Helen Joyce is finance editor of The Economist, where she worked previously as international editor and Sao Paulo bureau chief. She has a PhD in mathematics, and lives in Cambridge, UK, with her husband and two sons. (October 2019)

NYR DAILY

My Adventures in Psychedelia

Carl Simon: Living in the sea, twentieth century

To try psychedelics was something I’d secretly hankered after doing ever since I was a teenager, but I was always too cautious and risk-averse. As I got older, the moment seemed to pass. Today I am a middle-aged journalist working in London, the finance editor of The Economist, a wife, mother, and, to all appearances, a person totally devoid of countercultural tendencies. And yet… on impulse, I arranged to go. Only after I booked did I tell my husband. He was bemused, but said it was fine by him, as long as I didn’t decide while I was under the influence that I didn’t love him anymore. My eighteen-year-old son thought the whole thing was hilarious (it turns out that your mother tripping is a good way to make drugs seem less cool).