First Week of Rehearsal Down!

Some of y’all may know, I’m excited to be the lead vocalist on the Carnival Horizon this Spring/Summer  and we’ve just begun rehearsals here in Florida! Nice because I get time to come home to my home state, sit in the sun, sing tunes, and get paid! I’m directing an acoustic trio of sorts, for the next few days, and today we had rehearsal by the pool just because. We’re acoustic, why not!

we made friends who were sitting by the pool and serenaded the apartment complex. Twas a blast. We also had to make a run to the local music store, Music Arts Enterprises where this awesome guy named Ralph gave me a $35 tune up on my Martin. My action was SO HIGH and I didnt even notice…so he lowered it and gave it some TLC…now it’s so easy to play, I feel like Hendrix. (im anything but…haha)

In case you’re wondering, heres what happens when you take musicians to the store……

more fun videos every day on my Instagram @savannahjaine

 

When you take professional musicians to a music store…we get a little silly!!! we just needed one thing…but also, we needed to try out every amp in the amp room. This is a great local music store, by the way, in Davie, Florida!! We love it! They fixed my Martin PERFECTLY for cheap and were very caring and friendly. Here’s a snippet of the (acoustic) trio that will be performing on the #carnivalhorizon being nerds on our lunch break. We’re rehearsing for the rest of the week acoustically!!! If you want to hear us do tune, DM me a song request! It’s a joy to work with such insanely talented musicians. @the_kyle_henry is a beast of a vocalist and @tagryan smashes every guitar he’s ever touched. @carnivalentertainment doesn’t do things halfway I’m tell y’all this band is gonna be lit! Here’s good things on the #Horizon ——————————————— #dailyvideo #music #musicians #instagood #instamood #silly #funny #janis #jam #myjam #jamsession #musicstore #acoustic #florida #songs #video #musicvideo #rehearsal #lunchbreak #selfie #lovethissong

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Music Is A Language The Whole World Speaks.

 

inephos_00360_universal.jpg             In the 19th century, American poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow called music “the universal language of mankind.” He had no idea how right he was – a recent study concluded that music can have a similar effect on people from completely different cultures.

Recently I did an interview for a podcast called “Doing Jazz” ( Click Here to Listen!) where the host, Lorens Chuno, interviews professional jazz musicians and artists every week about what inspires them, their artistic processes, and what they’re working on currently. I was delighted to be involved, (I love talking, I love podcasts, PLS put me on your podcast about anything) and happy that I just happened to be in the city and able to record. We talked about my first EP, how I was slowly recording a second one but didn’t feel the “rush” to release it anytime soon, how I loved traveling and touring, and using music to create community. He off-handedly asked me about Joss Stone, who is an artist I was influenced by whilst recording my first EP, and I said “ya know, I’m not sure what she’s up to, but Im going to catch up on her career, because she was always inspiring as a vocalist.”

I did, and I’m so glad for it. I was honestly shook, amazed, and inspired to see what she has been doing since Soul Sessions came out in 2012. She has been working on something called Project Mama Earth, and the mission statement is “to explore and understand the universal language of music on every country on the planet.”

Pretty powerful stuff.

In 2014, she embarked on her “TOTAL world tour” which included the normal cities a big-time artist like her would play, but also included smaller places. Places that popular western artists never reach, places like Morocco, Lesotho, Swaziland, Burma, Lebanon, Syria, etc. Her aim is to play a concert in every country on the planet. In each country Joss aims to collaborate with local homegrown musicians, playing indigenous music as well as her own songs. She makes documentary-style music videos, jamming with tribes in Africa, mixing her western-style blues with indigenous tribe’s styles. Here’s a video from the streets of Lagos, Nigeria, the song title is “Babylon” and the artist is Nneka, you can find more of her music on her website nneckaworld.com (and you should, it’s a jam)

 

In the sidebar on youtube, you should be able to access a ton of videos Joss Stone has made in with local artists in different countries. These videos are so inspiring to me. In my career working as a vocalist for CCL, I’ve had the honor of working with musicians and entertainers from many different countries. I have learned so much from playing and working alongside musicians from Australia, Argentina, Ireland, England, Mexico, Sri Lanka, South Africa, and a ton more. Having these relationships helped me book my small-scale European singer/songwriter tour last year, which expanded my horizons and redefined music in my eyes. I went to jam sessions in places where I didn’t speak the language, but could still communicate with the musicians and play efficiently, because music is universal. You don’t have to speak.

