New Year Rising

© 2012 Tiago Marques

“Everyone needs something to aim for. You can call it a challenge, or you can call it a goal. It is what makes us human. It was challenges that tooks us from being cavemen to reaching for the stars.” ~ Richard Branson

Journal, 01 January 2012. Koh Lanta, Thailand.


9am when I wake up. The price of being a morning person – I don’t get to sleep in not even on New Year’s Day.

Warm-hearted messages on my phone. Ana Rita, Ana Rita’s mom, Paulo, my cousin Filipa. Good to feel remembered and nurtured by family and friends.

Hum? A half-eaten banana on the floor? Great, some mouse decided to feast on my snacks… I’ll be going out for breakfast then.

Outside, light rain, clearing out the last remains of the past year and night.

The guesthouse and surrounding streets look like the mild version of a zombie apocalypse: party people fallen asleep here and there, and the rest on early hangover stage, trying to figure out where their hostels are so they can enjoy a power nap in a dry place.

I wonder how Gilles’ big night in Bangkok was? Need to send him a text later today.

English breakfast at a nearby restaurant. Brain begins to function again. Today is definitelly gonna be a slow day.

I open the Notes app on my phone and have a look at my New Year resolutions.


“1. Spiritual growth, mentors and teachers”

If a few years ago someone had told me I would become fascinated by personal development and spirituality, I would probably have laughed in their faces and called them crazy… Funny how much things change.

I guess when you reach a dead end, the only way is up, and I’m still climbing.

“2. Contribution, volunteering”

Not quite on track with this one – yet. The right opportunity will show itself eventually, for now I’m enjoying being on the road way too much to want and ground myself in one place.

“3. New experiences and cultures, fun”

Yup, definitelly on track with this one.

“4. Connection with Earth, Nature”

Definitelly on track with this one too! Three years in London have made me hunger for warm sunlight and the smell of sea… Fortunatelly Portugal was just a short flight away and I could visit my family on a regular basis.

“5. New love / companion / wife”

Hum. No, this doesn’t sound right. Maybe I should rephrase it to “man up and move on”?… It’s not so much a new romance I’m looking for, but a renewed heart.

I like to think that I’ve already mourned my previous relationship, but truth be told, there is still some resentment to overcome regarding my ex. How can I love the teaching but resent the teacher? I’ll figure this one out eventually…

“6. Next home / base for growth”

Too early to know the answer to this one as well. Will there be a London 2.0? Will Australia sweep me off my feet, or maybe Thailand?

First I need to find out what it is that I need to achieve next in my life, and then I can focus on finding out which place will provide the best resources and teachers.

Ideally a place with good conditions for starting a family, but who knows…

I add a seventh, final thought to my expedition goals:

“7. Clearer life purpose and vision.”

I guess that’s what this trip is all about in the end… I’m usually very specific and thourough about my goals, but this year I feel I need to do something different.

This year is about the journey, not the destination.


The rest of the day was, as expected, very slow.

I sorted out my Singapore photos on the computer and uploaded them to Facebook. Drafted the next steps of my Thailand route. Managed to go for a swim when the Sun returned. Replied to some more endearing texts. Read. Meditated.

Zowee helped review one of my blog posts and gave me some cool tips on writing. Later in the afternoon we sat at the lounge and began watching “The Count Of Montecristo” on my netbook. Bad idea – she’s feeling too restless and impatient, barely 15 minutes into the movie when we decide to go out for dinner instead.

11pm when I finish watching the movie in the peace and quietness of my own bungalow. Gorgeous movie, glad I finally got the chance to watch it, I particularly liked the Abbe Faria character.

I sometimes wish I had a mentor like that!… But maybe I do, just not in the form I would expect it. The Universe does provide the resources when you need them the most…

Hum. Brain is shutting down again, mindless chatter kicking in…

Time to sleep…


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