Author Archive for Wander the Arctic – Page 2

Solo Wandering Chronicles I (St. Louis, MO)

Solo travel is my favorite type of travel so naturally I decided that I should do a series on it! I am going to title this series “Solo Wandering” because not all of my wandering would necessarily be labeled as “travel”, at least in my opinion. With that being said, welcome to the chronicles of my solo wandering!

I know I haven’t talked about music much so far in this blog (sidetone: let me know if you want me to post about music!), but I know I have mentioned that I have attended a lot of concerts this year, and I mean a lot. When my favorite band Knuckle Puck announced a new tour, I knew I had to go. They did not do a show in my home city so I had to look at my options. The closest show that I could attend was in St. Louis, Missouri. I scheduled the day off work and planned to attend the concert. I’d been to St. Louis twice this year already but I decided I wanted to explore even more. St. Louis is known for the iconic Gateway Arch and I have wantedto go up in the arch for a long time. The last two times I was there, the arch was closed so I gave it another try.

I felt really weird being there alone. There were so many groups of people from all over the world and then there was me. It didn’t really bother me because I love traveling alone, I prefer it actually. But it still felt weird. Going up in the arch is basically like going on a giant ferris wheel. When you get to the top it’s like an indoor bridge and you can look down at the city. The view was awesome. It’s we

ird to me that they had all of these tourist attractions and boat rides and helicopter rides because the view is cool and everything but to be honest, it just looks kind of industrial I had a good time wandering around by the arch and taking picture


It was a cool experience and I would definitely do it again if I was in St. Louis again.

Knuckle Puck was amazing as always. I want to make an entire post in the future about how their music has impacted my life. The concert took place at Fubar, which is basi
cally a bar in St. Louis. It was a pretty small venue but I love concerts like that. They played with another one of my favorite bands, With Confidence (and Movements and Homesafe). Knuckle Puck always puts on a good show. The crowd was intense though. One person fainted and two people got kicked out. I have never had an experience like that at a show and it was mildly terrifying but I still had a good time. Also, if you haven’t please give Knuckle Puck’s new album, Shapeshifter a listen!

5 MORE Things That Make No Sense.

If you didn’t catch my pervious post about 5 things that mental illness has made me do that make no sense, please check that out here. I decided that ultimately, 5 was just not enough. My list of things that mental illness has made me do that make no sense could go on for days, so here are 5 more:

Take Up Random Hobbies for 2 Days

I cannot even begin to tell you how many “hobbies” I have gone through in the past year. For some reason, in my brain it makes sense to try out EVERYTHING in hopes that I will discover something I love for 2 days then move on to the next thing. I’ve had consistent interests and hobbies over the years but mostly I will just randomly take up short lived hobbies like art or video games and let them become my entire life until I quickly drop them and never pick them back up.

Not Take My Meds

What? So, I take medication so that I don’t feel like crap, but when I feel like crap I don’t take the medication that helps me not feel like crap. Yep. Makes perfect sense.

Pick a Fight with Anyone, About Anything

I do this ALL THE TIME. I have no idea why. It is always about something stupid that makes no sense, yet it seems like the world is ending in my brain.

Be Conscious of Something “Crazy” I Am Doing, But Still Do It Anyway

Like picking random fights with someone. I know I am being illogical and irrational but for some reason, I still can’t help it. I don’t understand how I can be conscious of being ridiculous yet still let it happen. That is something I will truly never understand. If I knew how to fix it, I would. Trust me.

Despise a Complete Stranger

You know how most people say “I like everyone until they give me a reason not to”? Yeah. I am the complete opposite. Again. Illogical and irrational. No idea why. Can’t help it.



If you can relate to any of these 5 or the previous 5, please let me know. I am sure I will be able to make a part 3 to this soon enough because like I said, I could go on for days about the things mental illness makes me do that are completely illogical.


5 Things Mental Illness Made Me Do That Make No Sense.

It’s no secret that mental illness runs the lives of so many people, including myself. Earlier today when I was at work, I was thinking about all the things that I did not get accomplished last week because my brain did not want to be in the right place. After all, if you read Monday’s post, I did have to cut a chunk of my hair out due to my own neglect to take care of myself. I started
thinking about how many things I have not been able to accomplish in my life because of this and most of them make no sense. So, naturally I compiled a list of the top 5 things mental illness made me do that never really made sense but nonetheless, have brought me to where I am today. I know that it is so difficult to comprehend why I would allow these things to happen in my life, but if you struggle with any form of mental illness, I know you can relate.

Here are 5 things that mental illness has made me do that make no sense whatsoever:

Cancel plans because I was upset about being lonely. 