I hope to do 1000% more of this in 2018, and I admire JS so much for her efforts on a much larger scale than mine. Her new album “Mama Earth” is available everywhere now and you should check it out.

In other news, Joss Stone, if you’re reading, call me up, I’d love to jam. JS and SJ, 2018 world tour? Sounds pretty good to me 😉

Go jam with a musician today!

SJ

 

Year In Review and Travel Plans for 2018

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My year in recap and SCROLL DOWN FOR ANNOUNCEMENT TIME: 

February: I played gigs in Copenhagen, Amsterdam, Brussels, and Glasgow!!

March: I fell in love WITH Edinburgh, I fell in love IN Dublin,  I did some auditions in London, and took a last minute flight to ATHENS GREECE where I hiked up mountains and wrote 2 songs that will be on my new EP amongst the ancient city. Christiane and Meg came to Edinburgh where I tour guided the shit out of them, and we went to Loch Ness and tasted some scotch!!!!

April: Took a bus through Rome, Venice, Florence, Milan, Italy! Played my biggest gig to a full crowd in Rome! Went to Dublin once again for a feature, visited Trinity and the Guinness Factory Storehouse where I had my first Guinness ever.

May: I lived and worked as a street musician in Edinburgh, and went to Galway with a beautiful songwriter pal of mine, Lexi =) #girlswhocangallop #girlsgonewild #irishedition We hung out with a gorgeous traveling musician Camilla Jones and tasted whiskEy.

June: I flew from Edinburgh to Baltimore to become Music Director on the Carnival Pride. Promotion alert!! I’m a real person now, aren’t I, Christiane!? I was lucky to direct some amazing musicians, run a fantastic program, and perform for thousands of people over the course of 6 weeks. I visited the pink sand beaches in Bermuda for the first time and hung out in Grand Cayman, one of my personal fav ports. The Guinness there IS pretty fresh, I would say, being an experienced lady now 🙂

August/September- I appeared in some awesome showcases and song cycles back home in New York City, did some jazz jams, met some amazing people and worked on MY original song cycle! Took some Growing Studio vocal classes and it was AWESOME to study again. Was accepted to the New York Institute of Jazz at the expert/professional level, I just love learning more and more about my instrument.

October/November- I became Music Director on the Carnival Miracle, explored Los Angeles, Cabo San Lucas and Puerto Vallarta, Mexico! (One of my FAVOURITE places ever-PV!!! Who knew.)

December: I had my birthday in HAWAII! Visited 5 Hawaiian islands, hiked up 3 volcanos, drove around and generally had an amazing time with awesome people. Black sand beaches and sea turtles everywhere!! such friendly people, music everywhere, such sunshine and happiness. I performed cover and original material as a solo artist for thousands of guests over the course of 2 months.

 

**WHICH BRINGS US TO NOW; WHERE I FIND MYSELF IN AN AIRPORT (shocking, I know) AND THE ANNOUNCEMENT SECTION**

I get to head home for Christmas and New Years, as I prepare for my next endeavor. I will be bringing out the Carnival Horizon as the Inaugural Rock band vocalist! it’s a long contract (which I don’t usually do) but I’m honoured to have been asked and to be involved with the best of the best in my company. I’ll be in rehearsals in Florida for a little while, and then back overseas to Italy, Spain, Greece, Portugal, Malta, Croatia, and more.

I will also be recording my new EP in the next months, and be making music videos on the road! It’s going to be a process, as I’m trying to do everything all at once. Follow along @SavannahJaine on Instagram. All of it will be leading up to a premiere of my Full EP in August at the Edinburgh Fringe Fest.

Also in August, I’ll be hosting the first ‘Daisy Chain Song Exchange’ in Dublin, Edinburgh and (hopefully) New York City. DCSE is a Chicks Only, International Community of Fierce Female Songwriters, Gig Swapping across the Globe.  Working on partnering with some really great organizations for this, message me if you would like to be involved, I need a freaking assistant to give this project the time of day it deserves.

