Meditation Retreat Thailand

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This comes a few weeks late at least. But hey, how much CAN you write and upload when you are on a sanctuary island far from civilization, network coverage and internet connection?

My first step into my long term traveling adventure was a quiet “safe” one, if we consider what I’m doing now. Just going to Thailand and meditating for two weeks. Hardly sounds amazing, huh? It’s all organized, we get picked up, brought around, have guided meditation sessions, some workshops and get dropped off in Bangkok after a closing ceremony. Too easy!

But let’s go step by step.

First, for people who don’t know what meditation is. It has nothing to do with Kung-Fu (Ok, Japanese Shaolin meditation does) or with flying monks. Meditation is just the practice of stilling the mind and letting go of worries to allow your brain, body and soul rest for a while. In meditation people concentrate on one idea until they silence the rest of the ideas that constantly roam around our brains unwillingly.

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Doing this reduces stress levels and improves awareness. Science, which now is looking into meditation and yoga, has found tons of benefits that I won’t list here. Just go to our revered professor, Google, and ask!

I started meditation during my experience as an Au-Pair in Switzerland. The super warm weather and the good  transport connections from the place that I lived (total irony) gave me time to try out meditation with www.peacerevolution.net.
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 The system was more than perfect for me because it is totally for free, you can set your own pace, and it starts from the very beginning of the meditation practice, slowly building up. More than recommended if you just want to try it out in the “safety” of your living room!

The idea of going on a Retreat on a sanctuary island is to be able to control all or most of the external factors to make the environment quasi perfect for the meditation practice. No telephones, no internet, breath taking scenery, beautiful natural environment, simple meals, no music, simple sleeping quarters, no alcohol, no drugs, no “fun”(if you know what I mean…), etc, and the best of the best teachers available: Buddhist monks.

Now, I know what you are thinking!

  iiiiiimhoootep iiiiiimhooootep….a sect!

 Just as I did! Because Buddhist monks are Buddhist right? And Buddhism is a religion, right? Well, yeah. But no religious ideas are ever expressed by the monks. They just help us do what they do best: meditation, because it’s an important practice in their culture and religion. They teach us meditation from a totally scientific approach. Meditation is inter-confessional and can be practiced by atheists or whoever. It has nothing to do with religion.

Just ask yourself what deep prayer is or finding the Kingdom of Heaven inside of yourself.

Just imagine, Buddhist Monks do meditation sometimes for 7 or 8 hours a day! It’s like going on a two week intensive computer engineering course with Steve Jobs, Bill Gates , and other computer geniuses I know nothing about. Or a being-a-prick Retreat with teaching experts like Putin, Kim Jon Un and Berlusconi.

We would call the living conditions “difficult”. Two weeks eating just twice a day very early in the morning and before noon.  Add to that that you sleep on a simple matrass and wake up at 05.00. Matters only get worse from here on: no Fb to waste your time on, no outside news, nowhere to go actually, no phone, no music…

Still, it was GREAT. Beautifully organized and led by organizers and helpers. Was it tough? Yeah, at times. I was not the first or the last to fall asleep in the meditation room during the morning sessions (05.30-06.30) or to squander for any kind of food in the evening.

But the experience was not only great, beautiful and fun, it also served its purpose! Having experienced first hand help and advice from experts devoted to what you are learning is a massive advantage to improve your skills quickly. I think most or all of the 31 participants in the Retreat can say that we have improved or learnt a whole lot during those 2 weeks.

People have asked me many times why I meditate. For me, probably one of the biggest skeptics of this hemisphere, it is a scientifically proven way of taking more bad things out of your life and empowering the good things. It makes you less jumpy and stressed, more conscious of what’s around you and your decisions, better at resolving problems and keeping your calm, and a long etc.

And how have you been chosen to two events, one in Belgium and now this one in Thailand by the organization? What did they ask from you in return? Well first of all you might be asked if you would like to organize an event in your home country if there is none being organized yet. You can answer NO and case closed. The monks just asked us to be happy and be good role models (oh crap) for others.

