The Truth About Why I Stopped Running

I used to be a runner -not a good one, but I believe that if you run (not just from hungry bears or someone trying to mug you) you are a runner. Running was my primary way of staying fit. It was the only exercise I liked. I used to have a goal of running a half marathon in all 50 states. That goal died a year ago. In the fall of 2016, I started running again after depression made me stop for almost a year. I spontaneously signed up for the Sioux Falls Half Marathon and my love for running was rekindled. During the fall and winter seasons of 2016, I checked South Dakota, Kentucky, Illinois and Indiana off the map. I booked a trip to Baton Rouge, Louisiana to run the Louisiana Half Marathon in January 2017 but a few weeks before the race, I got pneumonia My flight and hotel were non refundable at that point so even though I was unable to participate in the race, I decided to travel to Louisiana any
way.

My trip to Louisiana was honestly one of the worst experiences of my life. I felt so depressed and helpless and it made the entire experience so miserable. I even tried to book a flight home immediately within an hour of arriving at my hotel. I was so mad at myself for not being well enough to run. Obviously, it was not my fault I had pneumonia but because my brain functions in a very self-punishing way, I was convinced otherwise at the time. At that point in time, I was also signed up for half marathons in California and Alaska as well as a full marathon in Indiana for later on in the year but at that moment, in my hotel in Louisiana, I decided that I would never run again. I stopped being active and started treating my body like crap.

A year has passed and as I am embarking on a brand new fitness journey, I am beginning to realize how much I miss running and how big of a role it played in my pos

 

itive travel experiences. Running gave a lot to me physically, mentally and travel wise.

 

I miss the excitement of booking a running adventure. I have decided to give it another try. I haven’t quite decided

when and where to start, as I am incredibly out of shape and quite a bit heavier than I was when I was actively running and training

but I am excited to color a few more states in on my running map in 2018!

The Problem With My Thought Process (Depression Update)

Happy Monday! (Yep. Choosing to ignore the fact that I’ve failed daily blogging here lately because thats how I deal with things: by pretending they don’t happen. Alright.)

As I have previously mentioned, I had the flu. While having the flu, I slept a lot. Like, 20 hours a day. Sounds like a dream for my depressed mind. I have been doing so well with depression. I have been so productive in my day to day life. I was taking my medication everyday, working out and eating well. Man, being sick messed that up. Obviously, I couldn’t help being sick. I can’t help contracting the flu when 80% of the people in my life have had the flu this season but because my depressed brain and logic don’t go hand in hand, I was so angry at myself for getting sick. That makes no sense! It is 100% not my fault and there is no possible way I could have avoided it but I was so angry at my body for getting sick when I was taking such good care of it.

This is one of the many things that sucks so freaking bad about depression. I long to have control in my life and as soon as I feel like I have it and let it go, I crash. So here I am, trying to regain the little bit of control I was starting to feel I had.

That is my depression update since I have made mostly travel posts lately and less mental health. Here’s to new beginnings (again)!

How I Have the Confidence to Travel Alone

Happy Monday! If you didn’t happen to catch my Facebook update last night, I have been really sick with the flu and a lung issue and that is why the daily posts Friday through Sunday didn’t go up. I apologize and I thank you for understanding. Now that we have that out of the way, I am going to answer a question I get asked ALL. THE. DAMN. TIME. On the internet, in my personal life. Everyday.

How do you have the confidence to travel alone? How are you not afraid? Wow. I could never do that. My husband would never let me do that. Don’t you worry about something happening to you? It would be so boring. People would judge me for being there by myself.

 

The simple answer is this: I love to travel and sometimes, most of the time actually, solo travel is my only option if I want to go somewhere. And it’s always been that way.

About a year and a half ago, I had a huge realization about life being short and I know that sounds pretty cliche but stick with me. Around the same time, I also had the realization that I am a freaking adult and if I want to go somewhere and do something, who or what is stopping me?! I grew up as an only child and still today I have a pretty small circle of friends and family. I don’t have hundreds of friends who also have the travel bug or who can afford to go somewhere every couple months. But I also firmly believe that just because you others don’t want to do the same things as you, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t get the opportunity to do them.