I have a goal of visiting 60 countries before I turn 30, (I’m 27 now) and after this contract I will be at 48. I will PROBABLY finish the year off with a trip backpacking and doing hikes through Southeast Asia and New Zealand, I’d also like to hike the Gold Coast in Aus, so if this is something that interests you (October/November 2018) message me, let’s do it? Let’s book some gigs to pay for it and maybe get sponsored? #60by30

Looking good, 2018. Happy to continue to be a full-time musician, doing what I love, singing everyday, and traveling around the world over and over again. Here’s to becoming a better musician, making great friends and working as hard as I possibly can.

 This is all the places the ship goes and then all the places I want to hit on my SEA Trip!
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Honeymoon in Hawaii!!! Travel Guide to Hawaii.

So most people know I spent the last 2ish months directing the Music Department onboard the Carnival Miracle, which means HAWAII! We did 2 Hawaiian Itineraries mixed in with some Mexican Riveira-Cabo San Lucas stuff (great rock climbing in Cabo, just the best!!) and I had an amazing time. Here’s some highlights!

Hawaiian Honeymoon

Okay, Okay, it wasn’t a real honeymoon. I get it, I’m the only person I know who isn’t married, I’m also the only person I know who’s been to 20 countries this year. I’m over it. So Fake honeymoon. BUT I did spend 10 days in Hawaii, and I traveled a lot with my good friend Chris, who is an accomplished guitarist and songwriter. Hawaii is such a popular Honeymoon destination that everyone just assumed we were celebrating, and wished us congrats randomly and offered us free stuff and we just kind of rolled with it, at a certain point. it was a blast. Free stuff, super cool. I like being congratulated! So, fake honeymoon, 12/10, highly recommend.

In addition to being okay at guitar and super pro at embellishing stories, this Chris character is valuable because he has a US driver’s license!! So we rented a car for most days and he drove around and I fumbled around with maps, ran the radio and told the jokes. Now I’m an expert on all things Hawaii. So let’s get into it.

MAUI!

Road to Hana!!

First Maui day we drove the whole Road to Hana and visited Waiʻanapanapa State Park, the famous black sand beach. Honestly, It was on the top 5 most gorgeous places I’ve ever been. And I get around. It was hazy, sunny, misty and just the water was SO blue, the vegetation SO green, it looked like Jurassic park, and the sand is so amazing. It’s volcanic, so it’s pitch black and has a soothing texture. It’s extremely exfolllliating, they said, so there’s that. unfortunately I dropped my phone in a waterfall, so I have no pictures from this day. Google it, it’s great. Buy a plane ticket and go now.

If you do all the little stops on the Road to Hana, it’ll take you about 10 hours or ALL DAY which is time we DIDNT HAVE. We made a few quick educated stops, one at 3 bears waterfall, (RIP Iphone) one at a bamboo forest and one at a little cafe/outdoor craft market right before the black sand beach. When you’re working on a ship and you have limited port time, it’s always “OK GET BACK IN THE CAR, OK, you’re still taking pics, OKAY I GET IT, get back in the car” #haha but I got paid to explore Hawaii so who’s complaining? Not me. (I’m literally always complaining)

 

Second Maui Day, we didn’t have enough time to go back to the black sand beach (if you drive straight there without stopping it’s about 2 hours one way) so we went to Halakeala Crater! We became Junior Park Rangers (you can get a tiny badge! Delightful. ) and hiked up to 8800 feet. It was SO QUIET and COLD and lovely.  I thought I was Moana for a second it was weird. On our way back, we dropped off the production cast and then headed to the tiny charming whaling/shopping town of Lahaina, where Mick Fleetwood owns a little bar with awesome live music. I had a Fleetwood Mac beer. I almost cried. I have a lot of feelings. I bought a shirt b/c I obviously have this perpetual need to give Fleetwood Mac MORE of my personal money. I got a hat that says “Aloha Beaches” which is now part of my daily uniform. What can I say.

