about thirsty

Alicia Butler

I started the website that would become Thirsty in January 2020 as a self-care blog to help me work through a period of intense depression and anxiety.

On New Year’s Eve, I boarded a plane to Buenos Aires, planning to spend two months in Argentina’s capital city before traveling to Mendoza at the beginning of March and finishing my trip with one week on Easter Island.

You can probably guess that I never made it to Easter Island that year. Instead, I booked an emergency flight back to the States, barely making it out of South America as countries began closing their borders to air travel. 

But unlike so many others, it wasn’t the beginning of lockdown that caused my depression and anxiety. In fact, if anything, COVID-19 actually eased my fears. 

It was the months preceding the pandemic lockdown when I suffered the worst symptoms. 

Oddly, those symptoms began lifting as so many others were dealing with massive loss and financial insecurity.

Over the years, Thirsty has transformed from a self-care blog to a website about travel, food, and self-care parody

Though a lot of what helped me through my depression and anxiety was helpful to me, what the world needs now is not another self-help website written by a white woman with a certain amount of privilege. 

Getting through the height of the pandemic was more attributed to my privilege — specifically staying with family, affordable healthcare, and a remote job — than all the supplements, guided meditation, mantras, and routines combined.

At the end of the day, we’re all just trying to navigate a system that promotes productivity in lieu of actual personal care.

What works for one person generally will only work for others in that same socioeconomic status. I’m sorry, but there’s simply no way to manifest your way out of systemic oppression. 

Anyone who tells you differently is trying to sell you a dream lie (and probably an overpriced vag crystal). 

One of the things that helped me through my depression was food. Specifically making comfort foods that reminded me of home. But when you’re depressed and anxious and live alone, it’s not always easy to find the time or the energy to spatcock a chicken or shuck some oysters. 

Which is why the recipes on Thirsty are meant to feed one to two people, are easy to prep, and don’t cost too much.

Since that South America trip in 2020, I’ve come to the realization that a lot of my depression was caused by the isolation of traveling alone on a continent where I felt unable to create a sense of community.

So many people are now traveling full time (and doing it solo), so Thirsty is also a resource for those travelers who might need a sense of community. And a reminder that living abroad and traveling full time might sound like a dream, but in reality — it’s hard. 

Your problems might be different than they would at home, but you still have sh*t to deal with.

With rising U.S. housing and food prices, traveling abroad has also become a necessity for some. I honestly do this in part because I simply cannot afford to live in my home country full time right now. 

And because I (and so many others) feel fed up with being gaslighted into believing that the way out of depression and anxiety is through productivity, coping mechanisms, and buying more stuff.

Ultimately, this site is for anyone who is thirsty for a life that is more than what our system and many self-care experts, including those with actual licenses in clinical therapy can provide. (If you’ve never felt gaslighted by a therapist and you don’t know the feeling of that special hell that comes with being made to feel crazy by a professional, consider yourself… lucky?*)

If you’re not traveling full time (or at all), consider this site your travel thirst trap.

Speaking of buying stuff, since we’re all navigating in this pyramid scheme of Late Stage Capitalism, I offer product recommendations on my site to support my work. It’s my hope that someday soon I’ll have my own product to sell to support my work, offered at a sliding scale rate. When this time comes, you can rest assured I’m not going to sell services that offer coaching or advice I have no business giving. 

But until that happens, you can read about my affiliate policy here.

I’m also never going to give you health or nutritional advice in my food articles and my self-care posts should be viewed as humor/parody. From time to time, I write product list posts My travel advice speaks from my own experience as an able-bodied, white, cis, hetero woman.

I hope Thirsty brings a little levity to your life and a reminder that you’re not alone in feeling that we should all have more community and resources, instead of just more coping mechanisms and more stuff and more validation.

And if it makes you laugh out loud, please let me know. Because I still need validation.

*By no means am I trying to demonize all mental health providers here. Nor am I the only person who’s had a bad experience in therapy. Mental health services are an important part of healthcare and should be more accessible.