But if I am being completely honest, I was never scared to travel alone. Maybe something is wrong with me. Who knows. I’ve always been more comfortable with strangers than with people I know and I’ve always been more confident by myself than with a group. Granted, I have yet to do solo international travel (although, I have done international travel with groups of people I barely knew so that is basically the same thing). I would love to travel with others always but for my goals and aspirations, based on what my life currently looks like, thats not feasible so solo travel it is!

I hope this helps answer any questions you may have. Let me know if you would like more posts about my experiences traveling alone versus traveling with other people.

5 Experiences You Need to Have in 2018.

Happy Thursday! I’m still at it with the New Year’s videos so please forgive me. Looking back on 2017, I have compiled a list of some of my favorite experiences and I want to share it with you. I had the best year ever in 2017 because of these experiences!

 

Travel Solo

I traveled by myself a lot in 2017. Traveling solo seems terrifying at first. Many people ask me how I have the confidence to travel by myself or say things such as “I would never do that. I would get bored” or “wow my husband would never let me do that”. One of the best ways to get to know yourself is by spending time with yourself. When traveling, you get to know yourself in different circumstances and situations. I highly recommend trying solo travel in 2018. Maybe you don’t love the idea or traveling across the country alone but try taking a small road trip or a weekend somewhere you’ve always wanted to go. I promise that you will learn a lot about yourself and realize that you are good company.

See Your Favorite Band/Artist Live

If you are a music lover, then you know that there is no better feeling than seeing your favorite band or artist live. Seeing a popular artist you love doesn’t aways mean you need to drop hundreds of dollars on a concert ticket. While it is pretty cool to be up close and personal, they sound the same whether you are on the floor or way up in the nose bleeds. If you can just live in the moment and bask in the music, you will have the time of your life. It didn’t occur to me until early last year that “hey I’m an adult and I can go to whatever concert I want to”, so it that hasn’t occurred to you yet, this is me bringing you a revelation.

Spend Quality Time With Someone You Don’t Know Very Well

In simpler terms, make a friend. For my birthday this past summer, I went on a weekend trip with a girl from work with the same birthday as me that I didn’t know super well. I know. That also sounds scary but honestly, it was the beginning of a beautiful friendship. We went to two concerts, one that I wanted to see and one she did and we went to an amusement park. It was one of the most fun weekends of my life and now I have a really good friend!

Have a Conversation With Someone You Look Up To

In 2017, I met the person I had looked up to my entire life. I actually met her twice. I honestly am still on cloud 9 six months later. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a celebrity (although in my case, it was). It can be someone you’ve admired from afar because lets be honest, we all have that person. So have a conversation with them. Pick their brain for knowledge. Let them know they inspire you. It sounds cheesy, but its life changing.

Do Something That Scares the Sh*t Out of You

Yes, thats right. As if the previous four haven’t scared you enough, do something that scares the absolute shit out of you. For me, it was getting in a helicopter. I knew for months I advance that I was going to have to ride in a helicopter but when it was time, I saw the helicopter and said hell no. But I did it and after the first two minutes, I stopped being afraid and enjoyed breathtaking views of glaciers. Whether the thing that scares you is getting on a plane or riding a ride or even going to the ocean, do it. You will thank yourself so much.

 

I hope these 5 experiences will help make 2018 the best year yet for you. I know I plan on doing all 5 of these again this year!

Current Me Vs. Future Me.

Happy… WEDNESDAY?! (sorry I am still getting used to the daily blogging thing.)

 

There are two types of people at the beginning of the year: those who have the “New Year, New Me” mindset and those who think the “New Year, New Me” mindset is just plain stupid. I used to be the second but this year I am going to try an optimistic approach.