How much did you pay the organization to attend this event and the one in Belgium? Ok. Counting from the first day to the last of both events it all sums up to a staggering 0 Euros and 00 cents. No joke. I did pay my whole flight to and back from Belgium and ¾ of my flight to Thailand and…done. The organization has struck some donors with large wallets that make this possible like European Parliament branches, companies or rich people.

So after a two week long body and mind cleaning event I got back to “real life”. I have adopted meditation in my life for good. And the best is that it’s not incompatible with anything else I did before! BUDDHAAAAA!

If anybody is interested in trying out this experience just check out the Peace revolution website and roam around. It might look very hippie to you and that’s because it is. But the idea is still great. A free meditation course for anybody, independent from nationality, faith, age or gender which lets you go at your own pace.

So don’t let me convince you. Just check out people who you know meditate. Just read a little bit about it. Try it out. It’s for free anyway!

Be happy!

And in the next posts…what the heck am I doing in Thailand…?Image

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Sorry for the absence!!

Been traveling for a long time already! Tomorrow It’ll be a month already. Haven’t had internet or time to write anything! 
No internet in the meditation retreat and no internet now where I’m teaching ENglish in the North of Thailand!!! Crazy. Very new feeling.

I promise to get back to you all and write about what I’m doing and my feelings. 

I’m really living minute to minute. Always moving around. Doing new things. Meeting people. Being happy then sad then happy again. Life is just a succession of moments and feelings.

Life is awesome.

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A nice long ride with a racist brain dead franquist filo Nazi

So, as always, people ask me if I´ve ever hitch hiked and had a bad experience. Have you ever felt scared or menaced? Was it ever a dangerous experience? What about with “organized” hitch hiking?

Well the answer is NO…unless we count a 5 hour journey with a Hungarian truck driver trying to prepare us some coffee on a portable gas bottle while driving 80km/h on the speedway and the whole cabin smelling like gas.

But I am going to delight hitch hiking haters and critics by accepting that I got into the car with a total brain dead. A few days ago I came back from Madrid with Blablacar.es. It´s the Spanish Mitfahrengelegenheit.de or carpooling.com.

If you don´t know what this is it´s the “organized” version of hitch hiking. People say where they are going and you can pitch in some money for gas to go with them. Cheaper than the bus or the train, quicker and mostly a lot of fun!

You can see people´s profiles and choose who to go with. So I did. But car pooling profiles, just like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc profiles, have one huge problem: they are full of shit. And when they don´t just tell blunt lies they can always fail to tell some interesting things about the person that you´d want to know beforehand.

So this happened to me. The guy driving, let´s call him “Mr. X” “Mr. Shit-for-brains”, is a semi professional boxer, ex-military Ultra Sur. Now don´t get me wrong. I don´t care if somebody is from the military. My own father is an Army man and has been so his whole life(and he is ooooold). I also don´t care if you are a boxer or not. It´s just as good as any sport. But Ultra Sur is something different.

For those who aren´t into football, ultra violence movements, etc I´ll explain. Ultra Sur is the name that Real Madrid Hooligans get because they are always in the “Fondo Sur” or the Southern side of Real Madrid´s Stadium, el Santiago Bernabeu. These “nice chaps” are the kind of people who wave NAZI flags and Franquist Flags during the matches, scream at black people and look for fights before or after the match.

These are the same people who try to stop any demonstration that defends the rights of homosexuals, immigrants or foreigners or even women. They are the ones against the “Ley de Memoria Historica” (easy to translate, huh?) with which the former Government wanted to help people find their dead relatives who were murdered by one or the other faction during the Spanish civil war because they know “their side” was quite much better at shooting, raping and looting.

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They hate people from Cataluña or the Basque country because some parts of the population of those regions want to be independent from Spain. They hate anything that has to do with Socialism, Unions, other religions that are not Cristian Catholic, etc
They praise our ex-Dictator, Francisco Franco, who kept Spain in a religious dictatorship for over 35 years.

