Carpe Diem

 In Introduction

Carpe Diem: Introduction

Carpe diem because when life gives you lemons, you make lemonade… Well a couple of weeks ago I got handed a very sour lemon as my dad passed away unexpectedly… I still can’t understand it or even realise it, he still had so many (travel) plans. I guess he was the instigator of my travel bug so to speak, cause I remember camping trips from the days when I was still a little boy, it always felt like going on an adventure. Or the year we went on a journey to discover the island of Borneo together, so many good memories. He used to travel to far away places for work and always returned, now he went on a one way trip and will never return…

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The day after we had climbed Mount Kinabalu together

My dad lived by the motto of “carpe diem”, he was always happy, smiling and enjoying life… Losing him made me realise that there are so many things in life that you can do without and it’s the small things in your life that bring you happiness… A hug, a gentle touch, a wink, just sitting down enjoying a view or having somebody around that will call to check on you and you know you can always rely on and talk to, thank you for being there! Besides these sentimental values, it has also opened my eyes that I need to seize every opportunity that comes along from now on and so I did during the early days of mourning my dad.

Although it’s good to let your emotions out, I kept myself occupied with all kinds of things to keep my mind of what had just happened, so when one of my favorite frequent flyer forums was going through rough times I stepped up and got involved to prevent it from disappearing as it’s in my nature to help out people. Things started to move and evolve and I even got told to focus on my family (thank you Michael, you’re a good person and will become a great friend), but I was still very determined to put my mark on all of this.

Carpe Diem: Blogging

So I’m proud to announce that as of Monday February 8th it’s been made official that I will start writing for Insideflyer.nl, the biggest Dutch frequent flyer and traveler forum in the Benelux. Besides creating blog posts I will also be managing the forum together with a group of great people who all have their own outspoken personality and motivation to help and grow this community in the future.

Just a matter of finding balance

Just a matter of finding balance

This does not mean I will stop bringing new content here on my personal blog, oh hell no! I did not spend 2 months designing this site to have it disappear after only a couple of months of being online. I will need to find a balance in life to combine both of them, but I’m sure this won’t be a problem for me as I will give it my all as I do with everything I’m passionate about. Opportunities like these just come along and you need to take advantage of them in order to achieve something in life, go for something you truly believe in.

Carpe Diem: #bloggersUTD

I sometimes had the tendency to look for an excuse not to go somewhere or join in an event, so when fellow Belgian travel blogger Bart from the Vetexbart blog posted the #bloggersUTD event on social media I jumped on it and registered myself for the event without even thinking or looking at what it was. The event which was organised by the Sound Of C communication & PR agency had created the slogan “the travel gathering” which aroused my interest after I had registered myself for the event.

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#bloggersUTD was a success!

The event itself was great, especially the speeches by Keith Jenkins, Corno van den Berg and Nicholas Montemaggi. Each of them brought their keynote speech with such passion, the spark in their eyes while standing on stage and talking about doing what they love… Yes travel blogging is hard work, but the return you can get from it in the long run… endless possibilities! It was nice to meet some like-minded travel bloggers who I have been in touch with through social media over the past couple of months and very am very much looking forward to similar events in the future.

Besides the new blog project I got involved in I’m also working on another project which I hope to present you with in a couple of months, it will be my biggest achievement if I can get it started so fingers crossed for me. As I mentioned before, life doesn’t revolve around work only, there should also be time to play so I’m looking forward to having a nice break around the time of birthday. Planning of a trip is in full swing and later this year I will take another trip to grant my dad’s last wish… That is to have his ashes scattered in Malaysia where he lost his heart while working as an ex-pat, but we gained a second family which is very dear to me.

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Wherever you are, you’ll always be with me…

One thing is for sure, wherever I’ll travel in the future I know my dad will be looking over me and feel proud of what I’m doing as I was told by so many people who knew or worked with him, you have no idea what this means to me… Love you dad!

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Showing 11 comments
  • TravelBloggerBuzz
    Reply

    Very sorry for your loss.

    • Lionell
      Reply

      Thank you George, writing about it helps me process things.

  • Erna Talen
    Reply

    Wow Lionell wat mooi. Heel veel succes en wat zou je vader trots zijn op je.

    • Lionell Travels
      Reply

      Ja dat is zo fijn om te horen, dikke knuf!

    • Anne Journee
      Reply

      Absoluut!!!

  • Didier
    Reply

    Lionell read your blog and also your contributions at the dutch if community. Condolences! Respect the way you shares the memories at your father. Keep on blogging.

    • Lionell
      Reply

      Thanks Didier, much appreciated! I will keep on writing, both here and for Insideflyer. Here it will be personal stories and more loyalty related stuff on IF.

      • Keith Jenkins
        Reply

        Hi Lionell, very sorry to hear about your loss – I can imagine what you’re going through. I lost my Dad in 2009 and it wasn’t easy. I’m really happy that you felt inspired to write this post. All the best with Insideflyer.nl and your blog. Keep on rocking!

        • Lionell
          Reply

          Hi Keith, thank you so much for your kind words, they mean a lot to me. I just finished reading the story about your dad… It brought tears to my eyes. The way you described it with the connection to the songs, I had a similar thing 2 weeks before my dad passed away I came across the song The Living Years by Mike & The Mechanics. With lyrics like “I wish I could have told him in the living years”, it made me cry just thinking about ever losing my dad.

          But despits all this sadness it seems that things are happening now, opportunities rising just like seeing you talk this past Saturday in Brussels, something just clicked, thank you for that!

  • Mario Meerschaut
    Reply

    Fantastisch man!

  • Mama
    Reply

    Hi Lionell wat ben ik trots op je! Ik heb het artikel wel 100 keer gelezen en dacht iedere keer,ik ga iets schrijven ,maar door zoveel emoties kreeg ik het niet voor elkaar. Echt fantastisch!! Papa zal inderdaad trots op je zijn. Ik wil jou en Christian bedanken voor de onvoordelijke steun die ik van jullie beiden krijg!! We komen er wel door zeker met de steun van familie en hele goede vrienden en buren! Ik kijk uit naar de 2 reizen die we met ons 3 gaan doen. Bedankt en ik hou van je!

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