It all started on the morning of 28th December 2013 at my parents’ house. Flicking on the kettle to boil, I then pulled out a tea bag and dropped it in my mug and simply waited for the kettle to stop its bubbling sound as I stared out of the rain-splattered kitchen window into the gloomy sky, wind whipped trees punctuating the skyline. Knowing that 2013 was about to end in a few days, I simply uttered aloud, ‘it’s been a funny old year…’
Then I started crying.
In truth, I hadn’t been happy for a long while.
In that moment of raw emotion, frustrations came to the forefront. I was angry. I was resigned. I was horrendously upset. I was worried. I was stressed. And most of all, I was lonely.
Dismayed that I became this way, I simply pulled myself together, walled up my emotions and carried on taking away my cup of tea to sit down at my desk to work on a project.
I found myself unable to concentrate as my thoughts wandered off into the midst of seething resentment, taunted by the recent run of bad luck I endured, my demons slowly mocking me trying to build me into a pit of wallowing self-pity. I didn’t do anything to confront these laughing demons, I just avoided them whether by watching tv, researching for my projects, reading books, playing quiz games or anything at all.
The last two months, I had a sudden case of writer’s block that my work was really affected by the maelstrom that swirled in my mind. I denied I wasn’t happy.
Getting fed up with these daily conflict of emotions, I needed to confront my demons. But how? I didn’t feel I could share them to anybody. My friends expect me to be the goofy and cheeky lad. They don’t want to hear a moaning and negative outlook from me, which I felt they did to the few I did open up to. My dad wouldn’t understand, my sensitive mother would just be upset that I felt this way which would make me feel ashamed of myself to put her into that position. The rest of my family…well…I hardly see them except a cousin I go for drinks with, and again, I don’t really know them enough on an emotional level to share with them. This is also highlighted by the fact we’ve had some bad news within the family and I don’t want to add to that.
So battling with my depressive emotions with myself became tougher and tougher until that day when I burst into tears.
Later on that day, slumped in front of my laptop to try to work some even more, I picked up a pen to twiddle with it, I stared at this simple biro and I instinctively knew that before I started anything else, I needed to confess my feelings onto paper. They say the word is mightier than the sword and perhaps these words will slay the dragon just about ready to erupt from within myself. I simply needed to share with you, whether a friend, family member, reader or stranger just one time why I feel what I feel. I don’t want some long drawn out process to dissect my feelings on a couch over many years, I just want to share with you like in form of a primal scream and immediately I should feel better. It was quite apt, I thought to myself then when I opened up a new page to write for this blog. RexyEdventures simply started so I could share at once with all of you what I was doing rather than having to individually explain to everybody what I was up to. It was the first piece of the puzzle that clicked in my mind when I thought that and I knew I was doing the right thing.
So readers, you know I did? Guess this, I wrote a 10,000 word document detailing everything I wanted to say. It was brutal, soul-searching and all my feelings were utmost laid bare on the harsh glare of the computer screen. It was the most personal thing I’ve ever done. So how did I feel afterwards? I felt spent, stripped back and raw from it all. But then a new thought entered into my head as I read through it all again…
‘Why don’t I turn the negative into the positive?’
It would a fantastic way to destroy those demons and turn them into a fresh new start ready as 2014 turned around. They could be my new year resolutions!
So guys, I’m about to simplify these feelings into issues and then attach the most proper solution I would do to solve that issue. I haven’t included my personal issues within my family as it’s not appropriate to drag them into this. The other thing why I want to do this is to share with you how I was feeling throughout 2013. So I’ve attached some excerpts from that humongous document to really how I felt over the year. So here goes guys…
I simply don’t know how by December I got it so wrong compared to the first days of 2013. The world was truly my oyster and I felt like I achieved my dreams and about to achieve some more. Heck, I even had a bloody fantastic 2012 when I travelled around the world for seven months. My travel journalism was just burgeoning urged on by the success of my website. I was meeting all sorts of new people who shared a love of travel, money was plentiful, I had just booked a three-week travel trip in South America ending at the Rio Carnival, my hearing was constantly improving thanks to my Cochlear Implant and I couldn’t have loved my life even more. Looking back, I still had demons but they were so squashed within me that they were utterly unnoticeable. And that’s how I liked it.