I really don´t care what people think about politics. You can be socialist or conservative. Pro or anti regulation. Pro or anti secession from Spain (some Basques, Catalans or even Gallegos). You can make a point and even convince me of many things.

But you have to start shivering when you hear a guy with half of Real Madrid´s players tatooed on his legs telling you that last week he had brought 3 “cockroaches” and one “terrorist” from Madrid to Valencia in his car, also with blablacar. When he said “Cockroaches” he of course meant black people and when he said “terrorist” he meant a Basque person.

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Scary to think that this kind of brain dead is one of the guys the Spanish society gives an automatic weapon to protect the country if the need is there. These Neo Nazis believe black people and South Americans are an inferior race, Basques and Catalans are “traitors” to the Nation, homosexuals are filth, socialists and republicans are “the enemy” and so on and so forth.

He was even happy to admit that he wasn´t by far the only one who had these points of view in the Spanish Army. Yuppiii! I know a few of them myself. If this doesn´t make me feel safe, what will, right?!

I actually shouldn´t even be surprised that he had to go to court because of punching two guys to the ground breaking one guy´s nose and the other guy´s jaw during a football match.

I am not even writing this to make a point, I think. It was just on my head and I had to spit it out. It pisses me off to know how people can hate othersor want to legislate their private lives for such a stupid reason as who they like, where they are from, what football team they support, etc.

Whatever…just…what a retard.

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Living with a Purpose

This is going to sounds like the typical rant against “today´s” society and how morals and ethics have lost their value in our current world. Sorry!

Day after day we see people on the streets begging for money. We kind of hardly care, right? I mean…we can walk right past people on the streets without dashing an eye… or without giving a flying sh*t…if you want to say it in a more explicit way…

Today I met my best friend, Pablo Quevedo, to have a chat while drinking a coffee and the conversation led us to this topic while we were sitting in a warm comfortable pub. We later saw a homeless guy begging on the streets while it was pouring. We were just saying “f*ck…it´s so cold and rainy! Poor guy…!” when a lady brought him a warm coffee. Touché.

We walked past him to get to the shop and came back with some croissants. Did we feel solidary and accomplished? Nah…not really…

Without wanting to sound like a champion or try to “throw flowers over myself” like we say in Spain I think I might be doing my part. I have worked in 3 NGO´s and created my own solidary project in my city, Santander, which is still up and running and in which we bring food, drinks and blankets to homeless people during the night. But most importantly we talk with them for some time and let them feel listened to. I´ve also donated 480+ euros to give a girl in Oruro, Bolivia, the chance to go to school and get her meds for these last 2 years.

I really don´t do this to make people say stupid things like “wow, that´s nice of you”…because it´s not. It´s just HUMAN to do these things. I do it because I feel that if I can spend 20 euros on a night out on beers I can probably also spend 2-3 euros on helping someone…. I don´t even tell people that I send money to this little girl, Lizbeth, in Bolivia…this is the first time I do it outside of my closest inner circle of friends…

And nobody can say that I´m rich and and can afford it and they can’t. People who know me know how “broke” I am and how I never have much on me. If I can do it, ANYONE can.

Again, like so many things, it’s just a matter of priorities. Which are yours?

I´m not saying you should stop buying things you like, going to watch a movie, stop going out or to donate ALL of your money. That´s too extreme. My idea was the following: I write down my “big” expenses in a notebook and have vowed to donate 1/10th of it. Explained in a simple way: if I buy a 50 euro phone I will later have to donate 5 euros. Does it sound like too much? I can handle it quite well… I think everybody can.

Again…I am not a saint. I have many huge flaws and COULD donate more. This is my small financial contribution. It might be too much to somebodies standards and too little someone else´s.

I always ask the people who complain for hours on the sofa about “how unsolidary the world is” and “what a pity that we don´t send aid to the Philippines” if THEY are doing anything…. Usual answer? Well, no, because….I don´t have the money at the moment. Normally said while popping out a brand new I-Phone and watching the news on a beautiful flat screen TV…

“But once I´m in a better financial situation, I will!!”           Ye…Yeah…. of course.

