Hey Travel Family,

It has been an intense week! Today is the one-year anniversary of someone close to me’s passing and the whole week building up to it has just been so tense. When someone close passes, it affects everyone – your whole family. Everybody’s emotions have been all over the place and I can’t help but want to support my mum and my grandma through it. So, it’s just been a tense week as little things that wouldn’t normally matter suddenly do and everyone’s feelings are heightened, mine included. My neck has been absolutely killing me with tension and stress. I saw this meme a few weeks ago and it was something like, “Welcome to your 30’s. Breakfast is ibuprofen and coffee,” and I swear… that’s just become so relatable haha it’s like a description of my every day.

On top of all that, there’s been some heavy stuff going on in other aspects of my personal life and, if that weren’t enough to push a gal to the brink, my poor husband hit the bottom of an intense burnout! Yep, editing a gazillion videos finally caught up to Matt and he found himself exhausted, overwhelmed and ready to just… stop. It’s like everyone close to me, that I see or talk to day-to-day, found themselves in a similar space this week. Everyone is just cosmically exhausted, overwhelmed and in desperate need of a rest.

I think it’s just the end of a very long and emotionally intense year for all of us. 2018 has thrown some really big challenges at all of us but I’m grateful for them. It’s brought some of us closer, shown me many people’s true colours and, most importantly, taught me a heck of a lot. I spent yesterday reflecting on all of those things and wrote a blog post about 12 important life lessons I learned this year.  If you want to read it, it captures things far better than I could in TW this week.

I’m really looking forward to the fresh start of the New Year. There have been so many times this year, as the intensity and pressure in my personal life has grown, that Little Grey Box has had to take a back seat. Some days I’ve sat down to work and then things out of my control have happened and my whole day is gone, working to understand and fix difficult situations. I’ve been full of guilt, feeling as though I’ve been abandoning Little Grey Box and, in the process, letting myself down. With fewer posts and new content going up, our website views have gone right down.

But, here’s the thing, views don’t matter. My family matters and my mental health and happiness matter too. There will always be more days to write more content and numbers can go up and down. What can’t be fixed is turning your back on people who need you and being there for them. I’ve had to prioritise other people above myself time and time again this year and that I will never regret. I guess it’s been a period of accepting the things I change and forgiving myself for doing things I didn’t think I would do, like neglect my writing.

All of this is temporary and it’s made me realise how much I miss writing regularly. I know things won’t magically be better on 1 January and it’s still going to be a while until everything settles down and I can get back on track properly. I accept that but I’m looking forward to when I can and I want to try and fight a little harder to get back to writing and posting. I really do miss it.

I hope you don’t mind TW is a little shorter than usual. You may have gotten the sense it’s a big week for me haha! I have quite a few things to do today and over the lead up to Christmas. With some key people unable to help, a lot more responsibility is on me this year and, as always, family comes first.

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. 


  1. Hi Phoebe, I just wanted to write and encourage you! I came across your video a week ago and I was blown away by it. It captured so beautifully the soul of the city that I had grown up in. In your and Matt’s video, I learned afresh to appreciate the awesomeness of our planet and the beautiful people in it. You taught me something I needed a week ago. The timing was perfect. It encouraged me to be more aware of wonder, to open my eyes to see this world differently, to be more intentional about seeking and seeing the beauty that surrounds us on this awesome planet, and to reach out and make a difference in the lives of others. I read your “12 important life lessons you learned this year” article. In it, you mention things like being intelligent, being dumb, being vulnerable, being exhausted, being powerful and never quitting. You painted a picture with your words of the journey of a precious, beautiful soul going through and growing through the seasons of life. Joy. Pain. Love. Anger. Trust. Deception. We’ve all been through strong emotions and feelings like this. Some more than others. And I think you were spot on in working out what it all means for you and how to move forward and learn and grow despite the challenges. I’m also getting closer to the time of year when, the day before Christmas three years ago, my Dad was diagnosed with leukemia and passed away three months later in hospital. It was a very difficult three months for everyone, especially my Mom. We all rallied around her to help her get through that very painful time. And then a year later, after working through the trauma and grief of losing my Dad, my Mom was diagnosed with colon cancer. She died earlier this year. It’s hard losing one parent. It’s even harder losing both. Every day is another day that you don’t hear from them. That you can’t call or say can I come over. That another birthday goes by without a card or blowing out candles with them. Life is so precious and so short. It’s beautiful. It’s magical. It’s also ugly. And devastating. I guess you never know what is waiting around the corner. For you or your loved ones. We take so much for granted, every day. So take time out of your busy schedule to stop and reflect on the miracle of life. On the miracle of being able to move and breathe and see and experience things. On the miracle of who you are. You are here for a reason, Phoebe. Celebrate that reason. Celebrate who you are. Embrace this new day you’ve been given. Another chance to live life to the max. Phoebe, thank you for who you are. For who you are becoming. And for what you do. Keep writing and travelling and posting blogs and videos. You’ve made a difference to me. Thank you! Dane.

    1. Wow, Dane, thank you so much for sharing all that with me. I lost someone very close to me a year ago, almost to the day, also to Leukemia and that loss is what started all the difficulties I’ve faced since then. Losing someone to a disease like that, in some ways it’s a relief to not see them hurt anymore but in many ways, it’s the start of a very painful time. My heart broke to read you’d lost both your parents and so close to each other. I can only imagine the way that kind of loss affects someone and how it shapes you and what it makes you appreciate in life. Your comment really meant a lot to me because all I’ve gone through recently has given me a deeper appreciation for my life and I’ve been trying to find ways to bring that into everything we create. I want people to come away from our platforms feeling good about themselves or inspired to life their life to its fullest. Your comment made me feel like we’re achieving that and it inspires me to keep pushing, even through the tough times. So, thank you again Dane. Matt and I are sending you all our love and best wishes for the holiday and new year season. Thank you for your support and kindness – it shines so bright. Phoebe x

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