Twelve months later, they erupted…
ISSUE: RexyEdventures.com is declining with minimal reader interaction and hardly any contacts from travel boards, companies and tours. I was feeling like a failure and my efforts had come to nothing.
‘I’ll be honest. I view my website as my child. I’m fiercely protective of it. But I fear it’s become a surly teenager ready to lash out and be a disappointment to me. The time and effort I’ve poured tears, sweat and my bare soul into creating this website ready to be unleashed on the big bad world of the travelosphere seems to have reaped very little reward.’
February – ‘The Canadian Tourism Board needed me to get in contact with them immediately after the event to discuss setting up a press trip (my first one!). Excited and full of hope for the year ahead, that was suddenly stopped in their tracks upon the news I received when I got home…’
March – ‘The Canada plans had to be scrapped. There was absolutely no way I could go away leaving my parents on their own seeing as Mum was still iffy. Dad needed looking after and I needed to stay home…’
August – ‘…a new interactive look should be made…without requesting any help on this. This took a long month when my website was put into maintenance mode, a setting I detested as no-one would be able to view the content and I would be losing valuable advertising contacts who may stumble across RexyEdventures. It was an absolute feat for me and I was jubilant when I did the Rexy Relaunch of the site. But since then, it hasn’t reaped me the rewards.’
September – ‘I very rarely seem to get any interaction at all. Comments on my website is pretty thin on the ground and my attempts to interact on the social media pages seems to gain no response. I never seem to receive invites. I grew jealous and wondered what was wrong with my website. Am I good enough? I don’t know.’
October – ‘…the irritation of not having moved from a Google page ranking from 2 to 3 since 2012 grew and grew. Many bloggers insist that this isn’t measured of how good your website is…well trying telling that to travel companies, advertisers and even tourism boards who have flat-out said ‘I’m sorry, we cannot work with you because your page ranking is too low for us to consider you.’ So then, I would see many other travel bloggers achieve success after success, press trip after press trip, partnership after partnership and many more because I can see they have a higher ranking than I did. I know my website is better than this page rank. I just do. ‘
November – ‘I remained on standby. Unable to motivate myself to do a written post.’
December – ‘This website is key to my success in life, I believed…now…I’m not so sure…I grew quiet on the blogging front. I just couldn’t be bothered. It became a chore to me. My passion for travel blogging was extinguished.’
- I’m going to ask for help from my fellow travel bloggers.
- I need to swallow my pride and listen to any constructive criticism and find myself on the forefront of new ideas and technology.
- Also, I will proactively communicate with travel boards and companies rather than having to wait for them to say they are looking for people.
- I will ask my readers personally to find out how could I make my interaction with them better.
- Finally, I will find a niche for my travel website. Budget Travel is now far too generic.
ISSUE: After more than 300 job application rejections throughout 2013, I felt like a failure and ashamed to be 28 and still relying on my parents for a roof over my head.
January – ‘I was full of hope for the future, bags of enthusiasm ready to get started. I was fresh, eager and ready to show the bosses what I could do.’
February – ‘I was still concerned that I hadn’t heard anything back from my job applications.’
March – ‘I began to feel a little irate that nothing has come out from my huge abundance of enthusiasm and determination to get into the travel industry. The whole job hunting was becoming a huge mission for me after two months of applying and soon enough rejections came through en masse. That was a pretty sobering experience.”
April – ‘I began to start applying for Environmental Sciences jobs (which I’m qualified in from University) just to be on the safe side and see what may just be out there.’
May – ‘I was over-experienced, under-experienced, under-qualified, over-qualified etc. Everything was conflicting. I didn’t know what I needed to do to improve my CV.’
June – ‘Taking on lots of freelance travel writing projects, social media work, SEO work and even PR work, most of which were unpaid, I really went through them with as much gusto and enthusiasm I had knowing that all this will at least give me several job interviews.’
July – ‘The Environmental Science experience took a back seat as the environmental sector showed no signs of improving and even if I were to boost my experience on courses or placements, I would have to pay for them with no money I’ve got. Nada….The job rejections still kept on coming and I was pretty much panicking.’
