Hey Travel Family,

Good morning! Can you believe it’s Friday again already?! I swear these weeks are getting faster. It’s as though January to August took forever and then September, October and November were over in the blink of an eye. I mean, December… again?! Maybe I feel that way because I’m not a huge Christmas person. I try really hard to get into it and I do enjoy it but I’ve never been one of those, ‘Yassss! CHRISTMASSSS,’ kind of people.

I find Christmas isn’t the most introvert-friendly holiday so I think that puts me off a bit. There’s all the, ‘let’s catch up before the end of the year,’ business and then the Christmas parties followed by a whole lot of social interaction with your family and your extended family and your in-laws family. With so many people around, whether it’s my own family or someone else’s, I usually end up looking for a quiet spot to sit by myself rather than getting amongst it. When you’re someone who finds small talk difficult and social situations draining, Christmas can be a bit rough at times.

Maybe introverts and the socially awkward should be rewarded with our own holiday. Every time I hear that ‘Silent Night’ Christmas Carol I think how wonderful it sounds, just a whole night of silence. Maybe we could do that or ‘Shut-up-mas,’ or maybe something less intense name-wise, how about, ‘Chill-mas,’ where we all just chill out, quietly, in our homes, with no social interaction. Maybe stores could get into it too? On Chill-mas, if you go to a supermarket or store, nobody bothers you unless you ask a question and they only play soothing forest sounds or Enya. The only gift you have to give is peace and quiet and maybe a thoughtful text. Yes to Chill-mas!

My favourite part of Christmas is always Christmas night when Matt and I come home and all the Christmas ritual stuff is done. We put on the fairy lights in our sunroom, sprawl out on the couches and have a few drinks. I make this yummy gin cocktail we jokingly named after the street we live on. We usually eat leftovers from Matt’s sister’s insanely delicious Christmas lunch and stay up way too late talking about all the things we want to achieve next year.

Christmas also feels like it means something different now than it did when I was little. It was just me and my mum and we didn’t have a lot during the year, so Christmas was really special because Mum would work really hard and save up so it was a really special day. It was different from every other day of the year. Now, there’s not that same struggle, which is a good thing, but for my sisters, that means there’s a lot more special in every day. There are lots of amazing gifts throughout the year and delicious dinners at home or at restaurants. My mum describes it well, she says it’s like every day is Christmas day for them, which is true – we’ve got so much good in our lives and I’m so grateful for it. But, I think it has changed what Christmas feels like and I’d love to get back to that special feeling again. I don’t think spending more money is the solution, I think it’s got to do with mindfulness.

I’ve always really liked the idea of Thanksgiving as a holiday. I’ve never been to a Thanksgiving so I’ve got no idea how it all works or what it’s really about in today’s society but the concept of getting together with your family to give thanks for everything you have sounds more my speed. The gift-giving part of Christmas puts me off a little bit sometimes. I feel pressure to get the perfect gift and I worry that what I’ve gotten isn’t good enough or doesn’t properly convey how I feel about the person. Whereas, the idea of just being together and showing you’re thankful to have that person in your life really sounds good.

I tried to bring some of that into our Christmas last year. I made a ‘Thanksgiving,’ Christmas Eve dinner for Matt, my mum and my sisters and we all ate and talked about what we were thankful for. It was really nice. Maybe that’s the key to Christmas? Find ways of incorporating your own values into it, make it your own holiday and celebrate the things that matter to you in ways that are meaningful to you. Hot dog – I think I’ve cracked it!

In other news, week two of my plan to get my energy back has been going really well. I’ve been sticking to my new morning routine and getting up early each day and it’s amazing. That one, small change has made a huge difference. I feel like I’ve got the time to do all the ‘me’ things I like to do each day and more time to get my work done too. It feels like there’s a better balance to the day and with time to replenish myself, I feel much less drained in the evenings. I’ve also been working hard on eating better and, now I’ve got the energy to do it, it’s been really helpful too.

I’m still reading my book but I’m trying to take it slow and integrate little bits at a time, rather than just changing my whole life overnight. While I’m feeling more energised, little by little, I am still lacking that real zest of creativity I usually have. I’m usually full of zany ideas but that hasn’t come back yet so, hopefully, the rest of the book will help me find that. I’m planning on taking two weeks off from Little Grey Box over Christmas and New Year, that might be my time to get my creative zest back!

Yesterday was a big day for me. I was asked to be part of a panel at the World Congress of Science and Factual Producers. What the heck is that? Well, basically, it’s a conference for TV producers who create documentary and factual programs. It’s attended by traditional media, so your TV producers and the like, whereas Matt and I are considered part of the new, digital media. My role on the panel was to talk about our experiences as online content creators, how we do it, what’s involved, what works and what doesn’t and, I guess, share some insight with traditional media on how they can make the leap to new media.

It was a pretty big deal as we were on the panel with Jim Louderback, VidCon CEO, Michael Mosley the legendary BBC presenter, Lewis Mitchell from Twitch, Teri Calder from ABC and our good friend, Fred, from Changer Studios here in Brisbane. I had a really good time doing it and, afterwards, got to meet some amazing and influential people who loved what we had to share and want us to attend future events. It was amazing! Hopefully, a whole lot of good comes out of it for us and our business.

If you haven’t seen it yet, I’d love if you could watch our new video from Longreach. I mentioned it last week but it’s one we’re both really proud of. There are still a few things we want to work on and improve but it feels like we’re so close to getting our videos exactly where we want them to be – a good mix of mindfull, informative and fun!

Today, after I get this posted, I’m helping my Grandma with some stuff and then I’ve got the whole weekend free for some me-time! Yes! I hope you’ve had a great week and have yourself a fantastic weekend too. If you’re an introvert, you best be getting in some downtime now before the craziness starts. Stockpile that energy and small-talk, guys!

Have a great weekend and I’ll talk to you again next week.

Phoebe x

Watch the brand new video up on our YouTube channel this week!

Visit the Little Grey Box YouTube channel and peep all our awesome travel videos here. 


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