 

HONOLULU

First Honolulu day Chris and I got a tattoo! Well, he got a tattoo at the original Sailor Jerry tattoo parlor and I hung out and overpaid for a replacement iPhone at the very exciting AlaMoana Honolulu Apple Store! We drank beer on the beach and went to a Luau at Diamondhead (I FORGOT TO TAKE PICTURES) and then to the Maui Brewing company for CUSTOM beer flights where we proceeded to just chill out forever and lose track of time and ended up almost missing the ship. (jk, but we did walk on at 10:29pm when back on board time was 10:30Pm and I was losing my everything.)

Second Honolulu day, a group of the musicians/entertainment dept and I hiked up Diamondhead Crater! It was pretty touristy for me, and was more of a slow walk whilst you said “excuse me, sorry, excuse me” than a hike but you know. Whatever. Its a thing we can say we did, and it was nice at the top. We look cute in the pictures, so it was worth it. The guy at the top was hawking maps and certificates for $5 when you can buy them for $1.50 at the visitor center. #Protip

I spent the rest of that day relaxing by myself on the beach reading my book (PEACE AND QUIET YALL, TRY IT) and purchasing a birthday present for myself at the AlaMoana shopping center Victoria’s Secret.

 

MOVING ON to KAUAI!

Kauai was my favorite island, and the first day I spent exploring Kauai actually goes down as one of my top 10 favorite days ever. We hadn’t made any plans, it was hard to find information, and we were super adventure-hungover. We BOTH woke up late independently and got off the ship, both separately thinking we’d missed the day and we’d just get lunch and go to the gym or something. I messaged Chris when I got off and he was right around the corner in the port. We met up and walked by a tour guide, talked to him and he was renting cars. He gave us a map of the island and made a ton of notes on it for us, telling us “the day isn’t lost, its a small island!!” and he gave us a discount on car rental. So off we drove!

We hit up a local coffee shop and had the BEST coffee I had all week, (Ha Cafe, they were so friendly and KITTEN!) and then went to Manawaiopuna Falls, which is the waterfall used in Jurassic Park. No dinosaurs, just another waterfall, whatever.

We then just kind of, drove up the road the guy told us to go, and we found the tiny charming town of HanaPepe, which was the inspiration for Lilo&Stitch! It was a Saturday, and they happened to be having a Coffee&Chocolate outdoor festival. We paid for a “passport” for the full festival and got free samples from all the local companies, hung out, watched live local music, cultural drummers and dancers, everyone was SO friendly and really awesome to talk with. Someone was selling a bus that you could live in and I was REALLY SERIOUSLY tempted because y’all know I’m buying an RV THIS YEAR. I was like ITS FATE but it wasn’t, since I’m in an RV in Florida now typing this.

Afterwards, we drove up Waimea Canyon (the Grand Canyon of the South Pacific) and it was BREATHTAKINGLY gorgeous. I wasn’t expecting it to be that amazing, I’m always a little skeptical about touristy stuff but it was really beautiful. And we went for free! Last of the crew that day went on a $400 helicopter ride, which I heard was amazing, but. we saw the canyon for 100% less. AND I saw a ton of cute canyon mice, which you can’t see from helicopters.

On the way back, we stopped at a famous food truck called Porky’s, and if you’re ever in Kauai, DEFINITELY stop. It’s one of the most popular food trucks in the states, been featured on Food Network and such, and it’s only on this island. it was THE BOMB. Really great grilled cheese!

That was one of my best days. So unexpected and unplanned, spontaneous adventure is my favorite. Planning less and exploring more, relaxing and in such good company! and all those beautiful people we met at the festival who gave us free things because they thought we were on our honeymoon….that was swell. We just kind of rolled with it and then decided to play it up!! #heyitsfree #loveislove

Second Kauai Day, a few of the production folk and I hiked up the Sleeping Giant, which was a longer hike than we had time for but if you definitely want to get some nature I suggest tackling it. It’s closer to the port and is beautiful, challenging, and soooo quiet.

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KONA

OKAY DEEP BREATHS this is a longer blog post than I realized!