September – ‘With every passing job rejection purely without any chance of an interview, my self-esteem was chipped away. My attempts to get a jobs in London were rebuffed again. Even environmental science jobs.’
November – ‘I returned home destroyed and exhausted to the detriment of my health. I was utterly spent from the year and I needed a re-charge. My motivation was down, my self-esteem minuscule and the spark had gone out of me. No more. I wanted a break from trying to forge a career. I would sleep. I couldn’t even care enough to care that I failed.’
December – ‘I faced a prospect of another year of uncertain future when I wouldn’t know what I’ll be doing for the next week. It was demoralising. I didn’t have a regular source of income that I could do things I wanted to do… Now, I have a good freelance job with a European Hotel Company that will give me the money I needed to stay afloat but that ends in end of January 2014…where next is what I worry…’
- I will proactively contact all the companies who I think will be great to work with and give them the hard sell. No more job applying and waiting around to see if I have been successful.
ISSUE: My Bank Balance is depleted and I am at the mercy of advertising from my website to live off my means. I felt a failure.
January – Monetizing my website was definitely my best idea in 2012 as I gained a lot of money through it and even funded my South American Travels in January and February 2013.
June – ‘April to June, I hardly got anything. My bank balance whizzed down and this was before I moved to London, an expensive place.’
November – ‘November was probably the worst month for money. I wanted my money of expenses reclaim from a travel company I was working for that hadn’t been paid to me for weeks and I had outstanding rent to pay for. I literally didn’t have anything else to pay the rent with and I would be pleading for the money to be paid immediately.’
December – ‘Thankfully, I still had a trickle of money coming from the website that enabled me to keep my head just afloat without having to turn to my parents for money.’
- Worst come to worst, I would ask my parents for a loan rather than receiving a payout. Meanwhile, I’m going to find a temporary job while I look for another one. Also, I have plenty of stuff that I can sell. Car boot anyone?
ISSUE: Freelance work really didn’t yield any results for me in 2013 after all that effort and work. I felt used and a failure.
January – ‘I relished these pressures tremendously meeting deadline after deadline.’
April – I decided to go freelance full-time. It was time to show off my travel writing credentials. I shouldn’t be worried about that…should I?’
June – ‘…freelance work to see if there was anything going. Nada.
September – ‘I would go to bed exhausted late at night after working all day followed by either a networking event that would take all night or jumping on the commute to my friend’s house (who very kindly put me up) that would take an hour and a half from the City of London to be then followed by working on my website or other projects. It was indeed a lot of hard work but I hoped I would get the benefits from it.’
December – ‘I just gave up. It was soul destroying.’
- Seeing as I’ve given myself a break from it, I will ask for help from Frankie Bird, (As The Bird Flies) the one who inspired me to go into freelancing. Hopefully, she can give me a few pointers 🙂
ISSUE: I felt extremely lonely without any support
‘Mum had her sisters to confide into, Dad had his friends down at the pub but I didn’t really have anyone. I would try to confide to my friends scattered across the UK but talking about it online didn’t have the right effect. So I would kept it all hidden within myself while maintaining a happy deposition.’
‘So why didn’t I tell them what I was feeling inside? Well, Mum is a sensitive soul and she would feel really bad if I felt upset that would make me feel ashamed to put her in that position. Dad, well, he would just try to motivate me about the successes of other people that would make me feel even more ashamed that I haven’t met his expectations.’
‘I no longer had close friends left in Hull so I couldn’t ask anyone to call round to have that much-needed company. All I had were my online social networks and I became even more lonely to see how everyone else was getting on with their lives.’
‘I’ve met a range of fantastic people throughout the whole year and it was great to meet them in person. But the retention of that friendship falls off. I’d try to stay in contact but the other would just wouldn’t put in the effort, which would pain me.’
‘By the middle of the year, I would stop trying. I was fed up of making the same small talk at the beginning when you meet people and I would have that thought in my mind that, ‘what’s the point, you aren’t gonna be friends with me.’
‘I’m not close friends with anyone from school, college, university or places of work.’
