Traveling with your Handpan (part 1)

Handpan player in neapel

Dear handpan friends,

when you want to see the world and pack your bags, you surely will not want to miss your beloved Handpan. Seeing new places, being in nature and meeting new people and cultures - it is one of the best things to share the magic of the Handpan with your surroundings. But how in the world will you get this precious instrument with you without it being harmed?

There are a few things you have to lookout for. Let’s start with the easier situations first. When you are just moving around town or you are driving with by car, a softbag for your handpan can be a handy thing to use. It is light, easy to carry also for longer walks and gives at least a little protection to your Handpan. Of course you will still have to be very cautious while handling your precious sound sculpture. After a while you will get used to having a broader back and learn how to sneak through doors without hitting the rim at the wall ;)

When cycling, we advise to have a higher protection of your Handpan. Usually you will not fall of course, but who knows! And as you would wear a helmet for your head’s protection, give your Handpan the comfort of a good bag. Also, if you are traveling by train or bus, maybe to a different country and for a longer time, please consider getting a good bag so you don’t have to move about as if you were constantly carrying a raw egg. Malte and I have been in numerous situation in which we could not totally trust the protection and intactness of our Handpan and it put us in unnecessary stress.

I remember one occasion where I was traveling in Ethopia and we took the bus for many hours, squeezed into our seats, not being able to move. Before we got on I put my Handpan in the trunk of the bus, I carefully placed it there with my own hands making sure it was safe there. At one of numerous stops, more passengers wanted to get on the bus and brought some goats who also looked for a place to be stored. The bus personnel decided that the goats would take the place in the trunk and the funny round bag was better off on the roof of the bus. When I realized this, it was already too late. My girlfriend only saw my Handpan flying onto the roof and I was stuck on my seat, being unable to intervene. The rest of the busride (which took maaaany hours), I was in a very bad mood and scared that my precious instrument was harmed by the flight onto the bus’ roof. When I found out that It was okay, I had already sworn to myself I would never leave my Handpan out of hands without the best protection it deserves.

In our view one of the best ways to protect our instruments are Naman handpan bags. They are not cheap but are well worth their price in terms of protection, especially the hardcase version - and also they look great! Next time we will dive more into possible issues around flying with you handpan.