Kona is a beautiful beach community on the side of the Big Island of Hawaii. Things to do include Sea Turtle Beach, Kona Brewery, Whaling tours (when in season) and more! Our first day in Kona, Chris and I went to the sea turtle beach. I wanted so desperately to see a turtle, and I didnt see any when we first got there. I was in the middle of a rant “This is lame, everyone said there were turtles, I don’t even see one…” and then the rock in front of me moved, and I lost my shit, and screamed and fell over, (normal day) and Chris has a horrible picture of me squatting on the ground, squealing, pointing at a turtle. Which he will never post. Good man Chris.

Therefore I suggest the Sea Turtle beach but WATCH WHERE YOU STEP. Afterwards we went to the Kona Brewery which was nearby, short ride on the Hoppa On Hoppa Off bus! we sampled local beers and had the best jalapeño popper pizza literally it was so good I have dreams about it. Why wouldn’t you put fried jalapeño poppers on pizza, it makes so much sense.

Oh, I almost forgot! There’s a ukulele store right outside the port, and I bought my first professional performer series Uke!! It’s got a little plug in and everything, so I did my evening sets on Uke instead. It was Hawaiian as.  Took a few videos of the sea turtles, you can find them on my Instagram @savannahjaine 🙂

Second day in Kona, I was alone, so I took a 20 mile bike trip down the coast (roundtrip) you can rent bikes from place across from the coffee shop right by the port, $20 for the day. It was a lovely ride and I saw a ton more sea turtles!! It was nice to get out of the tourist area and see where people live. It was a Sunday morning, so church was in session, a few of them were outdoors on the beach and it was lovely to hear hymns as I rode along. Spoke to some friends I made last time at the little shops near the ship, just to catch up. Nothing much had happened since I saw them last. Hawaii moves slow, they said. I’m jealous, I replied.

Then I went back to the Kona Brewery because Jalapeño pizza and had lunch and a beer and someone covered my meal without me knowing, the waiter said they liked my music and paid my tab.  I almost cried, it was a blessing.

 

WHOOO LAST PORT DAY! Hilo, Hawaii. The other side of the Big Island.

Hilo is mostly popular for its proximity to the Volcanoes!! Everybody wants to see lava and poke it with a stick. You should go there just to poke it with a stick, its fun. I went to the Volcano National Park both days, first with Chris and then once with the rest of the entertainment team. Second time was fun, I was the only one who had already been, so I felt like a sherpa of the volcanic crater because I knew everything about it and my way around and stuff. Hire me as a tour guide, I will gladly come. There’s a really great podcast called Ologies which interviews a badass volcanologist who works at this park, so I learned a lot from that episode as well, and definitely was a backseat driver talking about the sacred uses of lava tubes and the recent seismic activity.

We went into the (approved) lava tubes and hung out in Devastation Forest (good band name) I tried to bribe the guy to give me a junior park ranger badge, but it didn’t work. I said I had gotten one at Halakeala, he said “Well. We’re different here.” So that’s a thing, I suppose. #NoBadge

Chris and I also had lunch at the macadamia nut factory Mauna Loa, and I highly suggest you go there. The food was like, cold cut sandwiches but the ICE CREAM just eat that, skip the tuna. It smelled heavenly, and we stocked up on the unique flavors you could only buy in Hawaii and gained a ton of weight.

I guess that brings us to the end! My time in Hawaii was amazing, and I’m so happy I had people around me who had adventurous spirits and wanted to explore with me! Thanks to all for letting me hitch rides with you throughout the journey and special thanks to chris for fake-marrying me. I wish us all the luck in the world.

More this week about my plans for 2018!! will I hit 60 countries this year?  WE WILL FIND OUT

love,

Darling Jaine!

Quick Flight-Finding Tips! And a Christmas Code for WOWAIR!

Hey all! Before I say anything else, I’m here to let you know WOWAir is doing a crazy Christmas sale, and all of their flights are 50% off. I wish I could’ve snagged some last minute tickets NYC-Iceland for this week, but I KNOW I should stay at home and work this time around….BUT MAYBE YOU CAN GO =) The code is only good for flights purchased on the WowAir website or App and the code is: WOWXMAS

WOW-Air

Remember that WowAir remains SO CHEAP all the time because of their baggage fees, these really aren’t flights for any kind of checked baggage. I think checking 1 bag on Wow is an extra $100. Hand luggage only! Definitely just for the “get up and go” traveller!

