The Life Enthusiast Chronicles with John

Last month Juliann Wetz from Browsing the Atlas shared her awe-inspired love for the liberation that comes with traveling the world. In my monthly series, The Life Enthusiast Chronicles, phenomenal humans from all over explain why life is so enthralling to them.

Today I’m excited to bring you John Grant, also known as Meticulous Mickall the way from Ireland. Back in March John and I teamed up for a collaborative project, where I created a poem “When I am me, I am free” after being inspired by one of his exquisite photos. It isn’t hard to be enraptured by John’s photos. He captures life crisply with a unique perspective that I can only describe as beauty with an edge. His way of seeing life and sharing its awesomeness makes John a shoo-in for a Life Enthusiast spot.

Connect with John on Facebook

Go for it, John…

Having been asked by Britt to join her Life Enthusiast Group, I now find myself wondering where on earth to start. It wasn’t always like this.

My earlier life is filled with irony. My outer shell projected someone who was confident, a laugh, happy with life and in for a good time. Internally, however, there was a restless angst, continual turmoil that would not settle. Just like a volcano, there were times when the stirrings below were more evident, but I did a great job of keeping the lid on.

It was as if I was trying to prove to everybody I was ok, when in truth I wasn’t happy at all.  And why would anyone suspect? I had a good job, good friends, a string of stunning girlfriends and had some great holidays.

There were times when I was truly alive and typically these would involve nature, elements of travel, meeting different cultures and trying new things.

I was fortunate enough to be able to go to the Galapagos Islands where close encounters with nature were an everyday occurrence. A safari in Namibia saw the excited kid in me bubble up as each corner was turned to reveal another of nature’s incredible creations.

Photo by Meticulous Mick (aka John Grant)
Photo by Meticulous Mick (aka John Grant)
Photo by Meticulous Mick (aka John Grant)
Photo by Meticulous Mick (aka John Grant)
Photo by Meticulous Mick (aka John Grant)
Photo by Meticulous Mick (aka John Grant)

People have always amazed me. The smile of a little girl in India on receiving a single banana that we gave her, the look of joy on the indigenous people of the amazon when music started to play, the gentle but strong face of our guide in Borneo.

One of my highlights in life was to be chosen by a local tribal chief in Namibia to pose with him for a photo. Here was this man, tall, proud and stood in not much more than a loin cloth and a woolly hat, and he had asked me to stand next to him.

To me that was a real honour, a proud moment.

Photo by Meticulous Mick (aka John Grant)
Photo by Meticulous Mick (aka John Grant)
Photo by Meticulous Mick (aka John Grant)
Photo by Meticulous Mick (aka John Grant)

While the above may demonstrate a love of life, I could not have described myself as a “Life Enthusiast”.

Too much was wrong with my life. Life was interrupted with the death of my closest relative and that was soon followed by redundancy. The death of someone so close, dying so young made me re-evaluate what I was doing and where my values lie. In being made redundant it was as if someone was giving me the tools with which to change my life.

So here I am, having a go at a complete and utter change of direction in my career, seeking to do what I really enjoy and make a living out of it. Some may think of it as reckless, I just think of it as trying to live how I want to live.

I’ve always wanted to have a dog. Well now I have one and he is simply wonderful, a breath of fresh air.

It means a couple of walks every day, and plenty of bounces and smiles to lighten anyone’s mood. Not only that but I have met lots of great local people through the Hound.

Photo by Meticulous Mick (aka John Grant)
Photo by Meticulous Mick (aka John Grant)

In undertaking photography closer to home, my eyes seem to notice so much more. That there is plenty of beauty all around us if we could only just take a bit more time to stop and notice.

Photo by Meticulous Mick (aka John Grant)
Photo by Meticulous Mick (aka John Grant)

So I haven’t felt like a life enthusiast all my life, but would put myself in that space now. As for the travel, that won’t stop and I am just back from a trip to Iceland, trying new food, lying in thermal pools and above all enjoying what nature has to offer. How can one not be positive about life?

Oh, it also goes without saying that I keep learning every day.

32 thoughts on “The Life Enthusiast Chronicles with John

  1. Britt thank you for sharing John’s story with us. Wow you have an amazing talent their John and I adore your photography. Keep living the dream as it shows in your images, you are in a good place. Love your dog too.

  2. I know exactly what you mean, John. The deaths of my stepfather and father-in-law within a short span of time and before they even got to enjoy retirement really woke me up. My husband and I saw firsthand how our mothers suddenly found themselves adrift; their plans for the future suddenly gone. My husband and I decided not to wait. We take full advantage of every opportunity we’re given and don’t put off our dreams. It’s what lead me to travel more and blog. And he’s taken up marathon running. We live in the moment now. With our children and dog. 🙂

  3. John has one of my favorite blogs. He speaks mostly through his photos and he says so much with them. He lives in a place I dream of and been places I can only envy.

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