‘I did meet a great group of travel bloggers called the TravelLads that I used to hang around with while I was in London. Each and every one of them are brilliant. But I would always have the sense I felt a little outside of the group.’
‘I seriously began to get worried about my future. I began to feel like a failure, nay a fraud. My friends were ahead of me on the fast lane on the way to achieving their dreams and I was embarrassed to tell them that once again, my life had stalled. I simply put on a happy face simply marvelling that I was living my dream.’
‘Deafness become the source of my primary conversation. I’m happy to raise awareness of deafness but it’s not all I can talk about as some people may think. After saying hello to a new person, they immediately ask questions about my deafness, which I’m happy to talk about, but as that subject finishes, they don’t talk to me further and I don’t see them for dust again. It’s depressing.’
‘Some travel blogger friends who I hadn’t seen for months commentated how quiet, calm and deflated I looked.’
‘Even though I wanted to try pushing myself again, I would have the dancing devil on my shoulder whispering into my ear, ‘You’ve tried plenty of times before, what’s to say this one will be any different?’ He was right. By the close of the month, I shut down the barriers and bricked up the walls.’
‘Of all the things I hoped to achieve at the beginning of the year, they were flopping around me like fish at my feet trying for that last gasp of air and I was too ashamed to admit it.’
- In truth, it takes two to lose contact. I am going to break down the walls and celebrate to each person why they’ve become a valued friend to me and hopefully we can re-establish our friendship. If I need to talk to someone, I will confide in someone rather than keeping it to myself.
On that morning of 28th December 2013, that burst of raw and pure emotion actually did me a huge favour. Months and months of keeping everything to myself soon unravelled out of me and that brick wall came flying down as I accepted the status of my life. Some more bouts of tears later, I came to look at myself properly for the first time in the mirror for months and saw how I became.
‘This isn’t you to keep it all wrapped up,’ I said to myself, ‘You need to share, accept and move on.’ I was pretty harsh on myself I have to say but I needed telling. ‘People don’t care, they have their own lives to worry about. It’s has been a tough year. You’re tried your best. Yes it failed but at least you tried. Don’t worry about it and start afresh.’
Yes, a blank slate was all I needed. I didn’t want to spend 2014 worrying about what I hadn’t got but rather enjoy what I do have got. Life is short, and there’s absolutely no way you should worry about everything in your life.’ So I decided to start afresh, but I needed to purge the demons in my mind in one swift swoop. So armed with my keyboard, I began to write down everything I wanted to say and confide. A primal scream. And you know what? It worked. Now, I could close the book on 2013, take a deep breath and step into 2014 unknown, rested and excited for the new year ahead of me.
As the New Year struck Midnight signalling the rise of 2014, I clinked champagne glasses with the other people in the room and looked back to see that actually I did have really great moments in 2013. But now it was time to look to the future with no expectations, no pressure and certainly no loneliness. In fact, I was happier than I’d been for a long while but I still had a way to go. But I knew from this point on, it was time to start again with a blank slate and the only way is up. As the fireworks exploded above London on the television screen, I sat back drinking my champagne, and smiled as once again I looked back to say,
‘2013…It’s Been A Funny Old Year…’
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I love this post. It echoed with certain aspects of my life over the past year and it’s inspiring that you have been able to not only articulate what’s been bringing you down but also come up with practical solutions to work towards in 2014. I hope you achieve everything you set out to and more this year. Thank you for the motivational read.
Thank you so much Gemma! It did take quite a few days of writing and thinking over this article. You just got to step back and think of all the good things in that year…which will be my next post.
Have you made any new year resolutions yourself? X
Must have taken a lot of courage to put this down Ed. Some years are tougher than others… but I know things will get better for you. You can always tak to me. We’ll figure it out!! It’s a hard life being a freelancer and I think everyone who does it must go through similar! Big hug. xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Big hugs back to you Helen! 🙂 xxxxx Freelancing is pretty hard but the joys of it can be so worth it (once you get the rewards that is!)
Perhaps we shall find out more at Traverse in our onesies? Xxx
Hi Rexy, I read most of your posts but am dissuaded from commenting sometimes as you don’t seem to acknowledge/reply to comments.
You ask for tips to boost interaction – your new year resolution should be to reply to all comments.