I wanted to also share some of the newer sites I’ve found to help out with my goal of visiting 60 countries by 30. #60by30 I’ve got three years and 18 countries left, so after bringing out the Carnival Horizon this year (5 new countries for me to explore!) I want to plan an adventure to Southeast Asia to scoop up more.

There’s a lot of airlines and airports that have the option to choose a stayover or long layover which allows you to get out into the city. A “Stopover” is over 24 hours, and a “Layover” is under 24 hours. WowAir in particular offers free stopovers in Iceland on their flights to almost any destination. For me, Stopovers mean getting to hang out in Beijing and see the Great Wall without a lengthy visa application process and extra flight.  It’s actually cheaper for me to fly NYC-Bankok WITH a 2 day stopover in Beijing than it would be WITHOUT the stopover. I found this deal using AirWander.com

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It’s also just a fun site to play around on, so don’t click unless you have time…I also have plans to hike Macchu Picchu and I’m rethinking my flight plans for that trip because if you COULD fly through Columbia WHY WOULDNT YOU.

This kind of deal is honestly for someone who only travels with a backpack and can hop on/hop off spontaneously. All these airports WILL hold your luggage, but it sounds like a pain.

If you’re just looking for a day, you can save money by making smart layover choices…this website can help you pick your airports/layovers by the specific routes that are easiest and most popular for the airline. If you’re flexible and down for anything, CleverLayover is a great website to play around on. Screen Shot 2017-12-22 at 11.37.22 AM

I usually have been doing the flight research on these websites, deleting my search history, and then looking at them on Skiplagged to double-check prices. Skyscanner has been rather expensive for me, when I’ve been looking lately, I don’t know if that’s an issue for anyone else or if my geographic location has made my flight prices go up….but they’re steady on Skiplagged, so go ahead and check it out! Their app is really user-friendly as well and I like it a bit more than skyscanner. (skyscanner and I are in a fight)

 

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Daisy Chain Song Exchange!

Join the Daisy Chain

 

When I was first starting out as a songwriter in New York City, I did what anybody did. I went to open mics. There’s an awesome, supportive songwriter community in the west village of NYC and I loved every second of my time there, but I did notice one thing that overwhelmed me time and time again.

Every open mic meant putting myself out there, being vulnerable, sharing my real thoughts and emotions I’d written into music in front of a room full of strangers – and I was the only chick in the room.

Now, this isn’t always the case, there was sometimes another badass female I could team up with and befriend and if there was another girl I always made a habit of buying them a drink, whomever she was, as a sign of support. I’m sure times have changed and there’s more of us now, but I remember this being a huge challenge for me. I always feel that if you’re female, you need to be twice as good to be taken half as seriously and the music business is NO exception.

When I started traveling and gig swapping, I had similar experiences, although having grown as a musician the ratio between genders didn’t bother me, it more fueled my fire as a writer. I spent the last year playing gigs in Ireland, Amsterdam, London, Copenhagen, Rome, Milan, Edinburgh, and more.

The most memorable things from my 7 months on the road are the relationships I made with FIERCE FEMALE songwriters I met, who travel themselves. I bonded with them over  always being the only chick in the room – and I started being able to match-make artists who were gigging in certain cities with other songwriters I’d previously met in those cities. I booked girls gigs, introduced songwriters to each other and tried to help facilitate gig-swapping in any way that I could. This is the reason I became a musician in the first place, to create community! and then I had an idea.

What if there was a group for just us? An international community of fierce female songwriters, gig-swapping around the globe? My home market is NYC. Are you passing through? I’ll book you a gig and you could even stay with me if you like. I’ll take you to open mics and introduce you to people I know, so you can forge your way into this specific market and create relationships that expand your network as a musician. And then when I book a trip to Melbourne, Aus, maybe someone can do that for me? This is the idea.

