Buenos Aires, January 2016.
I knew my life was about to change forever. You know how you can feel it inside yourself when you're on the verge of something important? This was my moment. I was happy for the first time in a long time. My life was taking meaning. I was about to travel the world, sing, perform, meet incredible people, condense 10 years of life lessons all into one and get paid for it, good money. I wasn't scared anymore. I felt strong, I felt like a mountain standing tall and ready to take on any storm willing to attack it. Bring it, I thought.
This inner strength and sense of calmness were new to me. See, I had always been the weak girl who struggled to be heard. I got teased a lot and bullied within the first years of my existence, I just wanted to go unnoticed. Until I sang. Music was my refuge. Music was my way to freedom. As a child, I would sit in the back yard swing set all day and sing anything that came to mind. I did this for years. My mother eventually pushed me to sing in front of people. She had always been shy and didn't want me to suffer as she had, so she pushed me to sing in front of anyone and just about everyone who came to the house. Eventually, I enjoyed the recognition. But it was never a big enough reason for me to sing. I sang because I had to. It was an urge. It was all that made me happy. Music was my connection to the Universe, whatever God may be.
As I was standing on a sidewalk in Buenos Aires, I closed my eyes and thought about that little girl. The shy, awkward and cooperative 5 year old Karine. The one who never said no to anyone, the one who preferred to suffer instead of letting anyone down or standing up for herself. Music had made me change. Music had forced me to get out of my comfort zone, to face many fears one by one, because I was afraid of everything. My love of singing was the one thing that was stronger than my fears, and so I let it take me anywhere it wanted to. Music had turned me into a rebel. Music had transformed me into a fighter. Music had healed me. Music had made me a winner. There I was, 30 years old, ready to take on the most amazing journey of my life.
I looked towards the ship that would become my home for 6 months to come, I took a deep breath, and embarked on
THE GRAND VOYAGE