Monday, September 11, 2017


"Hmm," he said, taking it all in. "But how do you know what is your purpose?"

"That's another myth that trips people up. it's this idea that we are somehow supposed to know our purpose from the beginning and just move right toward it. Perhaps some people are that way[...]"

"I certainly wasn't. I think it's a much messier process of step-by-step exploration. Each step of the way, I moved towards what made me feel more alive and engaged."

"To discover your purpose(s), you must take action. You must let go of old, familiar, safe, and stifling situations and step into the unknown. Try something out for a while, see how it affects you. Do you feel more alive, and more energized as you move towards it? If so, take the next step. If not, move on to something else." – Aziz Gazipura (The Art of Extraordinary Confidence)

The million dollar question was; do you sleep, or do you stay up?
My flight was scheduled to leave BDL at 6:00am on the 30th of August; meaning I would have to be there for 4:00am, and leave the house by 3:30am. My thoughts on the matter were; if I stayed up, I would surely be able to sleep on the long travel flight, but if I went to sleep I wouldn’t want to get up come morning.

The other possibility was; if I didn’t sleep, and couldn’t sleep on the plane. I chose to lay down on the couch and rest for the remaining 4.5-5 hours just in case.

Bradley International Airport was scarce of human existence to say the least, but I couldn’t chance anything by not arriving without enough time for delay. I looked back at my Papa as I passed through the automated sliding doors; checked in at the counter, and quickly passed through security, getting to my gate with plenty of time to spare.

I sat down waiting for Dunkin Donuts to open; yes, even they weren’t open, I guess America doesn’t actually run on Dunkin. Once they did I grabbed a coffee, and two wake up wraps to hold me over. I sat and closed my eyes awaiting the arrival of my first plane.

I’ve been asked a lot lately, “Are you nervous, or excited?” The honest answer was, I was ready. Sure I was both excited, and nervous; but I had packed my bags a week ago, and was longing to just be there already.

Touching down in Philadelphia only an hour later, checked one flight off the list of what seemed like a never ending travel quest. I quickly got to my gate to check-in; grabbed nearly a $12.00 lunch, and began stretching. This next flight would be the longest of the journey, and by far the longest of my life thus far.

Another interesting fact on the answer of “Are you nervous?” You want to know what I was most nervous about? The length of the flight, being stuck on a plane, not allowing my Type A personality to have control of the environment, and the possibility of motion sickness on such a long flight. Now you may say; “What’s the worst that could happen, you get sick?” Fun fact number two about me; I have a phobia of throwing up.

So indeed, I was most nervous about the length of travel.

As I waited and stretched; I looked around to see everyone sitting patiently waiting, didn’t they all realize we would be sitting for 12 hours straight? I surely was standing the whole time, and stretching to compensate for the time I wouldn’t be able to do those things as easily. Before I knew it, I was being surrounded by two young boys; ages guessing around 5 years old and 9 years old. They would pop up behind the counter, behind the row of chairs, run across the walkways, chant phrases and then pop back down before I had the chance to turn around. We were playing a game, the thought did run through my mind that I was being taunted by these young children whom I did not understand, but then logically I knew they were just trying to entertain themselves; so naturally I played along.

Qatar Airways is a state of the art philosophy of an aircraft. Walking into the plane I didn’t feel condensed at all; the first class section of course was classy for lack of a better word in each of their cubicles. Moving towards coach there were three rows of seats and can you guess what number seat I was? For those of you who don’t know, 22 is my favorite number; 12 is my second favorite, and 12:22 is my favorite time. My seat was the aisle seat in row 22. I quickly got situated and took my seat; only to find out that I was nearly the last to board the plane, and no one was beside me in either seat. Holding my breath, no one ended up claiming the remaining two seats; for 12 hours I had a whole row to myself.

I sat in the window seat, buckled, sitting sideways with my feet up on the other two seats; I even laid down fully for a good portion of the flight. Though, you guessed it; I wasn’t able to actually sleep for a long duration, guess it was good that I laid down for those 4-5 hours the night before.

We were served a full-course Middle Eastern/Indian inspired dinner, and then breakfast; it was a long flight, but bearable. Most of the time was spent just laying down listening to music, though I did check out the movies and think it was highly inappropriate to be showing "Snatched" on my flight, so I opted with Fast and the Furious 6 just for something different than music to occupy my time. I was also able to edit some photos I had taken the day before for a couple for their 25th Anniversary which was nice to actually be productive. The flight from Qatar to Bangkok was only 6.5 hours which felt like nothing after sitting for 12 hours straight; and finally after three flights, and many hours, I was landing in Bangkok! I exited the plane, made my way towards customs, got in line to get my passport stamped, and before I knew it I was in Thailand officially. The moment I have been waiting for; for about 2 weeks now was finally here, I looked down the hallway to see the only person I know over 6 feet in the Bangkok Airport approaching me. Paul and I made our exit to the instant humidity smacking me in the face, "Welcome to Thailand."

We grabbed an Uber to head to Calypso to see someone from Paul's current Muay Thai camp fight, and meet up with some of the other camp individuals. First I needed a coffee, some water, and some food; that was a must. We stopped by a coffee shop, once inside both Paul and I got iced coffee; I was told not to drink the water in Thailand, that included anything iced (you know, because ice cubes are made with water and all.) Well...nothing like going all in on your first night, checking that off the list but had to get to the fight before it started; quickly grabbing a kabob street-side, it was amazing. Meeting up with the others just in time; walking into the area was literally a breath of fresh air...air conditioning that is. It was a small venue, only two fights would be showcased; and Khongsittha's fighter would be the second event. That evening I met Giuliana, Jack, Owen, Matthew, Leo, and Sayed; six individuals that would each teach me something. After the fight, we grabbed some food family style; did I mention how humid it is here? Followed by taking advantage of the free water boat tour, it's weird to think about that 24 hours prior I was laying on a couch in Connecticut; and now finally in Thailand.

Settling into the hotel; we had some late night Sang Som rum and Coke Zero, outside of the rooms there was this communal area outside with wooden furniture and plenty of cats roaming about. I didn't care to drink; it had been a long couple days, and I was growing more tired as the minutes passed me by. But when the glass was placed in front of me, and the drink was poured I figured it only made sense to share a drink my first night in Bangkok.

 “The gentle art of gastronomy is a friendly one. It hurdles the language barrier, makes friends among civilized people, and warms the heart.” – Samuel Chamberlain

Follow the journey here on my blog, as well as on my Instagram: @r_elia_ble_fit
Paul's multitude of Facebook pages:
Paul's Instagram: @muaythaiathlete                                                          
The Limitless Project's Instagram: @limitlessproject.official

I've never been so alone; and yet I've never been so alive

Paul, Matthew, and Jack