Hello world! I’m Mikayla Sinead, the¬†Community Manager for the Immersive Studio here at BOM. I started this role in June 2023 and wow it has been a whirlwind, with so many amazing things happening. One of the most thrilling projects I’m working on is our Hidden Kingdoms app, which feels like a game-changer!

The app focuses on supporting those with travel anxieties, providing a companion to help users arrive feeling calm. Before the events of 2020, travel was never an issue for me, but then everything changed dramatically. Mundane outside activities, exciting events, and social interactions suddenly felt like overwhelming challenges. Travelling became quite scary. I’m not alone in this, as a 2022 World Health Organization brief highlighted a 25% increase in global anxiety and depression.

Travel anxiety has been a longstanding issue. A 2019 study led by Prof Roger Mackett from UCL, supported by 18 travel organisations including Sustrans, Anxiety UK, and Transport for London, identified the main causes of travel anxiety as the behaviour and attitude of other passengers, difficulties in navigation, and fear of being lost.

We believe this app is game-changing for those with travel anxiety. Hidden Kingdoms, offers trusted animal guides created by Coventry based artist Edie Jo Murray, calming meditations written by Pasannamati Neal and beautiful soundscapes by sound artist Joe Wright.

We have ambitious plans for this app and need testers to make it a reality. Whether you’re interested in app development, struggle with travel anxiety, face challenges in public spaces, or simply want to support BOM, we need you!

Sign up for the mailing list at¬†www.hiddenkingdoms.org, and we’ll provide you with information on how to become one of our selected testers. As a token of our appreciation, testers will receive shopping vouchers, professional endorsements, and other opportunities. Join us in making a difference!