The Curious Case of the Disappearing LandLoper

Matt Canyonlands utah

Since I first started my blog nearly 10 years ago, there have only been a few days when I didn’t either publish something new on my site or at least be a very active participant on social media. That all changed this November when a series of events took me away from my job and my true love that is sharing the travel experience with others.

At the beginning of the month I finished up a fun press trip to Texas to return home only to find a close friend severely ill. So ill, in fact, that he was soon hospitalized with a very serious medical condition. I then proceeded to spend all day every day traveling to Baltimore to be with him and offer as much support as I could. For the first time in, well, ever really I found every second of my time devoted not to work, but to taking care of someone else. I was fine with that, but it caused me to not create anything new for the first time ever. Following his release from the hospital, I oddly enough found myself in the emergency room not once, but three times in a single week for a serious infection that just wouldn’t, and still hasn’t, gone away. I write this today not to illicit sympathy, but to offer a brief explanation in case anyone noticed I was no longer around and to also share some lessons I took away from these experiences.

Although it’s something I’ve been reminded of in the past, I think it bears repeating because it really is that important. When I lost a dear family member several years ago, I began to fully comprehend just how fleeting life is. Just how transient it is, a lesson far too many learn too late in life or not at all. It’s an oft quoted and pretty corny phrase, but life is not a dress rehearsal, and that’s true. We have one shot at life and we have to make sure we get it right.

It’s important to be there for our families and friends, but at some point we have to realize that it is equally important to be there for ourselves. I realized that when I accepted the passions in my life and took the first steps towards making them my new life. It wasn’t easy, it never is when honest emotions are involved, but it’s all so important. In my case, I’ve made it work. I’ve never been happier and I’ve never had a better sense of direction than I do now. Not by coincidence every other aspect of my life has improved.

Through so many life lessons I have come to properly understand the extreme importance of living life for today and not tomorrow. Life is far too short, far too fragile to waste living a shadowy life, a life that is without importance or happiness. No matter what it takes, no matter the sacrifices, you have to, you just have to, live life for today and try to be the happiest and most passionate person you can be. Also, be sure to take care of yourself and those you care about. Don’t dismiss a health issue as being too minor, because it may be much more extreme than you could ever imagine.

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By: Matt Long

Matt has a true passion for travel. As someone who has a bad case of the travel bug, Matt travels the world in order to share tips on where to go, what to see and how to experience the best the world has to offer. Also follow Matt on Twitter, Facebook and

3 Responses

  1. Gregory George

    Welcome back, sir! Your voice and expertise were missed. I too have been somewhat ‘absent’ for the last 16 months…

    Reply
  2. Matt

    Glad to see you back but really hope your health issues are resolved soon! I have experienced how difficult that can be.

    Reply
  3. Ted Parker Nguyen

    Hi, Matt.

    I’m sharing positive thoughts for your recovery! Thank you for this touching story. It’s a reminder to love every moment and to love all around us — near and far.

    With so much love and appreciation for all you do to make our world a better place,
    Ted P. Nguyen

    Reply

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