WHAT?! Yes, you read that correctly. Apparently, my brain thinks that its logical to cancel plans WITH OTHER PEOPLE when I am upset about being alone. Makes perfect sense, right?

Maintain a job where I was told I was useless -and like it.

Yes, you also read that correctly. For years, I maintained a job where I was constantly threatened, verbally abused and treated like a piece of dirt (it was NOT the company, just the particular manager). But I put up with it, because even if I was not the right way to be treated, I felt as if I deserved it -not because I didn’t do a good job, but because of my low self-esteem and self-hatred. After all, misery does love company right?

Not apply to college. 

My entire life it was drilled into my brain that I was going to college -and I did. It’s not that I didn’t want to go to college, I just did not have the motivation for months at a time to apply for college. When my high school teachers found out I did not apply to any colleges (I was one of the top in my class to naturally they thought that was really


weird), they helped me apply but I only ended up applying for one school. I didn’t apply to any of my dream schools or schools I had visited. I just randomly applied to a University, got accepted and went there. I later dropped out and finished a two year program instead but my entire life, I dreamed of having the perfect 4 year college experience and depression robbed me of that simply because I couldn’t find the desire to fill out some paperwork.

Completely give up on something that at one point, was my entire life. 

I used to be a singer-songwriter. I played multiple instruments, wrote songs and recorded them. I used to perform live and even played with a band for a while. I abruptly gave that up and have never looked back. Yes, from time to time I pull out my guitar and of course I sing to the radio but something that was my entire live, my passion was just gone one day and I never really thought twice about it.

Go broke traveling the world.


I am not complaining about this one for sure. Although mental illness has made me do a lot of questionable things, I thought I would end on a happy note. I might make spontaneous, somewhat stupid decisions and book flights I can’t afford or plan trips when I know I don’t have enough vacation time, its experiences like these that make my life worth living. Planning things the sensible way just doesn’t work for me and it probably never will and I am learning to be okay with that.

It’s World Mental Health Day!

Hi Friends!

I know this is not a day of the week that I normally post but since my blog is primarily about mental health, I wanted to hop on here and wish everyone the best today on this World Mental Health Day. Mental health is a huge struggle for so many of us and I firmly believe that it is so very important to know that you are not alone.  

So hello. My name is Phoebe and I just want you to know that I am always cheering you on.

Today, I Had to Cut a Chunk of My Hair Out…

My apologies for not being consistent last week with my posts. I haven’t been feeling good, and yes I mean my brain hasn’t been feeling good. I promise that this week, I will have 3 consistent posts: Monday, Thursday and Saturday.

I know I talk a lot about how I combat my depression with travel and staying busy. Most of the time, life is awesome. I truly wish to inspire others to take a step toward conquering their own struggles. But my blog is also about honesty and honestly, sometimes life is not so awesome. If I truly want to share my story, I need to be completely honest even when it means sharing the good, the bad and the ugly sides of my brain.

Mental illness is ugly. It can be horrifying and disgusting. For me, when I am in a bad place I tend to neglect my well-being whether that be not drinking enough water or taking a shower or even brushing my hair. As a matter of fact, this evening (yes, I am writing this Sunday night) I actually had to cut a chunk of my hair out due to neglecting to brush it for over a week. This is not the first time I have had this experience. In fact, I probably don’t even have enough fingers to count the amount of times I have had to cut chunks out of my long blonde hair because they were too far gone to fix due to my own negligence. Yes, I went to work this week however, I didn’t wear makeup or even proper uniform and I threw my hair in a bun everyday, I don’t even think I bothered to fix my bun for like 3 days at one point. I was pretty lifeless and robotic. I came home and went to bed around 7pm every night not even bothering to eat dinner. Yesterday afternoon, I went hiking and it didn’t take long for me to become lightheaded and eventually throw up because I was so dehydrated. I really suck at taking care of myself when I have these “episodes”. Truthfully, its hard to want to. I know that from and outside perspective, it can be difficult to understand how somebody lets themself into this position. How hard is it to take a 5 minute shower? How hard is it to drink a glass of water? The honest answer: pretty damn hard sometimes. Its not even fully about the amount of effort it takes to perform these tasks (well, sometimes it is). It is about wanting to take care of yourself and when you are in a position where you don’t want to take care of yourself or you don’t care enough to, completing these tasks feels so far out of reach and nearly impossible.

My hope is that this week will be much better and all of my hair can stay intact. I also hope to continue to strive to want to take care of myself even when its hard to want to. If I don’t want to do it for the bad days, I need to do it for the good days so that I don’t have to constantly make up for what I didn’t do on a bad day.