Keep your head up and keep up the good work!
Thanks Richard for the feedback! I will endeavour to do that.
Did you make any new year resolutions yourself? X
New Years resolutions? Not to leave arsey comments like I did above – sorry, it was early in the morning! Also to try the fish and chips at Wetwangs next time I’m up north – what a great name!
Haha, no worries dude. You did sound you were face to face with a Wookie!
Ed- keep your positivity about you my love. I freelance as well and had a similar year of not feeling like I achieved anything. I think we live in a world where facebook and twitter dominate and make it easy for people to share how happy/successful/amazing/they are whether its in work/life/relationships. It can get you down in comparison- but if shouldn’t. We should instead think well done and concentrate on what we need to do to make ourselves happier and more complete.
This year I aim to enjoy life more with friends and family and not get so bogged down with work. After all I won’t look back on my death bed and think- wow I’m so glad I worked on that event….
Ever since I was a little kid, I always had to keep proving wrong. There was a lot of people who didn’t believe in me to achieve well in life as I was growing up. So I became a little ruthlessly determined to prove people wrong and that I can actually lead an independent life without relying on others. So in today’s world of social media, it’s easy to hide behind a face and try to impress everyone else.
Hug time, big squeeze!
Mate, I totally get that first blogging section. Utterly at the mercy of writers blog myself, and have felt more and more that its all becoming a chore rather than something I should enjoy. I gave myself a three week break over xmas, and honestly it did me the world of good. Technically with no boss, I can post as little or often as I like, but you like me probably feel pressured into posting at least once every week. It’s a silly pressure we put on ourselves when you think about it.
Also, I have seen a decline in comments on my blog, and in truth have never got that much traffic anyway, but I will always remember what an SEO working mate said, about it being more important what kind of traffic you get, not how much. I.E. 1 person visiting and staying for 5 minutes is better than 6 people visiting and then instantly clicking off.
I think the problem with blogging is that there is no boss or governing authority to grade you or tell you that you’re doing a fine job … but you are!
Maybe setting a goal for early this year will help focus you? … something like travelling to Sarajevo 😉 I know cash might be the issue, but the offer remains, would love to have you as a travel buddy and witness your attempt at learning to ski hahaha.
See you soon bud.
I think I do need people to tell me how well I’m doing! I’m like the Blue Fairy in Peter Pan who needs a lot of clapping to stay alive.
Sarajevo, it does sound amazing…
Few thoughts from myself (even though I must admit I’m not the best person to judge your character having never met you!).
Firstly, heck of a post – this sort of stuff can be really inspiring, and interesting (in a non-morbid sense) to read. I can empathise with a few things you’ve mentioned here, so let me see what I can pull together:
So, to the website, reader interaction, etc etc. Having been the administrator of a (at a time) reasonably successful website, and having watched it decline into almost nothing, I can certainly feel your pain. Especially moreso as I, and the other administrators, elected to not raise revenue from websites, and depended upon goodwill and our own pockets (try funding a website whilst at uni!).
Something I learnt from this decline in fortunes is rolling with the times. The site was focused on a product that was consistently upgraded, and got to the point of where it became almost obsolete – for two reasons. One, it as a product became outdated. Two, larger, more successful websites took over, and whilst they were not as specific on a single area, they were responsible for drawing traffic and modifying search engine results, etc. Page rank decline, I know you well!
My thoughts would be that a niche is always advisable. However, something that is timely and relevant is perhaps even more so. I can’t say what in the world of travel is the next ‘big thing’ (if there is one at all), but as you rightly state, budget travel websites are a dime a dozen. Something you could potentially look at (just a thought) is quality over quantity – journalism over blogging. If you look at what you’ve just written, it is long, indepth, and is already encouraging comments. Better writing, I feel, provokes better responses, and people come back for more. They may not be once every couple of days, but once every couple of weeks, something long and indepth could go a long way to getting people thinking!