People don´t even have to donate money. They can “invest” some of their time in helping out in an NGO or even, and you all know how critic I am with this, in the Church! NGOs are ALWAYS in need of more hands to help! ALWAYS. But getting off that sofa is quite difficult, I know! Just an hour a week seems like too much even though we spend 5 in the gym, 20 at college, and 5 watching “How I met your Mother”, etc.

It really strikes me how people try to evade the RESPONSIBILITY of helping our peers. Usually people avoid taking action by saying things like :
– we can´t really do anything about it/it´s innevitable
– they chose wrong in their life…why should I spend my time or money on helping them out
– a lot of money disappears or is misused so…better not to send aid at all!

These usual excuses are GREAT ways to avoid doing anything. I hear them way too often. Sadly enough in my own house. Very suspiciously they are never followed be statements like “but I think I have an alternative idea which CAN help/will avoid money to be used in the wrong way”. These excuses are a way of trying to shelter ourselves against the knowledge of our own insolidarity. Our greed if you will.

Again, I´m not going to tell anyone what to do. I wouldn´t even if I could! I´m just trying to make some people think about it. I started working in NGOs when I was 17. I created my own project with a friend when I was 22. I´ve donated quite an amount of money and still have a great, happy and fun life. I spend some hours a week on voluntary work. And I am no different to anybody else. I don´t have more money, longer days, more chances…

I highly recommend the book “the Life you can Save” written by Peter Singer. You can downloand a free pdf from the internet. You might like it and might not but I promise you wont forget the book in a long time.

This isn´t the perfect world we were all dreaming about. This is a fair try but still far from perfect due to greed. I hope we all think about this the next time we walk past somebody begging on the street and walk right into Pull and Bear to get 100 euros worth of clothing we already have in our closet at home.

Your hour a week in an NGO or 50e a year wont solve all the problems…but the example becomes a drop of water falling into a still pond.

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How to get awesome Abs and great sex with 8 simple tricks…(Huffington post)

I saw this great article in the Huffington post. Me, as most people who stumbled upon it read the word “sex” and get awesome abs and said ….”well…I´m not doing anything SOOO important now to not be able to read this…”. And I read it. And laughed. And then thought. And then understood how right the author is.

Here for Spanish: http://www.huffingtonpost.es/kate-bartolotta/como-conseguir-una-tripa-plana-y-sexo-increible_b_3987694.html

The headlines of most men´s and women´s magazines are full of similar titles: Get fabulous abs and How to enjoy great sex. It would seem that these two subjects are recycled time and time again (next to other stereotypical subjects, depending on gender) on all the covers of Men´s Health, Maxim, Cosmopolitan and Glamour since the beginning of times. In fact, I bet that if we could interpret cave paintings, we would be able to read things like “Fred Flintstone has a flat belly. He makes Wilma moan with pleasure”.

 

And we still buy them. We still believe that these things will make us happy. Time ago I had six-pack abs and an awesome sex life. But none of these things made me a better person. None of these made me feel more complete.

 

We´re chasing a dream: “I will be happy when…”

 

I will be happy when I get a new car. I´ll be happy when I marry. I´ll be happy when I get a better job. I´ll be happy when I lose some weight. What if, in stead of that, we decide to be happy right now?

 

Setting aside our first world problems and squabbles, if you´re reading this that means you at least have electricity and WiFi, or access to them. It´s more than probable that you have a ceiling above your head, or you own a smartphone (congratulations if you´re reading me while you´re going somewhere). Life can shake or hurt us, it can possibly not be as we had pictured it, I´m frustrated with mine in any rate, but the key is: you´re alive.

