I enjoy reading the work of other writers, but it’s true that beyond what they write, I don’t know much about the person behind the words. I don’t know what makes them tick, what compels them to write.
That’s why it was nice for me to discover Nik’s article and learn more about someone whose writing I enjoy to read. Likewise with a similar post by Maarten van Doorn. I read these guys posts here on Medium all the time, but did I truly know much about them on a personal level?
The answer is no.
This is one of the downsides of writing online, and writing in general. While we can bear our soul to the world through our words, we may not reveal all of it. There are nuances that remain hidden in the shadows.
Hopefully, this post will give you a peek behind the scenes and an insight into what makes me, me.
1. I Run A Travel Blog
I may have alluded to this in other posts, but as well as writing here, I also run my own travel blog.
I started it way back in 2015, after two and a half years travelling and living in Australia, New Zealand, the Philippines and Thailand.
I’m not sure why I started it. Maybe, I saw other blogs and thought I could do a better job. Maybe I needed a creative outlet.
Whatever the reason, I’m glad I decided to start a blog! It was a life-changing decision for myself.
Although it has taken a while, the blog has grown and developed to the point where I am earning a healthy income from it.
This has allowed me to realise my dream of working for myself, and not having to endure jobs that I detest and fill me with no satisfaction.
Travelling is one of my passions, and to be able to earn a living from something I love doing is the sweetest thing of all.
2. I’m A Pescatarian
Back in May I decided to switch up my diet and eliminate red and white meat.
I had been reading a lot about the practices of the cattle and poultry industries, and I didn’t like what I was reading.
I was also aware of the impact eating meat has on the environment, and this made me consider my relationship with meat.
While I wasn't sure whether I could become a fully fledged vegetarian, I knew adhering to a pescatarian diet wouldn’t be too difficult.
So far, it’s been an interesting journey, and I’ve learnt that no matter how badly you think you need something you can survive without it.
I’m a firm believer experimentation should be a central tenet of all of our lives. For me, this is an experiment in many ways. To see if I can cope without meat, to see if I feel better without meat, and to experiment with different recipes.
Will I remain a pescatarian?
It’s hard to say. I would say I’m more committed to experimentation than I am to one, or any dogma, so I may return to eating meat at some point.
But for now, I’m happy to continue with this diet.
3. I’m A Huge Sports Fan
I can’t express how much of a big role sports play in my life.
Whether it is football, rugby, cycling, Formula 1, UFC, tennis or golf, I can’t get enough of sports.
That extends to watching and playing those sports. I really don’t know what I would do if sport wasn’t a thing.
I think I would go insane!
I am a huge Liverpool F.C. fan, and when I can, I attend most of their matches at home.
I don’t know what it is, but I get a huge buzz from being at a live sports event. There is something about it that makes me feel alive and invigorates me.
I know a lot of people feel the same way about music concerts and festivals, but I have never been able to relate to this.
I never got the same feeling, and I was always waiting for the show to end, so I could go home.
With sports it’s different. Maybe, it’s the spectacle and the drama.
But, whatever it is, I like it!
4. I Like To Be Different
I’ve felt this way all throughout my life, and I can’t kind pinpoint why.
For whatever reason, I have always liked to things my way. To strike out on my own and deviate from the norm.
I have a slight rebellious streak in me, and maybe it manifests itself in this way.
I my not be as blasé as I used to be, I’m more subtle in how I’m different now.
One of those is my choice of socks. Let’s just say they are vibrant. I’ve never enjoyed wearing socks, and most of them are boring.
I thought to myself one day, why not wear a colourful pair? Ever since, I have always worn fancy and colourful socks.
Life is short, what’s the point in doing what everyone else does?
It’s good to be different every now and then!
5. I’m A Terrible Procrastinator
It’s true, I am awful at putting off things until I absolutely need to do them.
This article is a fine example. I wanted to write this a few weeks ago, but one thing or another got in the way, mostly myself, and now here I am writing it about 3 weeks after I intended to.
Whenever I mention this to people I know, they act surprised.
I don’t believe that, you’re one of the hardest working people I know!
One of my friends told me this last year when I was telling him about my plans for my blog. He seemed dumbfounded by the notion that I procrastinated.
