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  • Writer's pictureVivienne Boucherat


This May brought adventure my way!

I experienced solo international travel again for the first time in 3 years. Travel has become more complicated post pandemic but was still worth the effort.

I flew from London to New York and found I had forgotten two unchanging facts about flying. Firstly, traveling Economy class - I booked a window seat and woah! you get trapped there and squished! For hours on end!

This was balanced by the second fact which is just how extraordinary it is to see the world from the sky. This beauty, and change of perspective, never fails to lift my spirits. At the same time, it makes me question everything about us humans and how we take it all for granted! (That’s for another time).

I was in New York to attend ‘The Renewal Summit’, an event in midtown that gave Cindy and me the opportunity to sell ‘Know Your Crazy’ books and boxsets and to meet some amazing women. In the auditorium, they showed the ‘Know Your Crazy Choir’ music video ‘Hold Your Head Up Woman’ and the short film version illustrating both the plight of, and our support for those in Ukraine (see Blogs 38 & 43). Both videos got a huge and positive reaction.

It was striking how much more energised and excited Cindy and I were about developing all the possibilities of the KYC project going forward than we had been for a while. It was evident we had become a bit jaded by Zoom calls. Being physically in the same space after so long was really motivating, bouncing ideas around as they bubbled up was priceless. We missed our third founder, Rene, but hoping there will be a next time soon. As we now all know, nothing can replace ‘being there’.

New York was as full-on as ever. I had a little music business to attend to, then I met with friends who took me to New York Delis, Italian restaurants and flower-shop cafes. Walking from Union Square one evening we walked part of the High Line and visited Little Island, I walked for miles from the United Nations Building, via the Chrysler Building and Grand Central Station to Time Square and way beyond. Just as the temperature was soaring into the 80’s it was time to leave! It was a chaotic, stimulating and revitalising few days.

A couple of important things happened whilst I was there that seem so insignificant but feel so important for me personally!

I was given a lovely room when I arrived. I thought ‘Yay, I am in New York – let’s have a look at the view!’ I opened the blind – and I was in a ‘well’! I was part way up from a tiny quadrangle. Opposite (about 5 yards away) was a view directly into another hotel room and a wall that continued around and way up above my head. I went to see if I could change rooms – ‘not possible for now’. I asked twice again the next morning, and again the next evening.

Though many of my daylight hours were spent out of the room, the fact that I needed to have all of the lights on all of the time I was in there, couldn’t tell what the weather was doing, or even what part of the day it was, depressed the hell out of me … really quickly! I didn’t want to go in there.

Luckily, by the third night they managed to find me another room and I was up on the 11th floor. I didn’t care about the huge apartment block on the other side of the narrow busy street, I had a view to either side of it and most importantly - I could see the sky. I was elated! I can still feel that relief!

There were two big lessons for me to take from this. One was how rapidly my mental state was SO affected being in a room with no daylight, how light was much more important to me than quietude. The other was the fact that I persisted in asking for a room change – that is usually so NOT me! Taking care of my own wellbeing above all else, even by making waves was a little victory for me! All too often I don’t take that care! A good lesson learned.

Something else revealed itself on this trip too… much less important, but an eye opener all the same. Finding my phone battery was dead in the middle of a very long walk, I realised that I have become completely obsessed with the number of steps my phone tells me I have taken! I felt short-changed by my useless bit of tech! Now when did THAT become a thing? The tip of an iceberg?

Amazing what a change of perspective reveals to us!

It was SO good to get out of my comfort zone, stretch out and touch the edge - only to find it is not the edge at all! There is always more.

Of course, it was great to get home too! It did not escape my notice that this trip was made during UK’s Mental Health Awareness Week and USA’s Mental Health Awareness Month. Seems apt!

Thank you to Cindy da Silva, Cheryl and ‘The Three Tomatoes’, also to Robi, Joe, Maggie, Cat, Bruce, Pam, Gab and Naeemah for your input into my New York adventure – phew! 🌎

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