 

And since you´re alive, everything´s possible. So let´s get to those eight pieces of advice:

 

1.-        Stop believing in your own nonsense

 

All those things you tell yourself about fear of compromise, that you´re a coward, lazy, not creative or you´re unlucky. Stop. It´s nonsense and you know it. We´re all insecure fourteen year old adolescents. We´re all afraid. We all have had to throw away dreams because at some point we´ve clung on to those ideas of what we are, and we´ve buried that essential, and awesome, capacity kids have to become fascinated. The more we cling on to the clichés about who we are, the smaller the fraction of life we could be living. Throw them away. Be the one you are under all that nonsense.

 

2.-        Be happy now.

 

Not because the book The Secret tells you to. Not because of some childish thought Oprah Winfrey cooks up. But because we can choose to appreciate what we have in life, in stead of being angry or depressed by what we dont. It´s a small but significative change in perspective. It´s easier to see what´s wrong or lacking in our lives and to believe that that vision is our reality, but it just isn´t. We can choose to prioritize the good parts.

 

3.-        Look at the stars.

 

It won´t solve the crisis. It won´t stop wars. It wont get us abs, or better sex, nor will it clear up your relationship with your significant other nor will it tell you what to do with your life. But it´s important. It helps to remind you that you and your problems are infinitely small, and in turn, you´re a fundamental piece in a vast and incredible universe. Do it every day, it helps.

 

4.-        Open up to others.

 

Really. Tell people you trust that you need help, or that you´re depressed, or that you´re happy and you want to share that happiness with them. Let them know they´re important to you and let yourself feel like that. Do that in stead of what we normally do, which is keep a cool profile and act as if we feel for others the same way they admit feeling for us, so we open up only halfway. Go all the way, it´s worth it.

 

5.-        Stop being foolish.

 

A couple of days ago I arrived to a friend´s house short on breath and almost crying after feeling a little lost, physically and existentially. She asked me what was the matter and I was starting to explain when I stopped and admitted: “I´m being an idiot and I´ve decided to create myself a ton of problems”. Life is full of obstacles; we don´t need to generate more. About this, there is a great piece of advice in the book The Four Agreements, by Miguel Ruiz: don´t take things personally. Most of the times, attitudes and decisions other take have nothing to do with you. Unless you´ve been a total asshole, in which case…

 

6.-        Learn to say sorry.

 

But not in that ridiculous and self-derogatory way by saying sorry for being who you are or simply for existing, that some people tend to do. The capacity to say sorry (without adding the word “but”) is essential for living amongst other human beings. If you´re gonna be surrounded by people, at some given moment you´re bound to have to say sorry. It´s a good habit.

 

7.-        Practice gratitude.

 

Practice it out loud with the people around you. Practice it silently when you pray thanksgiving for your food. Practice it frequently. Gratitude isn´t only a first-world virtue. Not long ago I saw a photo of a poor girl, surrounded by dirt and destruction. Her face was totally illuminated by cheerfulness and gratitude while she played with a hula-hoop that had been given to her. Gratitude is what makes us happy with what we have. Gratitude is the most basic way of connecting to that sensation of belonging to the greater picture that is the universee; like I said earlier when I talked about looking at the stars, it´s the capacity of being fascinated and humble, to celebrate the connection we have with life.

 

8.-        Be kind.

 

Kurt Vonnegut said it better than anyone (though I have to admit I´m no great fan of Vonnegut myself, to my embarassment): “There´s only one rule I know, guys: goddamit, we gotta be kind!”. Kindness is effortless and at the same time it pays off greatly. I can´t save the world. I can´t bring peace to Syria. I can´t fix the environment or the sanitary system, and as far as I can see, my dinner´s starting to get burned.

 

But I can be kind.

 

If the greatest thing we can do in life is to extend love and kindness if only to one single human being, we would have changed the world for good.

 

To me, this is way more important than having chiseled abs.

Ok so I laughed my ass off and thought of it as a very intelligent article which we read because we all read those stupid little ideas about “8 tricks that change your (sex) life 180º”. Thank God…it´s better than that!

Like! Share! But most important…..comment! What do you think???

