Let me tell you a bit about my story so far since starting my YouTube channel. On 12th November 2016 my Dad suddenly passed away. It was unexpected and came as a real shock to me.
My parents divorced when I was a child and so my Dad always lived alone. So me and my sister sold his house and inherited a small amount of money on top of that. I had become disillusioned with my job at the time, my manager was making it a really difficult place to work. In fact when my Dad did pass away he was the only person in the office who didn't come over and offer me his condolences. I even had to get my union involved just to fight for my basic bereavement pay.
So I made the decision to quit, move back to my hometown and have a fresh start. As a single guy though, I now found myself in the most sparsely populated county in England - and Carlisle is the only City in that county. Carlisle however, is TINY. It's more of a town really than a City.
Most people here find someone early and settle down and have kids. All of my friends here are married, have kids or have kids on the way and so I don't really go out that often. Not that I can afford to anyway. So the chances of me actually finding someone here are pretty small.
When I first realised I would be inheriting some money, my first thought was that I would go travelling again. In the end though I decided to buy a flat and then just focus on trying to build up a career as a photographer.
I had already started a YouTube channel, the main focus of which was to document my journey of trying to become a professional travel photographer. So I didn't think anyone would be able to relate if I then used my inheritance to go off and travel the World.
However, now that money's dried up and I'm struggling to pay bills, I now wish and realise that I should have just done what was best for me. Travelling is something I've really loved and been passionate about for a long time. I should have used that opportunity to travel while I could. It would have been good for me as a person and it probably would have helped build up my channel better than anything else.
I should never have worried what people might think, you should always do what's best for you.
In terms of my photography career, I make a calendar each year, which earns me a small, reasonable amount, I sell prints very sporadically, I monetise my YouTube channel with ads, but the money I make from that is also quite small. I make money through affiliate links, though that amount is even smaller. I do occasionally do freelance work in both photography and video editing, but that is not as frequent as I would like either.
Things are progressing and moving in the right direction but very slowly and it's not enough to live on at the moment. I've now essentially got no money left and I'm struggling to get by and pay my bills.
I do absolutely love my flat and I'm so grateful for it. I never thought I would be in a position to own my own place and after house sharing with many other people during my 6 years in London - some of which made it a nightmare to live with.... Having my own place is absolute bliss!
And although I've not been travelling as often as I used to, I feel very lucky to live so close to the Lake District and have had just as much fun exploring there. As I say on my YouTube channel I believe that no matter what your circumstances are, or what your financial situation is,
"there is always an adventure to be had..."
Something I've tried to show on my channel. Whether it's going on a hike, a bike ride, or buying a train ticket to somewhere completely random, I've enjoyed all of these things.
But having wished I'd used the money I had to travel while I could. Now that I'm struggling to pay bills, struggling to find some of the opportunities I want in such a small City and my love life basically being the worst it's ever been, I feel like it's now time for something new, something different and to make another change in my life.
So with no other money behind me I've decided to rent out my flat and do some travelling again.
I don't have everything planned or figured out just yet. All I know is it's time for my biggest adventure yet....