My strategies for staying sane on the road

Hello again everyone! So, after nearly 10 months and 86 concerts on the road since my first concert in France in January, I thought I’d share some strategies I have discovered to maintain some sanity when travelling across the world.

Before I joined The King’s Singers, I shadowed the group for three months, and travelled with them to places in the UK as well as Estonia. It became clear to me quite quickly that I felt rather lonely in my hotel rooms. You shut the door and there is silence, something that is missing from my family home, where I live for the time being; I am used to a place with three pets (including a kitten and a puppy), and a rather loud family! So my first discovery of how to stay sane on the road was Radio 4. It was a friend that I could take anywhere. The familiar voices were a comfort as well as the very sound itself keeping me company.

Another thing I learned during my shadowing period was how to pack, which, given we have over 110 concerts on average each year, is a very useful skill! Over the three or four times I travelled with the group between September and December 2018 before officially joining, I created a list of items I need to make sure I have packed before I leave the house. The list became very comprehensive by the end! I even created a slimline list for short haul travel. I can now comfortably rely on the list before I leave, and I know I’ll have everything I need. Well I thought I could! Before this last trip to France I had checked my short list and left the house. I arrived at Leamington Spa station in plenty of time and was just leaving the car when I realised I had left my suit at home. Panic stations!!! My mum and granny came to the rescue and I made my train which meant I was in plenty of time for the Eurostar. Phew!

The first few months of being a King’s Singer are rather intense. I don’t think I have ever worked harder at any other time in my life (except perhaps during my law conversion course!). There are up to 200 pieces of music to learn while getting used to a lifestyle that involves constant travel. Any time I wasn’t performing or practicing I would inevitably be asleep getting as many winks as possible to be able to perform to the best of my ability the next day. This often meant that I was sleeping in a little later than I should and breakfast was rushed. Recently I have been setting my alarm 15 minutes earlier than I would have before, and it means I have a relatively leisurely get up and a calm start to the day. Oh, and I always have time to clean my teeth!

Finally, I have realised how important it is to see the wonderful places we get to visit. So recently I have been forcing myself to go for a walk some time in the day to make sure I put things into perspective and have some me-time.

We’re about to start a very busy month of Christmas shows across Europe, so I am sure these strategies will help me across the next few weeks. I must say I’m rather excited to start Christmastide with The King’s Singers!

And I’m sure I will discover some new strategies…more anon.

See you soon,


Instagram: @edwardbutton1


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