Sunday 23 March 2014

The Countdown to New York City

There is one place on earth I find myself having dreamed about so much more than any other.

I've spent almost my entire youth dreamily reblogging photos planning my perfect future there, wistfully imagining all the things I would do if ended up there, spending my days wrapped up in countless movies and TV Shows set in that place...

It's the city of dreams, of course.

New York, New York.

For as long as I can remember, I have been completely entranced by it.

But it was only in the summer of 2013 that a chance conversation sparked a plan which could turn this dream into a reality. And on my 21st birthday I was presented with a single item, the most incredible gift I have ever received.

It was nothing more than a simple shoebox, but inside lay a copy of The New York Times and The New Yorker - both dated on the 7th October 2013 - Two slices of New York cheesecake, a copy of 'New York, New York!', a NYPD mug, and right at the bottom, a little card containing a promise.

'For your 21st birthday, you been gifted two tickets to New York City.'

I have never felt quite such a frightening mixture of wanting to laugh and cry at the same time. 

Then, after months of saving, squealing and planning, my best friend and I booked our trip. It was the most surreal and amazing moment, but it honestly didn't feel like we'd done it. It felt like one of those things that you say you're going to do for ages, but you never quite get round to actually doing it.

Fast forward to the present, and a couple of days ago, I happened to glance at the little countdown app on my phone that we'd started the day we booked those flights, and my heart jumped into my throat.

Somehow, whilst we'd been so busy and wrapped up in our lives and doing other things, completely oblivious to the days ever ticking away, that little number had snuck down inconspicuously from 103 to just 20. 

Twenty days!

It scares and excites the hell out of me in equal measure just how quickly that time has passed, but the fact of the matter is...


As you can see, I'm remaining completely calm and level-headed about it all.

But anyway, as this is such a monumentally ridiculous dream come true for me, I wanted to find a way to tie in Scarphelia with this, the mother of all adventures.

I will (of course) be photographing the shit out of the entire trip, and both my blogs for weeks to come will be completely smothered in stories, pics and tales from the Big Apple... but I wanted something a little more than that, something which involves you all.

I want to find a way to take you along with me.

And so I came up with this little idea.

I've always said that my favourite part of blogging is when someone completely random from across the world is moved enough by the words which I create, that they reach out. The fact that something about what I do creates a certain atmosphere that encourages and allows a complete stranger from a faraway land to explain their whole life story to an equal stranger is just incredible, and some of the stories I hear are absolutely mind-blowing.

I feel each of these people has a certain quality about them that you don't find in the majority. 

Like little sparkling silver pins on a map, these unique little souls with their stories to tell are out there, like kindred spirits waiting to be found. The unexpected extraordinaries. 

And so I guess this is not exactly a competition or a contest... I guess it's just a unique little opportunity. 


On the 10th April 2014 I will board an 8 hour flight to New York City.

During those 8 hours, while cruising at 35,000 feet across the Atlantic Ocean, I'm going to write a story. A tale of adventure, perspective, enlightenment and inspiration. A tale of life.

On arrival to New York City, I'm going to purchase 10 postcards.

Then, on each of these postcards, I am going to write part of the story, a piece of the puzzle.

These postcards will be addressed and sent out from New York City to 10 individuals across the globe.

Your task is to cross the boundaries of space and time and find one another, a person you would never even know existed if it wasn't for you all being part of a bigger picture, each an essential part of the chain to make this story complete. I will attach a unique hashtag to each to facilitate this.

Once you have found one another, you must then organise amongst yourselves and find the correct order of each of your postcards to complete the story as whole.

The only thing I need now, is the 10 people.

The 10 unexpected extraordinaries. 

So here's where you come in.

Whoever you are and wherever you are from, if you are willing to be a part of this little fate-muddling experiment, click the link below and in the box, write your postal address and click 'ask'. I will then receive this and take note. Your address will not be shared anywhere else, or with anyone else.

Then out of all I receive I will pick 10 addresses at random, and take them with me.

From the 10th April onwards, keep a close little watch on your postbox, to find out if you have been selected to be a part of the puzzle.

Click here to submit your address. 


Only in my wildest daydreams did I ever imagine such an incredibly lucky future, of being two 21-year old best friends from little London, taking on the wonders of New York City.

It seems only fair that I should take you all along with me too.



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