Job applications: EURGH! The travel industry isn’t exactly the easiest area to get into, and with the advent of TripAdvisor, and other socially-integrated platforms, there’s even less people out there willing to spend money on travel advice. Hell, the way of the world in general dictates that spending money on ‘knowledge’ that could also be gleaned from the internet just doesn’t happen. Freelancing can get you so far, but these days, I’m not sure it’s a sustainable career? However, from what I read, you seem a little undecided as to exactly what you want – there’s a mishmash of Environmental Sciences and Travel in there. If you want Travel (I’m guessing you do), then that has to be the focus, and your plan already sounds like a good one, but dropping a few applications for Environmental Science jobs will just distract you.
From what I’m saying, I think the best way to sum up is as such: is travel going to become your hobby, or your lifestyle? If it’s a lifestyle, then there will always be the highs and the low, but you can be sure you’ll enjoy it most of the time. If it’s a hobby, settle your head and feet a bit, and then know that when you do travel, you will always enjoy it, but you won’t be doing it half as often.
Money: It’s not everything, but I can understand how it places pressure. This has to tie into what I’ve said above – travelling is not the best way to earn bucketloads of cash, and there will always be a few issues here if that’s your lifestyle. Not a lot more to say to that really – it’s not really a financially profitable industry unless you own TripAdvisor…
People: There’s always people out there, you just have to reach out to them – hell, even by doing so above, you’ve got the attention of (at least one) almost total stranger, and I’m sure people closer to you will read and understand and talk about it. Bottling things up is an awful idea. I can sympathise with losing touch with people, with having little to go home for. But there are always friends – all you ever need to do is ask and not bottle it up 🙂
One more personal note: Stop taking so many selfies you bloody poser 😛
(Hopefully this doesn’t come across too condescending etc, just thought I’d try and add my two cents!)
First of all, wow! Thanks for the tiem and effort into your comment!
With the website, we’ve come to a bit of an understanding. We’re back to being friends now and I’m giving it a bit of a shower to clean it out and put it in some new clothes. I’ve got a niche in mind but I’ll need to research into it.
Job hunting. I literally don’t mind if I go into Environmental Sciences and keep travel as a hobby. But creativity is my forte now and I really, really want to take advantage of that fact.
Money. Perhaps you give me money? 😛
People – Well, I’ve still got your invite to come visit you and Jaz when it gets warmer. I expect to be shown a good time 😛
And finally, no, I will not stop taking selfies. You love them.
I’m so glad I read that! Honestly we all have years like that, and 2013 was an incredibly tough one for me too. Although obviously we’ve had different struggles throughout the year, it’s refreshing to see someone fess up to not having the best, most exciting year of their life instead of just posting their top 13 travel moments! I deal with things similarly in that I tend to not share them with my closest friends because they expect me to be happy/goofy/exciting all the time, so I feel uncomfortable sharing my thoughts when I’m down.
This was seriously inspiring and I’m glad you decided to make a positive spin at the end of all of your struggles. And although we’re only acquaintances, I’m always here if you need someone to chat with! 🙂
When all the ‘Best of 2013’ posts started coming through, I thought to myself that I may be the only blogger who didn’t want to do that. It is refreshing (like you say) to see other bloggers struggling as well and we should all come together to get us each other through it. There will be bad years and good years. However, I knew 2013 would have a tall order to beat 2012’s as I travelled for 8 months round the world!
Thank you Christina, I’m looking forward to talk to you! x
Bro, what a fantastic written article – think you can really inspire others out there. I know you are not the only one out there, I am one of them too. But this is a quote to live you by…
“Don’t let failure ruins your chance of success!”
This could be your breaking point.
My room is always open for you to come and stay in Belfast for weekend or during the week, I’m still waiting for you my friend to pay me a visit. 🙂 Let’s go for a drive around Ireland coasts!
Thanks dude! Your words means a lot!
I’ll be contacting you soon about a trip to Northern Ireland 🙂 x
Here’s to an excellent 2014, Ed!! A highlight of 2013 for me was meeting you!