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Inspirational Story of the Week! Paula Stachnik

(Rafa): Just before we get to Paula´s incredible story let me fill you in on how I actually met her.

A couple of months ago I had my, probably, last family trip to Scotland. I´ve written a bit about it. Just a summary: simple but tasty food, cows with emo haircuts, friendly people(when you could understand them) and some of the most breath taking sights I´ve ever seen…!

I met Paula at a Sandiman´s New Europe Free Tour. She was following the tour to learn the last few things she had to know to be able to be a guide herself. I heard her exchange some words with somebody about Poland, being a tour guide and living abroad and there I went.

A few moments later we started chatting and soon enough we exchanged information, ideas and our email. This is just one of the results. She might have found me a job opportunity as well. What can I say…? Well…Thanks for writing for the blog Paula!! 😉

Hello, and thanks again for the invitation to write here, Rafa!

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Every year, St. Gabe’s hosts a Christmas Parade. The chance to participate seemed
too good to be true. 🙂

My name is Paulina Stachnik, I’m a student, a writer, and—perhaps most importantly—a nomad. I was born in Stalowa Wola, Poland. It’s a small city, which translates to “Steel Will,” and whose namesake has played a key role in my life.

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As a treat, I once took the boys to McDonald’s. Check out Ronald. He’s wai’ing, a
traditional Thai gesture of respect.

My earliest memories took place in Krakow, where I bopped around between preschools before my parents decided to relocate to a mystical place: America. Communism had just ended, and Poland’s future was uncertain. My father, an idealist, wanted out—so he moved my mom, brother and I to a small town fifty miles north of New York City. The first day of school was entertaining. My vocabulary consisted of three words: I love you. Needless to say, I quickly made friends.

I grew up hopping back and forth across the Atlantic, spending summers with my kin in the motherland—eating lots of kielbasa, sneaking apples from neighbors’ trees, and getting up to mischief. I’d come back to the States with tales of a seemingly wild place—especially since life in suburbia revolved around a routine of minivans and after-school specials. All along, people on both continents loved to ask: “Where do you feel most at home?” I didn’t have an answer, I still don’t.

Once I got to college, at Loyola University Maryland, I ditched my plans of becoming a doctor (the sight of blood, it turned out, made me pale) and re-focused on international affairs. I pursued a degree in Global Studies, Writing, and Political Science and was fortunate enough to study abroad in Thailand, the Czech Republic, and India.

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Coaching the Speech and Debate Club was a fantastic opportunity to learn about the
students’ unique interests and points of view. They came up with some great, and
often hilarious, arguments.

Soon, travelling became an obsession. I was fascinated with the fact that with every new stamp on my passport, my perception of the world—and of what it meant to be a part of it—would expand. Evolve. International boundaries became optical illusions: constantly shifting and changing. I wanted to understand that flux—and to play an active role in it.

A week after graduation, I moved to Southeast Asia. I was going back to Bangkok, but with a different purpose. I would be a teacher. I would be a student. I wanted to learn everything I could about its layered culture, to immerse myself in the delicate beauty of Buddhism, and to gain an understanding of Thailand from a Thai perspective.

I worked for the next year at the most prestigious private school in the country, St. Gabriel’s College. Manicured moms in Jaguars and Porsches dropped off their sons every morning; some destined to become Thailand’s future Prime Ministers. But it didn’t take long for the glossy surface to show its cracks. I taught high school writing, with a microphone, to classrooms packed with 60 boys, known by numbers—most with only an elementary grasp on English. Rote memorization was the most valued teaching tool. Cheating was rampant. And everyone passed.

I never thought I’d become a teacher, but something clicked that year. Having an education where critical thinking, curiosity, and imagination are encouraged is a rare gift in the world. Having someone believe in you as an individual, and help you foster your potential, is even more rare.

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This is Kem! I helped coach him for a Poetry Competition. He recited Robert Frost and won the 2nd place! So proud!