I did a drawing of myself now versus what I want my life to look like in the future. I am not an artist and I am terribly sorry for the crappy artwork. This is a concept I got from Aileen Xu of Lavendaire. I will put her link here. I thought it was a really cool activity and decided to give it a try!

 

Since the picture uploaded pretty blurry and I can’t figure out how to fix it, I will list here a few of the points I made.

I listed my mental health on both sides. Current: slow progress but still a lot of bad days. Future: Have a better handle on my moods.

I listed physical health. Current: just starting to work out again. Future: fit and healthier.

My current goals are travel, fitness and gaining a following on my blog and youtube. My future goals are still travel, publish my book and have a big enough following to collaborate with other creators and brands.

My current goals for Wander the Arctic are to gain any sort of following. In the future, I would like to find a way to make it my career.

 

If you liked this concept, I encourage you to give it a try! Thanks again to Aileen for the inspiration!

 

A Proper Introduction: 25 Facts About Me.

Happy ….TUESDAY?! I know, I know. It’s not a normal post day for me but I have some good news! Every day is post day now! That’s right! Ya girl is a daily blogger now. I thought that since I am a daily blogger now, perhaps we should get to know each other a little better. If you haven’t read my about section: Hi, I’m Phoebe and its very nice to meet you. I hope you stay a while! So without further ado, here are 25 facts about me that aren’t about travel/blogging/youtube/mental health/content I normally post!

  1. I am a complete crazy cat lady. I have 3 cats and they are my entire world.
  2. I absolutely love pop-punk music and go to every concert I can.
  3. I love watching silent films, especially Lillian Gish films.
  4. Other than silent movies or anything with Gene Kelly and Frank Sinatra, I am not really a fan of movies.
  5. I went to school to be a physical therapist. Clearly, that worked out.
  6. I live in the Midwest and I have no plans of ever changing that. Midwest is best!
  7. I am equally a huge fan of the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Los Angeles Lakers. I honestly can’t pick a favorite.
  8. I have 14 tattoos, one of which I did myself.
  9. I am addicted to coffee. Tim Hortons is my absolute favorite!
  10. My favorite season is winter.
  11. My favorite food is pickles.
  12. Lilly Singh is pretty much my favorite human and biggest inspiration.
  13. The only tv show I watch is Riverdale.
  14. If I’m not in work clothes, there’s a 95% chance that I’m wearing pajamas.
  15. I’m only 5’1″.
  16. I find putting on makeup to me extremely relaxing and fun.
  17. I have the worst road rage and I totally scream at people with the windows down.
  18. I really should wear glasses but instead I walk around blind.
  19. I don’t like to swim or really do anything near or in the water.
  20. I play the guitar. I don’t play much anymore, not seriously anyway. But it is a useful skill to have.
  21. I love to sleep and I take way more naps than an adult should.
  22. I would rather be freezing cold than the slightest bit too warm. Being warm makes me irritable lol.
  23. I buy everything on the internet. I hate going to stores.
  24. I have really bad allergies. Like, I am basically allergic to being outside but that doesn’t stop me.
  25. I have no idea what my natural hair looks like because I’ve dyed it for 11 years.

 

 

That is all I have for today. I am very much looking forward to this daily blogging journey and I hope you are too. Let’s make 2018 the best one yet!

18 Things I Want to Do in 2018.

Happy 2018! Happy New Year! Happy Monday! Starting 2018 off right with Monday Blog Day! Over the past month, I have made a list of all the things I want to do in 2018. These aren’t New Year’s Resolution type things, these are bucket list things I am going to do. This post is also a YouTube video! So without further ado, lets get into the list!.