Ahahaha! Same here. You were pretty naughty 😛
I recognize myself in this. I actually had my breakdown in august 2013, when I came back from a great trip to a reality I dreaded. Broke, no freelance work waiting for me, I felt like a failure. Like nobody wanted me. I couldn’t pretend to be fine anymore. I didn’t want to go back to the same life as before. It wasn’t until I opened up about it, and found myself a passion (travel blogging :-)) that I was able to get my act together again. To get happy again, slowly but surely. We’ve both had a shitty year, but when you realize it, and are able to admit it to yourself, you know the worst is over. Now you’re on your way up again 🙂
You’re always welcome to e-mail if you need to talk to someone 🙂
Thank you for your empathy. You just need to hit rock bottom before you realise the only way is up! 🙂
What are you doing now since August?
Amazing reading Ed, really beautifully put. Just don’t forget you have friends who love you all over the UK, nay the world, and that you’re a real inspiration to many. Every time over the years I’ve been concerned about what might happen to Fred in the future, I think of you, and all you’ve achieved, and I worry no more. Sending you a huge hug, and wishing you great things in 2014.
Glad to be the source of inspiration but seriously, Freddie is an inspiration in his own right!
Ed, I think the act of realisation for you was a very important point for you. Whatever caused you to write that stuff down and see it all for what it is was the best invisible prod you could get. Not because those things will change, but realising what they are being the first step. I too had a similar experience when I was out travelling, and looking back on that blog post even now, for me personally, is so valuable. Put in a reminder to look back at this in 2 months and you’ll see what I mean.
As for what next, it’s true, choosing a balance can be a better thing. i.e. to work in Env and make travel your outlet, your favourite hobbie, your passion. I’m not trying to say that you can never make it your job, but sometimes a long term strategy can stop you falling out of love with it. Lets say for example that you work perm for a couple of years, becoming an expert in the Env field, taking 25 days a year and your evenings to keep your travel passion going. Then, maybe if that’s not enough, get some Env contract roles that give you 6 months work, 6 months out etc. Those are never handed out from the start, but if you prove your ability, make contacts and carefully nurture the balance, it could well be there. Also, don’t forget that if you ever move jobs (perm ones), you can typically agree start dates later and have some “monthly” stints. Lastly, there’s no harm in work hard, play hard. I myself am massively grateful for my time away and the experiences I had in my year off work – deep down though, I’m very thankful of the “head down” i did before then because it did give me enough money to make the most of that year. So basically, head down and working for a bit might ease the money pressures and put places you never imagined on the travel map – not just places that get offered to you.
I’ve already set a reminder in two months. Thanks for the tip.
Thanks so much for the advice. I’m seriously thinking and wonder if the only way to keep my travel passion alive is by keeping it as a hobby and a part-time second job. I’m thinking of doing away the press trips and instead focus on the things I want to do. Thanks for giving me some inspiring reading. Love you TravelLad!
Ed, I had no idea what a year you’ve had. Some years are better than others but you had a bit of a kicking in 2013 for sure!
Really refreshing to see someone baring it all so thoroughly – you’re already endearing yourself to your audience by being (shock, horror)… human! We all hurt and you should never feel ashamed to share. I know we don’t know each other well but my friends say my shoulder is super comfy to cry on!
Wishing you all the best for 2014 mate. Hope to see you soon xx
Yes, underneath all this sex god exterior, I am human sometimes! I guess I got to connect to that more rather than build up my CV to slam in the face of everyone to see how amazing I am. (I am, really).
Thanks for the shoulder. I’ll test it out soon enough!
You wrote this post really well Ed! I meant it, a really good, well written job. Sorry if I’ve been a bit hard to get hold of with my crazy hours and stupid time zones recently, but so glad I got to meet you this year and I hope things are on the up for you. Next time I’m over near Humberside we’ll have to catch up! I know how it feels to go “home” and have all your friends have moved on with their lives and all my intense travel these year has been lonely a lot of the time too, so I know a little of how you feel. Hit me up if you need to talk – I’m normally glued to my iPad or Blackberry so I can’t escape easily!
Thanks Josh for the compliment. You’re all over the place it seems but you are one of the inspiring bloggers out there and you should keep doing what you do so well (even if it’s taking selfies all the time!). Let me know when you’re back in Humberside soon and we’ll talk more 🙂 x
Despite the sadness that this post was written in and all the horrible, annoying, miserable, frustrating things you discuss I just want to say that I think it is a really well written blog. I agree and have felt many of the points you make and appreciate that you made them in such an eloquent way … unlike this comment which is coming out a bit garbled! 😉
Anyway big love and can’t wait for fun at Traverse … you are my toughest competition winning competition! xx
Thanks for the great feedback. You were one of the first travel blogs I read and it means so much to hear back from you.