I’m currently working towards my post-graduate degree in International Development at the University of Edinburgh. This winter break, I’m going to Ghana to work as a teacher in a rural community. My goal is to get my hands dirty; to see how these theories, laid out so nicely in our textbooks, play out in the real world. After graduation, I want to work for the United Nations before starting my own NGO, focusing on international education consultancy.

My family, who still see home as one place, as roots, question my motives. Why couldn’t I have become a lawyer instead? But passion is invaluable. Finding—and following—that internal voice is what makes the world beat. I don’t know where exactly mine will lead yet—but I now know it’s the world that’s my home, not just a part of it. And you have to take care of your home.

What pushes me? Potential. I see it everywhere: in people, in problems, in myself.

The bravest people are the ones who feel fear, then act anyway. It sounds so simple, and so difficult. Each us already knows what makes us tick. It’s that voice, often a whisper, that’s sparked by a powerful internal force: passion. It means following you heart. Taking risks. Dedicating. Blind hope that it will all come together. The trust–in yourself, in the Universe–that it’s worth flighting for.

Buddhism teaches that reality is your construction. Businessmen praise the Law of Attraction. Whatever label suits you, practice it. Keep the end in mind, then take action everyday.

Even when it’s a bit scary.

Especially when it’s a bit scary.

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Energy was almost never in short supply.

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Now that I´m calm. What the hell am I going to do in Thailand?!

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Before Yesterday I felt like a huge bomb had come crashing into my room through the roof and was about to explode. I couldn´t believe my eyes! I had been chosen to go to Thailand on a Meditation Retreat after having attended the European Fellowship just a month ago….
By the way! Thanks again Peace Revolution!

Suddenly I was picturing the map of South East Asia in my head and thinking how cool it would be to make this my first stepping stone to travel around. I´d have a chance to try out my nomadic lifestyle!!!

I could make some money! Travel around! Maybe go to Australia to make the dough! YEAH! WHY NOT!?

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I´ve read that I have to get used to giant snakes, spiders and bugs..

And then I went to sleep…(Ok, I tried. I couldn´t get to sleep)

Upon waking up my mind went from 0 to 200km/h in a second while it fetched all those crazy ideas back and started to make my thoughts go eeeeeeeeeverywhere again.

I had to calm down and start thinking rationally. Am I going to Thailand? YES. Am I going to Australia? Who knows? How would I go?! Am I going to travel around? Well…I don´t know. How would I do it?

The only one thing that is clear to me is that I´m going to Thailand on the Meditation Retreat organized by Peace Revolution from the 14th to the 28th of December. After that I only had my “dreamer” ideas: Australia, making money, traveling, workaway, teaching English or Spanish, working at a local NGO, working holidays, etc.

So let´s just go step by step I thought to myself. I´ll get a substantial economic help to get to Tailand (and back…eventually) from the Peace Revolution organization. I´d be living in a Buddhist island-temple off the East coast of Thailand for 14 days practicing meditation and mindful living surrounded by paradise like nature.

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Can´t wait to live something like this!

Then when the Retreat is over I´d have one night to stay there and then I´d have to move on. But where to? So here comes the idea of working away somewhere in an NGO or school for some time to give me time to help out and discover the Thai culture. But how should I do this? Now I have to start searching for platforms with which I can find these kind of jobs. Workaway.com…Helpx.com…

Then afterwards I´d like to go to Australia some months to work and discover the “little island”. Wow. Another stupid idea…but it sounds SO GREAT! What if I actually could? So I´ve been asking around and investigating. Maybe…JUST MAYBE I can…. fruitpicking.au, gumtree.com, etc

I´ve called the Dutch Embassy, the Sanish Embassy and the Thai Embassy as well. I´ve called the University. I have 10.000 documents to copy, to send, to get signed… this month is for sure going to be crazy…!

Now let´s see if I can get this done guys! The “big trip North” from Into the Wild will be my trip to Thailand and whatever I can make of it from then on…. let´s just hope it doesn´t end in the same way, right?

Wish me luck!

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