February 2018

Latest News: 19th February 2018 (40th Birthday Edition)

6 minute read

 

Here’s a story for you. I just turned 40. The end.

My main reason for starting this post with such a short and abrupt story is that I thought it might make the big birthday feel a little less significant.

But it didn’t work.

The truth is, turning 40 has felt like quite a big deal for me; yet not in any kind of bad way. I don’t feel down about it, I don’t feel old in myself, and I certainly don’t sense any kind of mid-life crisis lurking just around the corner.

But there is no doubt about it; entering a brand new decade does encourage a certain amount of reflection.

With this in mind, I am currently writing an article which is exactly that; a reflection on the last decade and the lessons learned. So keep an eye out for that one coming soon.

 

And while I’m on the subject of reflection, I recently had a set of circumstances that all came together to give me the kind of clarity that I’ve not felt in years.

It was a clarity that allowed me to really see what mattered most in my life, and as such it also allowed me to see that some things no longer mattered in the way they once did.

The result of this was quite literally life-changing and I really haven’t been the same since. More importantly, it’s changed my life for the better.

On the back of this there will be another new article coming which is all about hitting rock bottom, and most significantly, the personal liberation that can follow. Sounds deep? Well I guess it is, but no doubt I’ll try to slip a couple of fart jokes in just to lighten the mood a little.

Prior to reaching this clarity I’d been subjected to a sustained period of stress in my life, and it was to such a degree that I had to eventually accept that (a) it couldn’t continue, and (b) I needed help.

Now I can’t speak for the female audience of Lossul.com, but I can certainly be the spokesperson for the male contingent and to declare that it’s really not easy for a man to admit that he needs help. We like to think we’re superhuman and that nothing can break us, but sadly, that belief is a steaming mound of horse shit.

We are all human, we all have our limits, and there is only so much that we can do.

What actually happened to create this stress isn’t relevant, but what is relevant is the thing that happened next.

In the immediacy that followed came an overwhelming support from other people, and as melodramatic as it may sound, it was like I had my very own It’s a Wonderful Life moment. You know the bit of the movie I’m talking about, where George Bailey gets visited by all those people that he’s helped in the past, and they now wish to extend their hand and to help him out when he needs it most.

While I’m in no way trying to compare myself to that legendary movie character, what I am trying to do is to draw the comparison of what can happen when you give selflessly to the world. The people that were there for me recently all reminded me of how I’d been there for them in the past too, and in many instances it was things I’d completely forgotten I’d done.

But the lesson here was simple.

Yes the world can be cruel and unfair at times, but by and large, if you give without any expectation of receiving anything in return, one day in the future those gestures will come back in your favour, somehow.

But that’s the critical thing to remember, you cannot ever give with the expectation of getting something back, because as soon as you do, it becomes conditional. Selfless acts are exactly that; selfless. They’re unconditional.

I was given a gift and I was able to see, now more than ever before, that the relationships we have are the most valuable things in the world. They’re more valuable than any item I’ve ever owned, they’re more valuable than any promotion or pay rise, and they’re more valuable than any sunset or special moment that I’ve experienced travelling.

In short; our families, our friendships, our partners, the people we surround ourselves with, all of our relationships; the love we create and the moments we share, all of this is worth more than anything else in the world, because the love and support of the people around us will conquer any hardship that we may face in our lives.

All of this coincided with my 40th birthday, and to have people there for me when I needed it most, and then to have them celebrating my birthday with me too, well, this has changed my entire perspective. From this low point came an entire shift in life, in mindset, and this is something that I will be exploring in the new article.

Please do feel free to sign up to the newsletter (if you’ve not done so already) so that you’ll be the first to know when this is being published.

 

Anyway, that’s enough deep stuff…this is only supposed to be a latest news post. Quick, change the mood Elliot, say something silly.

Well I’m trying to think of a fart joke, but I’m afraid it might stink.

Get it?

 

Anyway, turning 40 happened in real style with an epic trip to Iceland. My girlfriend had arranged this for me as a surprise, and not only did I turn 40 while I was away, but I actually spent my birthday bathing in a natural hot spring with freezing cold rain pounding down on me from above. Talk about an assault on the senses.

The trip was an absolute hit, despite the fact that very little actually went to plan. But it was one of those trips that hammered home the lesson that in order to get the best from travelling, you have to be able to adapt to whatever circumstances are thrown at you; particularly where mother nature is concerned.

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There will be more on this coming soon, and you’d better believe that there will be a full travel diary coming to you in due course. This may take some time yet but I promise to keep you updated as to how this is coming along.

I’ve began posting a series of photos from the trip on social media so please do feel free to check these out on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter.

 

Talking about travel writing and travel blogging though, are there any budding writers out there who may fancy contributing to a book?

That’s right, an actual book, with pages and words and a cover; all of that jazz.

A friend of mine in the travel blogging community is currently writing a book and is looking for a few examples to back up some of the statements he makes within the book. This could be examples of how to budget better when travelling, how to connect more authentically with a place and its people, or how to live a frugal yet fulfilling life at home while saving for your next big trip.

If your contributions appear in the book then you will be credited for it, so it has some great potential exposure for any fellow bloggers or for those who are considering getting into it. If you’d like to hear more about this, then please send me an email by following this link.

 

With regards to people, I recently published the latest ‘people’ feature with Emily of the website Luxury Backpack which you can read by clicking here.

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And there’s another huge ‘people’ feature coming very soon which will be somewhat different to anything I’ve ever published before. I’m really excited to get this next one out to you as I feel it could impact a number of lives, particularly anybody who is able to relate to the feature on a personal level.

And there just may be a prize draw coming with it too.

 

And finally, I mentioned before about an ambitious new Concept Adventure that I’m hoping to get off the ground but that it is entirely dependent on the involvement of other people. Well, I had something of a breakthrough with this last week.

I can’t say anymore just yet as this is still coming together at a very steady pace, but I’m feeling ever more hopeful that it just might happen.

 

That’s it for this time, but if you’ve got any questions you’d like to ask or if there’s anything you’d like to know, or if you’d just like to respond to anything that I’ve written in this post, please do feel free to leave your comments below. I will always reply to you.

Well it’s getting late so I’m going to put my feet up, have a wee dram of Lagavulin (courtesy of my good friends Kev and Caroline), watch another episode of Vikings, and then fall asleep and dream of Iceland.

Cheers everybody.

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