  1. Visit a state I have never been to
  2. Travel out of the country.. at least twice.
  3. Attend Vidcon
  4. Make a friend that I DIDN’T meet through work (lol)
  5. Visit another National Park
  6. Visit Canada
  7. Buy a real vlog camera
  8. Find a video editing software I like
  9. Book Alaska 2019
  10. Go to a music festival
  11. See Harry Styles in concert
  12. Finish writing my book
  13. Finish my online course
  14. Spend more time exploring locally
  15. Work on my half sleeve
  16. Visit the mountains
  17. Meet a band or artist I really like
  18. Go to the beach

Like I mentioned, this post is also a YouTube video! Head over to my channel by clicking here!

17 Things I Learned in 2017

Here I am showing up with one last post for 2017. I know a lot of people had a rough year but 2017 was such a good year for me. Yes, I had moments that were bad but overall it was one of my favorites. I also learned quite a bit about myself and the world so I compiled a list for you:

  1. Always double/triple/quadruple check your travel reservations.
  2. Don’t feel guilty about something that you had nothing to do with.
  3. Knock off beauty blenders are shit. Buy the real one.
  4. Don’t let anyone give you shit for your taste in music. If you think its awesome, its awesome.
  5. Take off your makeup EVERY NIGHT. Your skin needs it.
  6. Tailgating without a car is way more fun.
  7. When someone you haven’t spoken to in years shows up in your life with their negative opinions, don’t take it to heart.
  8. You don’t have to run away to have an adventurous life.
  9. Your passion in life and your job/career aren’t necessarily the same thing.
  10. Listen to bands that cost $20 to see (and see all of them)
  11. Going to concerts is always a good idea.
  12. Wear GOOD shoes (f*ck fashion sometimes)
  13. Always tell your friends how much you appreciate them even if it seems repetitive.
  14. You can’t change stupid shit you did in the past no matter how hard you try.
  15. You’re never too old to go to Disneyland
  16. DRINK WATER
  17. People are the most important aspect of life. Show them love and they will show you love in return.

I hope everyone has a fun and safe New Years Eve! Thank you lovelies for the past 4 months and here’s to 2018!

The Story of 2017.

Hello Blog Friends. Here we are at the end of 2017. It’s so weird. 2017 was such a long anticipated year for me and to think that its just about over makes me sad and nostalgic. I want to reminisce. Since I didn’t start blogging until the second half of the year, I thought I would do an overview of the entire year. It’s going to be somewhat of a long post, but my longer more travel-y posts tend to do better. I will be throwing some mental health stuff in too. So lets get right on into it.

January 2017 started a little rough. I remember ringing in the new year depressed. In 2016 I ran quite a few half marathons but in December I got really sick. I had planned to run in Louisiana in January but when the time came, I still wasn’t breathing well enough to run but since I had already booked the trip and most of it was non refundable, I decided to travel to Louisiana anyway and see what else I could do. It was a terrible decision and to this day I wish I had just stayed home. I stayed in my bed in my hotel for 3 days and all of my flights were terrible complete with the worst airline customer service I had ever experienced. After that trip I went on a “running strike” aka I said I would never ever run again. To top off how shitty the beginning of the year was, January was also when I was diagnosed with BPD.

February was a whole lot better. I traveled to Los Angeles, California to visit my best friend for 5 days. They were 5 really good days and I miss California and my best friend so much. I got to walk on the beach, go to Disneyland and just have a good time. For 5 days I didn’t think about mental illness and it was amazing. Thankfully, my happiness lingered for a while after this trip. I didn’t travel in March but March was still a good month. I got really into music and art in March which luckily, has stuck. March was nice turning point because I got my passion for music and art back and I had lost that over the past few years.

April was the month of road trips. I experienced St. Louis, Missouri for the first time. My friends and I took a 4 hour road trip to St. Louis because we wanted to visit Twisted Ranch -a restaurant that has 27 different flavors of ranch dressing (I think I tried 15). We also had a blast visiting City Museum. We saw the arch but it was closed while we were there so we couldn’t go inside. I did, however, get to go inside a few months ago. The second road trip in April was to Cleveland, OH for Easter. The third was to Columbus, OH to kick off concert season. I got off work at 2pm, drove 3 hours to Columbus to see Knuckle Puck and then drove 3 hours back home to make it to work at 8 am the next day. It was exhausting, but so incredibly worth it because incase I haven’t mentioned it 800 times before, Knuckle Puck is my favorite band to ever exist and I would travel the globe and back in a day to see them. I didn’t travel in May either but I did get to see Soundgarden in concert exactly one week before the tragic death of Chris Cornell. I am so thankful I got the opportunity to see them.

