the world around them.
EC: You’re a great Singer/Songwriter & Guitar Player! How did you get started in this field? Why?
MAC: Music just called me. I saw someone playing guitar when I was sixteen and I just knew I needed to learn how. I borrowed a guitar and started learning and writing songs at the same time. For me playing and singing is simply what I do. The why is that I simply can’t not do it. It’s my sanity to perform, write and sing.
EC: Currently you’re traveling around parts of the U.S. playing and speaking at different venues. Can you tell us a little more about that?
MAC: A large part of my strategy in touring is playing colleges throughout the U.S. I recently was invited to speak on a Panel on the east coast helping newer artists learn more about leveraging opportunities in the college market. On top of that I was able to stack four showcases while out there. I love the opportunity to help new artists out and to play for and meet new people.
EC: Where is the one place in the world you would want to perform at?
MAC: My big goal is to be an internationally touring brand. So getting back overseas in general is where I want to perform.
EC: You traveled to Qatar a few years ago with your former band Run With It, to perform for the Troops. What was that like?
MAC: Qatar was a whirlwind trip. We were mesmerized flying into Doha and then immediately whisked out to the dessert where we would spend the rest of our time. On the military base we spent three days visiting soldiers at their duty stations. Most of the soldiers we visited would have been unable to see our show at the end of the week so the agency we worked with wanted us to connect with them.
Honestly that was the most amazing part. Getting to know soldiers from all over the world and seeing a glimpse of what they do on a day to day basis to protect all of us was humbling. Even more humbling was how appreciative they were for us to come out and play for them. Many said anything that feels like home brings them comfort.
These soldiers and the civilian support personal sacrifice so much for us and they made us feel like we were helping them in some way. I couldn’t get over that. That sentiment filled our show at the end of the week with a great deal of emotion and gratitude. It truly is one of the highlights of my music career thus far.
EC: Have you had any scary moments while on your travels?
MAC: One of the scariest moments of traveling was on a “Family Tour”. After getting off the road with my band, my wife and I packed up all our kids and went on a family tour of the southwest and west coast.
It was December and we found ourselves near the top of the mountain in Sequoia National Forest. Ice and snow replaced the road and the snow chains were essential. And that is when one of our snow chains busted off. I pulled off to the side of the road to retrieve it leaving my family behind on a steep incline. As I walked back I saw my wife and all of our children standing outside the van in a snow drift. And I also saw a brake like cut hanging from the back tire.
My wife said they were sitting in the van waiting and then the van rolled back two clicks and then stopped. She quickly told everyone to get out while the van rolled back another two clicks. She wrestled with the car seat for our youngest and they all managed to get out before it could roll back further.
I knew there was a visitor station just up the mountain so we began to walk up the mountain together in the freezing cold just before nightfall.
Someone coming down the mountain stopped to ask for help. While we spoke I heard my wife, who was ahead of me, screaming. I look back up the mountain road past each of my kids up to my wife holding our youngest in her arms. I saw pure terror in her face. I looked just past her and saw that another van was coming down the mountain and slammed on their breaks causing them to veer sideways. The van was sliding directly towards my wife and children.
It looked like it was seconds away from flipping and rolling right into us all. Somehow the driver managed to keep it from executing a roll and slammed into a snow drift on the side of the mountain.
It was becoming a mess very quickly as the night began to set it. The next vehicle down the mountain was a small tour bus from a local resort. We managed to talk our way on and they took us down to the next station. From there we had to wait for park rangers and they were able to take us all the way down the mountain.
Coming down the mountain with the rangers was eye opening. Night had set in and temperatures dropped quickly. We drove past wreck after wreck on the mountain. Even one family vehicle that was upside down. You could see all their luggage strewn about the road.
We found our way safe and sound to the hotel. Going back up in the morning with a tow truck we discovered that it was not a brake line but simply the emergency break. Which explained the rolling back and clicking. But, in the moment it was one of the scariest things we had experienced as a family. Now I look at it as one of our great adventures while also respecting the fact that we were very lucky to get out of that situation unharmed.
EC: How has travel changed you?
MAC: Travel opens minds and opens doors. Meeting new people and experiencing different cultures helps you catch a glimpse of just how big the world is. It also opens up doors and opportunities you may have never seen in your own small section of the world. It’s a value for us as a family because I want our children to know that the world is bigger than you think and opportunity is lurking behind every corner.
EC: Who is your travel inspiration?
MAC: Tim Ferris is one of my travel inspirations. His book 4 hour work week helped open my eyes to a lifestyle of that can be productive and exhilarating.
EC: Where is your next travel destination going to be? Why?
MAC: Right now as a family we are keeping trips closer as we save up for some bigger trips down the road. San Antonio and Corpus Christi will be our next destination. Along with a small camping/fishing/zoo trip to a state park we like in Nebraska.
EC: What advice would you give to someone who’s thinking about becoming a traveling Singer/Songwriter and Guitar Player?
MAC: Stay away from debt. Period. If you live under your means you will find a way to accomplish your dreams. One of the biggest hindrances I’ve had personally is from making poor financial choices while I was just starting out. That has stifled many opportunities. If you are in that same spot it’s not insurmountable but it will take a lot more sacrifice and work to climb out of and experience the life you dream of.