The Post-Alaska Depression Has Been Real…Part III

I’ve had about a week to meditate on my last Post-Alaska Depression post (if you haven’t, catch up here). One of the main reasons why the Post-Alaska Depression has been so real is because I am afraid that 2018 won’t be nearly as adventurous as 2017. I think that is fair. But I am going to try something new (new to me anyway): optimism.

After almost a month and a half of drowning in Post-Adventure-of-a-Lifetime depression, I am going to try optimism. Every adventure is it’s own opportunity and I refuse to compare them to each other any longer. Obviously, my upcoming trip to Georgia is going to be nothing like Alaska just like Alaska was nothing like my trip to Puerto Rico. They are all different pieces of the puzzle that is my story.

So here is to making the most of the rest of 2017! Obviously I am planning to make 2018 as amazing as possible too but I’m going to focus on the rest of 2017.

I am going to have the most kick-ass time visiting my friends in Georgia later this month.

I am going to watch Halsey FREAKING SLAY at her Atlanta show.

I am going to have an amazing time visiting my family in November.

I am going to see The Maine, Knuckle Puck, Jack & Jack and a few other of my favorite musicians.

I am going to grow my blog and share my stories.

I am always going to miss Alaska. I am always going to miss that specific week of my life. But more good things will come, I just need to let them.

But… I’ve Never Even Been to the Arctic..?

I find beauty in things that not many people do. I’ve possessed this skill my entire life but it has only been within the last year or so that I have realized that this is a skill I possess. That would explain why I listen to bands that no one has heard of or why the vacation of my dreams is to the Arctic Circle.

Aside from the fact that I do plan to “wander the Arctic” the second I have the ability to, I decided to name my blog “Wander the Arctic” because sometimes living in my brain feels a lot like what I imagine wandering the Arctic would feel like. Sometimes my brain can be a very cold and dangerous place. But it can also be a beautiful place. Sometimes navigating my own brain seems impossible, like a dangerous unfamiliar place. But that’s never stopped me before. 

My apologies for this short, late post. I’ve had several bad days lately but I am excited to get back on track and start officially preparing myself to “Wander the Arctic”. 

The Post-Alaska Depression Has Been Real…Part II

One of the more effective ways I have learned to combat my post-trip depression is to plan other trip. I’ve started mapping out what I want 2018 to look like and I keep over looking one key thing: I’m broke as hell. I know that I still have 1/4th of 2017 left to enjoy, and I do have several trips still planned, the idea of 2018 not being nearly as adventurous as 2017 is really beginning to bring me down. 2017 started off with a trip to Louisiana (that I’d prefer to not remember), followed by the most epic trip to California to visit my best friend and wander around Disneyland and the beach in February (while there was a snow storm back home). I went on two fun-filled girls trips with some close friends and topped it off with, of course, my 10 day Alaskan adventure (have I mentioned yet that I went to Alaska?). On top of all the traveling, I’ve seen more concerts than I can count on two hands, met my lifelong idol and biggest inspiration and I still have two trips and several more concerts left. My life is awesome, I won’t deny that. But I know I can’t continue to max my credit cards to book flights and buy concert tickets and that is really starting to hit me hard. I’m a very all-or-nothing thinker so the idea of not being able to do everything on my list, is hard for me to grasp. I’m trying to remember though, if you had asked me at the beginning of this year, where all I would be traveling to, I wouldn’t not have listed at least half of the destinations I’ve visited and I am trying my hardest to keep that mentality while also doing a certain amount of planning ahead so that I can go all the places I want to go and see all the things I want to see.

The Post-Alaska Depression Has Been Real… Part I

I’m not even going to lie. My post-alaskan adventure depression hit me like a freaking train this week. One month ago today, I returned from my adventure of a lifetime full of life and ready to take on the world. I mean, I flew in a helicopter. I stood on a glacier. I hiked in Denali National Park. I was ready for more. Although I was happy to be reunited with my boyfriend and my cats, I was not ready to be home. I was not ready to return to my 9-5 job and drive the same back roads through the same cornfields I’ve stared at for years. After the first day back, returning to my life was easier than I had expected. I had so many stories to tell and I was still on somewhat of a life high from the adventure. It only took about two days before my friend and I started planning a part two to our adventure. I’ve had good days ever since.. until this week.

I’ve explained my bad days a bit in a previous post you can check out here. This week has been no exception. To be more honest than I probably should be, I didn’t even go to work yesterday because I couldn’t get out of bed. I napped on and off and laid in the dark all day and didn’t communicate with anyone. Yesterday was my crashing point. I had a few days of being overly emotional and angry for no reason whatsoever then I had my meltdown and then the day I turned the world off (yesterday).