But it’s true. I tend to anything and everything to avoid doing work. It’s not a good trait. Although I have become better at managing it recently, it’s still something that is there, lurking inside of me.
6. I Overthink Things Way Too Much
This is a problem I have had my entire life. I remember one innocuous incident that stands out when I was about 8 or 9.
I read in a book that once all the hydrogen is used up, the universe will die.
I remember being mortified by this revelation.
I couldn’t stop thinking through the implications of what this meant. Remember, I was 8 or 9 at this point! This was not something I should have been contemplating at that age, but contemplating it I was.
This trait has stayed with me as I have got older, and I still find myself overthinking things to the nth degree.
Overthinking helps when it comes to writing, but when it comes to being present in everyday life, it can be an issue.
The older I get, the better I am at controlling my thoughts, but I don’t think there will be ever be a time where my mind isn’t weighing up the potential consequences of a series of innocuous situations.
7. I Struggle With Anxiety
This has been a recent phenomenon for myself, but despite my troubles, it’s been an eye-opening process.
My struggles with anxiety stemmed back to when I lived in Barcelona. I wasn’t happy while I was there, and became way too negative about the place.
Instead of letting this go and accepting it, I bottled up the emotion. Eventually, it couldn’t be contained anymore and I had a massive panic attack.
This was the start of my issues and it took me a good 6 months to get myself under control, and into a positive headspace.
While I’m nowhere near as bad as I was, I can find myself lapsing back into that state sometimes.
My anxiety is related to my health, and I still find myself worrying about the slightest cough or pain at times.
It’s funny, because before this happened, I didn’t pay much attention to mental health issues. I downplayed the issue, and thought those suffering various issues needed to get a grip.
After going through it myself, I realise just how idiotic that view is. Mental health is a serious issue, and in a way, I’m glad I had those panic attacks.
It gave me a new perspective on a number of issues, and helped me to grow as a person.
For that, I will be thankful.
8. Everyday Life Scares Me
I first had this notion in my head when I started university way back in 2008.
It was then that I realised I would have to enter the ‘real world’ and get a job once formal education was finished.
There was only one problem:
I didn’t want to!
I remember looking at the various jobs I could apply for once I graduated and being underwhelmed by almost all of them. There was nothing that leaped out at me.
The thought of spending 40 years of my life in an office doing mundane tasks that do not excite or me, or are of little relevance terrified me.
It still does! Even more after working in an office for nearly a year!
We are here on this beautiful planet we call Earth for a very short time, and as far as we know, it’s a one-time offer.
Why would you want to waste the best years of your life doing what everyone else does, and doing something that doesn’t excite you?
It’s a question I have asked myself multiple times, and the answer has always been the same!
It’s not for me!
The thought of living a life such as that truly terrifies me.
9. I’m Blessed
I was born in England. While it may be treading a difficult path at the moment, there is no doubt it is one of the best places to grow up in the world.
I was born into a loving family. My Dad is a builder, my Mum stayed at home and looked after me and my younger brother.
Life has certainly not been hard. Comfortable is the word I would use.
I’ve had my problems, like all of us do, but they pale into insignificance compared with the issues people in other countries have to deal with.
After travelling to the Philippines and witnessing abject poverty first-hand, I was aware of this more than ever.
We have no choice about where we are born, it just happens. To be born into a wealthy and prosperous country is a blessing.
While I may not be overly fond of my country at times, I wake up thankful every day that I was born in England.
10. I Need To Write
Writing is a release for me. As I have mentioned before, I have numerous thoughts swirling around my brain, that it’s good to get some of them out and expand upon them.
I’ve always enjoyed writing, I remember leaving university, a process I wasn’t enamoured with, and feeling sad at the thought of not being able to write essays anymore.
This was before I realised I could write online when, and as much, as I wanted. How stupid!
I need some form of creative outlet, and writing provides me with that outlet. I honestly can’t imagine life without some form of an outlet. I don’t know how people do it!
Writing provides me with clarity in life, and is a way to simultaneously express myself, and free myself from thoughts that could end up suffocating my mind.
I don’t what I would do without it!