Haha, we shall compete again but let’s work together to beat off the other competition first and then we shall duel! x
I love that although you have struggled, it has helped you be honest with yourself which has, in turn, helped you make some big decisions! And I love that you’re sharing that honesty through your blog hun – not enough people share their feelings through their writing and I think their sites suffer for it so well done!
2013 was a pretty crappy year for me too despite what I had hoped so let’s hope that 2014 is a fantastic one for both of us! 🙂
I’m a pretty private person when it comes to deep feelings but maybe 2014 shall see me become more in touch with my emotions. But I do agree that writing can be a sort of therapy.
I hope 2014 will be a fantastic year for you! You’re living the dream in Australia! xxx
(btw, did you get an invite to the Canadian Tourism Commission yesterday?)
What a talent for writing you have! I never knew! Sorry to hear about the dark parts of 2013 for you but I think you have had a brilliantly positive response. You honestly are an inspiration in all that you have done- don’t forget that, hence why when I am asked to talk about somebody who has inspired me and is a fantastic role model to others, i talk about you. Xxx
Thank you Ruth! It really means a lot! Ah, so that’s why I feel my ears are burning sometimes, and it’s not to do with a hot hearing aid battery!
Waahhh! You and I had such a similar 2013 it sounds like. I was deeply depressed and fed up with my life in general before TBEX Dublin. And just when I thought things were getting better after I got back, I got smacked down again — hard — two more times. I’ve kept a lot of it private, because I can’t turn to friends and blogging as it will just make the issues I’m dealing with worse. All that mounts and mounts until yeah, you break. But it sounds like your break was good and I really hope this year is better for you.
I’m still in a similar boat as you in many ways still, but I have started off this year on fire. Things are looking way up and I am realizing that I am the only thing still standing in my way. I’m not going to let the people who are trying to destroy me win this time. I’m finding publications want to work with me, I just have to get them to notice me. And that is what I will be working on for 2014 — not to mention going back to basics and focusing on the things that excite me and what I’m passionate about. No need to follow the herd — I want to focus on what I can offer that no one else is.
Best wishes to you — you know you made a huge impression on me and I’m glad to see you in better spirits. You deserve nothing but successes and I hope 2014 brings it. xo
Thank you so much Erin. I know you privately talked to me about the stresses of your year and I really sincerely hope that you have a fantastic 2014. Let’s help each other along and despite starting our 2013 on fire and not the same in 2014, let’s make it different and end this year on fire! xx
I agree…would be nice to have someone to help keep my spirits up this year! We could be good for each other! 🙂 As bad as 2013 ended, I definitely want to make sure 2014 ends on a much happier note!
I haven’t had as many issues last year, but I’m doing a lot to improve my blogging this year, as well as my personal life (freelancing career’s fine). Here’s hoping 2014 will be better for us all!
Preaching to the Masses!
Ed, this is such a great post and totally engaged me all the way through. I am right there with you on a lot of it, especially the blog thing being my absolute baby. It’s very frustrating when you’ve worked so hard on something for such a long time and the results are so slow, but I think that as long as you can find a way to still enjoy it then it’s worth all the hard work…because really do you write for you because you love it, or do you write to make money? Maybe a little bit of both
It’s a little bit of both. But because I haven’t been able to get a job, I’ve been treating my website as my primary means of income, which loses the joy out of me. Hopefully, once I get a job then I’ll be able to passionately write again 🙂
I can relate to this post so much, I went through very similar things through the last part of 2013 and even the first half of January. I’ve had the worst writers block in the past year in the last couple of months.
It is really important though to reach out I think. It’s very easy to feel secluded and like you have to do everything alone especially when it comes to blogging and freelancing but in reality there are so many awesome people out there who just want to see you succeed.
I for one have a feeling that 2014 is going to be a really great year, I can feel it and I know its going to be a great one for you too. Look forward to all the great things coming from you 🙂