Depression logic by Phoebe: I am so tired of feeling alone so I am going to not show up to the part of my day where I am surrounded by my friends. Makes perfect sense right?

I didn’t feel great this morning, but I did make it to my half day at work and decided to push myself to visit a coffee shop and work on blog posts among other things. What it comes down to is this: while I wouldn’t change anything about my life now, I never originally intended to settle down. Coming back from anywhere is always a harsh reminder of that. There is still always that part of me that daydreams about what it would be like to live in the mountains or have the ability to get on a plane to wherever, whenever. But I am satisfied with the way things are, I am just struggling to find a happy medium.

5 REASONABLE Tips to Help Make Travel More Affordable.

Over time, I have read probably hundreds of articles full of tips and tricks to make traveling more affordable Most of them contain the same tips. I have tried many of them but also decided that many of them were too ridiculous to try. Although I hope to some day, I don’t have the ability right now to be as flexible with my travel schedule and destinations as some of these tips would like.

I have compiled a list of 5 of these tips (and tips within a tip) that I actually use and that have actually helped me.

  1. Loyalty.

Loyalty to a specific airline or hotel group can make a huge difference if you travel frequently. Loyalty to a certain airline or hotel group simply means using that airline or hotel group whenever possible and become a member of their offered rewards programs. Personally, I am loyal to Delta Airlines and the IHG hotel group. I accumulate tons of points by flying and staying with them as well as using the credit card. There are many benefits within these groups as well. By having a Delta credit card, I can check a free bag which saves about $50 per flight if I choose to check a bag and most of the hotels I stay in have free breakfast (including fruit, yogurt and pastries you can take with you for free snacks). I had enough SkyMiles to fly to Los Angeles earlier this year after only flying a few times prior and due to hotel points, I haven’t had to pay for the majority of the rooms I’ve booked this year either. Even if it doesn’t always seem like the best deal, it’s still the best deal. Sometimes it is not always worth it to forfeit hundreds SkyMiles of points toward a free night to save $20-30 once.

2. Research the crap out of your flights before you book.

I know some tips say to browse for flights incognito and infrequently to avoid prices going up. Those are good tips too. It’s also a pretty well known fact that flying on weekends and Monday mornings are not always the cheapest option. But it really doesn’t hurt to do a little research still. This morning, I booked a flight to Atlanta. I debated for a while whether or not I wanted to pay for a flight or drive but due to the fact that I have to drive to St. Louis the week before, I decided I wanted to fly. My dates and times were not super flexible. I was willing to leave a little earlier on the flight there to save money but I had to book an evening flight for the way back. The roundtrip price for the flights I would need would have been $366.40 -a bit much for a 2 day trip. When I checked out one way tickets there and back, they were a lot cheaper. My flight theres was $110.20 and my flight back (the Friday evening flight I needed) was only $118.20 making my roundtrip $228.40, which is $138 cheaper than the roundtrip price. I highly recommend looking into breaking up your flights to see if you can get a cheaper price.

3. Open a savings account that’s harder to access.

As silly as this sound, it helps so much. I found that when I just moved money between two accounts at the same bank, it was very easy for me to take money out of savings whenever I wanted and it was almost impossible to save money. Having accounts in different places adds a few extra steps to the money moving process making it more difficult and less worth while to go to all that trouble for a few dollars here and there. This is my #1 tip out of all of these.

4. The dreaded cash back and survey apps.

I’m not even going to lie, these are my least favorite tips to read. The idea of downloading things onto my devices to make a few dollars a month does not appeal to me but there are a few I actually use that actually help. No, you’re not going to make a fortune off of surveys and cash back apps. It doesn’t work that way. But I’ve used an app called Ibotta for about two years and have gotten almost $100 back over time just for buying things I normally buy. It is worth a few extra seconds after my shopping trip to scan my receipt and items and build up a significant amount of cash back. I don’t do a lot of paid surveys because I find them to be annoying and mostly scam as sometimes they’ll have you answer a ton of questions only to tell you that you don’t qualify but sometimes I will use while I watch tv and earning $10 here and there is pretty nice.

Incase you wanted to give either of these a try, we might as well help each other out. Use my code wogywyh when signing up for Ibotta and we will both earn faster. *not sponsored. Just thought I’d give it a shot.

5. Just do the freaking expensive thing you wanted to do.

Um… what? How in the world does that save money? Here’s the thing: it might or it might now. But if you don’t do that one thing you were the most excited about, your trip will not be fulfilling and as a result, you’ll probably spend a lot more money trying to overcompensate for your experience. So just do it. It’s not worth it if you don’t have the time of your life.


I hope you find these tips helpful. I personally use them all and I wanted to create my own list of no bullshit travel “life hacks”.