June was pretty freaking cool and probably my second favorite month of 2017 (the first obviously being the month I went to Alaska). I visited the Lincoln Log Cabin in Illinois which was pretty cool. I love anything Abe Lincoln so obviously it was the best day ever. I also got to see the Total Package Tour, twice which was definitely something I never ever thought would happen.

I took yet another road trip in July. My good friend and I share a birthday so we decided to celebrate by going to Cincinnati, OH to see two concerts and go to King’s Island. We saw Sam Hunt and Avenged Sevenfold and I went out of my comfort zone and rode roller coasters (I hate sudden drops so much). It was a really fun weekend and I am so glad we went.

 

Do I even need to explain August? In August, my lifelong dream of going to Alaska came true. After 10 months of planning and anxiously awaiting, I visited Alaska. I have several posts about this trip so I won’t drag on this already probably too long post any more with details but it was hands down, the best 10 days of my life and **spoiler alert** Alaska 2019 can’t come soon enough (what?! yeah!!!). Check out Alaska posts here. (I’m also not done blogging about Alaska. Sorry not sorry.)

September was when Istarted blogging! Yay! I started blogging as an outlet for my PostAlaska Depression. I also got to go to several concerts and just had a good time with my friends. I really have learned to cherish the time I spend with my friends because I don’t get to spend a lot go time with them.

In October, I saw Knuckle Puck again. I went on a day trip to St. Louis and finally got to go in the arch. I got to hear Knuckle Puck play their new album live the night before it was released. I also went to Atlanta, GA to see the one and only Halsey. I got to stay with a friend I hadn’t seen in a while and quite honestly, didn’t know that well. I know this sounds cheesy, but I really cherish the bond we formed during this trip. I definitely plan on visiting this friend again in the future and hopefully spending more time in the Atlanta area because it was my first time being there and I really liked it. 

In November, I took a road trip to Cleveland. This trip was unfortunately the victim of some of my irrational emotions but I still had a wonderful time seeing my family and seeing The Maine live. I also saw Jack & Jack live in November. I softly launched my YouTube channel in November. The videos are pretty terrible but they helped me get used to vlogging.

Here we are in December. Aside from the fact that I have been sick in bed lately, I’ve spent a lot of time this month soaking up time with my friends and family and thinking about my goals for 2018.

 

Thank you for all the support in 2017. I can only hope 2018 will be full of as much joy and love as 2017 was.

 

I’m Going to Greenland?!

I’m going to Greenland! Well, maybe…

One of the destinations that has been on my travel list for a while now is Iceland. While researching Iceland, I came across group tours to Greenland (the flight leaves from Iceland, which is how I discovered this opportunity). As someone who has little experience traveling outside of the United States and has never been outside of North America, I had reservations about my first trip to Europe being solo. Fun fact that I just learned: Greenland is actually part of North America (geographically. Politically is a different story), not Europe so technically I’m not really going to wander Europe alone, just an airport in Europe. While watching European travel vlogs on YouTube, I discovered hostels and from there discovered hostels in Greenland that offer group activities even if you sign up solo. I really want to go. I calculated the tours, lodging and flights and I could do this trip for around $3000. I don’t know for sure if I am going to go in 2018 or 2019 but I am really planning for 2018 because I am really attached to the idea of going to Greenland. I am itching to go back to glaciers and mountains and really just to wander the arctic (do you see what I did there?).

 

**all of these pictures are just random pictures of Greenland from a random Google search and I am not claiming any of them as my own so please don’t come at me. **