Hey Travel Family,

I’m sitting down to write this week with only a few hours left until we leave for the airport! We’re off to Thailand today as part of a small media trip organised by the Tourism Authority of Thailand, which I spoke about in last week’s TW. I’ve been doing some research on all the spots we’re going to visit and it looks amazing! A jam-packed itinerary taking us through Bangkok, mostly to brand new spots I’ve never had the chance to see before, which is really nice. We’ll also be visiting Krabi and doing a spot of island hopping which I’m, obviously, incredibly excited for. Thailand is so beautiful, I can’t wait to see the islands and get in some swimming.

I’m also really excited about the food! Thai food is always so good but on this trip, we’re going to be eating at some really nice places, including award-winning and Michelin-starred restaurants, something I’ve not experienced in Thailand before. It’s great to be going back to a destination I’ve visited before but seeing it from a totally new perspective. I did a quick weather check as I was finishing off my packing this morning and we’re staring down the barrel of 36 degree days! Oooooh! I’ve packed everything light, cotton and breathable you could possibly imagine as well as a small army of hair ties, sprays and gels to slick my hair up and off my neck.

Right now, Matt’s frantically running around the house packing. Yep, he’s only just started packing! While I’ve been pondering my pack all week, he’s running around asking questions like, “What kind of shoes do I need?” hahaha We’re just charging our last bits and pieces, packing those last minute things like toiletries and then we’ll have a little bit of time to chill out and relax before we head out to the airport.

When we get there, we’ll meet a representative from Thai Airways who will help us get checked in. We’ll also get to meet the other media on the trip, I believe it’s about three or four other journalists and media as well as a representative from the Tourism Authority of Thailand. Then, we’ll board our flight and fly direct from Brisbane to Bangkok. I remember my first ever flight with Thai Airways. It was when I was living in Singapore with my family and the school camp that year was a trip to Thailand. In Brisbane, I grew up in a really low-key neighbourhood where that kind of thing just wasn’t what happened. So, I was totally blown away when our school camp was an overseas trip, it felt so fancy! It’s weird to look back now and think about how out of my league that felt at the time and now I’m working with the airline and the tourism board – it’s just very surreal.

It’s actually been a bit of a week of surreal! I’ve been doing the occasional piece of freelance writing for CNN, following the TV commercials I filmed with Hanoi Tourism a few years ago. Anyway, I’ve only done a few writing jobs with CNN since… maybe three or four but this month I did a few more and I guess they loved it because I’m writing for them regularly now! It’s really exciting and feels like a huge achievement for me! It takes me right back to that moment I was sitting with Matt in a Bali restaurant and confessed to him my dream career was to be a travel writer. At that moment, it felt so far away and I was absolutely certain it could never happen. It took a long time and a lot of hard work but it has happened and I’m so glad I took those years of my life to move in a new direction.

It definitely feels like this year has been different for us. If you read TW regularly, you’ll remember me talking last year about how it felt like our business had slowed down a lot and there weren’t many jobs coming through, let alone paid opportunities. Since the start of this year, that really has changed for us. We’ve got no room in our calendar for big projects again until the end of August! I’ve got guaranteed writing work lined up and Matt’s got some great freelance work coming through. It really feels like we’re finding our balance with different income streams and Little Grey Box is growing steadily.

With that in mind, I just want to say thank you to all of you who read the posts, follow us on social media and watch our videos on YouTube. There are times when it’s really hard to keep creating because you feel like it may never lead anywhere or you’re a failure or a million other doubtful thoughts but we keep pushing and you keep reading, liking and watching and it just provides us with this incredibly important support. So, thank you! We wouldn’t get through all the challenges without you.

Alright, I’m going to finish my one-millionth coffee for the morning, do my makeup and then get my last bits and pieces (like this laptop) packed up and ready to go! I’ll spend a little bit of time with my darling cats and then it’s off to the airport for a new adventure.

I hope you have a great weekend, I’ll talk to you again next Friday.

Love, Phoebe xx

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