I want to eventually have our own songwriter events in different cities featuring local and international artists, sharing stories and songs with each other. I’m proposing calling this group the Daisy Chain Song Exchange. I think this could be an amazing way to network, create community and grow as a songwriter and musician. I’m working on partnering with some really great organizations to begin to make this project a reality so if you’d like to partner with me or be a part of this new start-up, let me know.

 

 

Scary Isn’t The Same As Dangerous

Anyone who has known me for a long time knows I used to be afraid of flying. It was something that terrified me when I was younger. I remember winning a trip to Spain when I was 10 from Radio Disney and when they called me to tell me I won, my first question was “How long is that flight?” I was 10!

As I got older, my fear got larger until I really just couldn’t fly anywhere. I would have panic attacks on planes that were absolutely debilitating, I wouldn’t be able to breathe. Just thinking about being in the air made me uneasy. I realized this fear was misplaced, I realized air travel is the safest thing in the world, but I’d be paralyzed for an entire flight.  I once took a bus from Tampa, Florida back to university in Oklahoma because I couldn’t get on a plane! That’s 3 days of driving!

When I was in University, I had free counseling services available and I went to cognitive behavioral therapy once a week to try to change my mindset and my path of thinking, because NOT being able to travel was unacceptable for my chosen career. To be honest, nothing worked. I’m southern, I’m stubborn as hell, I just kind of gave up trying.

After I graduated University, I just accepted that I would never be able to fly. I started turning down job offers that would take me to other countries and my career really suffered, as did my personal happiness and well-being.

When I moved to NYC, I had my first full-time professional vocalist job offer in one week. I accepted a lead vocalist position for Carnival Cruise lines, and that meant flying. Flying ALL OVER the world. I got through a few short flights ( I couldn’t take anything over 2 hours EVER) and just dealt with the panic, but it was exhausting and hard to handle emotionally alongside rehearsals and performances. Then, my company asked to send me to Australia with the current band I was leading.

Australia was a bucket list place, somewhere I’d NEVER thought Id EVER go, especially with my fear. The flight was Dallas to Sydney. 17 hours.

I really wanted to go.

I said no, I’m sorry, I can’t. And I moved on.

But I LOVED my band. And I LOVED that job. And I’d always fancied myself as an adventurer and world traveller. I like being fearless. I needed to do this job.

After conversations with my band members, I finally typed a second email up, apologizing and accepting the position if it was still available, it was, I confirmed, and then I panicked. I did a ton of research and planned out how I was going to get through this.

The ONLY thing that I had heard worked for some people that I HADN’T tried yet, was a big commitment and kind of expensive, but I had to do something. So I learned how to fly a plane. I can fly single and double engine planes now! I don’t have a license, because that’s INSANELY expensive, but I can do it! Here’s a picture of me and my instructor:

 

I had such a good time with my teacher too, he was so calming, he knew my reasoning for the lessons was fear-based but he wasn’t gentle about it. He made pretty dark plane crash jokes in the air. (i.e, sucks people died, people die a lot, but what happened to the luggage though, lots of liquor in there) The way he talked about turbulence was a little rough (ha ha) but very realistic and I loved it. I’m a pretty dark-humor kind of gal, so I was automatically at ease.

One thing he said poignantly stuck with me, the first time I was supposed to land the plane without his assistance I said “This is really scary” and he said “Oh yeah. Of course it is. But scary isn’t the same as dangerous”

“Scary isn’t the same as dangerous” has become my mantra for flying and really for a lot of other things since then. It helped me get on the plane to Sydney. And god, I had a wonderful contract. I’m so glad I went. Since then, I’ve visited over 40 countries and I’ve flown to most of them (some by sea though, obviously) and I regularly fly without a problem, but I always think about it. Every single time I’m on a plane and I’m breathing calmly, regularly, just straight chillin, I feel a sense of pride and power in defeating my life-long fear. So far the plan is to be in California, Mexico, Hawaii, Alaska, Greece, Portugal, Spain, Croatia, Dublin, Edinburgh, and more in 2018, so I’ll be in the sky A TON and I couldn’t be happier since I took that leap!

Here’s me at 7am, right after I landed in Sydney, admiring the opera house