24 May 2016

Why I'm Not Where You Are

Hit play.

All the places. All the people. All the roads winding, the trees singing, the songs humming. It’s been a long time, you. It’s been too long. The stories have been waiting to come alive. I, have been waiting to come alive.

How do I begin to tell you?

How do I begin to tell you about the euphoric freedom of that first time I ever jumped off a cliff—in a cave laden with bats somewhere where everything was emerald? Or that time I couldn’t hold my tears back as I stared upon the stunning view of old thatch-roofed houses quietly sitting between pine tree covered mountains in a Japan in autumn? Or that cold December night in Pattaya, where I had been feeling so terribly lonely, yet I found myself in the embrace of a complete stranger reminding me I was wonderful? Or perhaps the bliss of arriving in your favorite island again and again, always to be welcomed by the family you’ve made there and the wonderful echo in your ear as they tell you with an embrace—“welcome home”? And you melt a little inside each time because you know they are right. You are. You are home.

How do I simply begin to tell you all that was? All that continue to be? 

I have missed you. I have been missing. Whether literally or figuratively, I have been missing. That is the truth. Which is why I couldn’t return to you. I couldn’t face you half-assed. It was all or nothing. And I was nothing. 

I won’t sugarcoat it and tell you the past year and a half has been all rainbows and gardens. It hasn’t been. There were many grey days, clouded by fear, doubt, insecurities, loneliness, and longing. Longing, above all. There were many heartaches and heartbreaks. How do I even begin to tell you that rainy afternoon in Palawan and I was alone. So terribly alone. In bed, in my room, where it was raining just as much. 

I look everywhere, I whisper. I goddamn look everywhere.

26 November 2015

The Taste of Wild Freedom

Photo: www.eyeem.com/josephgoh

All I've dreamed this entire year was to be in Chiang Mai this exact night to watch a hundred lanterns fly into the night sky. But I was in a meeting in the city instead. This is not in any way a complaint, though. I am grateful. I am. Just this year alone, this job has brought me to places and people and moments beyond I could have ever imagined.

The big plan was to finally embark on my own nomadic adventure this year that would eventually end at Yee Peng, but the universe clearly had other ideas. Although I am admittedly a little disappointed, I try to shake the bad feelings away by reminding myself that things only unfold as they should. That the universe is a cosmic flow. And I am water.

When I think about the chancestwo flights to Thailand in just the past half a year I never got on and with another huge maybe waiting in the next monthit would seem that it just isn't the right time yet. For whatever reason that doesn't make sense yet, it seems Thailand is telling me to wait.

And so it is.

15 August 2015

Sights & Stardust


Hit play.


"This is the stuff of dreams!"

I remember exclaiming into the wind. Those around me to hear my professions of love for all these inanimate things laugh at my wide-eyed wonder. But in my head I laugh a little too, because I knew something they didn’t—nothing is inanimate. All things are life.

Everyone walks on ahead and I fall behind observing everyone and everything, like I always do when I travel. We had just spent the afternoon having piƱa coladas and ceviche by the beach, under a gorgeous white tent, sitting on blankets with pretty patterns, lanterns and driftwood scattered all around us; all the while waiting for the sun to descend into the sea. I’ve always thought this place to have one of the most beautiful sunsets in this country. No one seems to know. They don’t seem to believe when I tell them. But then again, perhaps this place doesn’t resonate with them like it does with me.

12 May 2015

Chapter 25: Onwards and Ever Upwards

Chapter 25: Onwards and Ever Upwards The Stillness in Moving Nicole Villaluz

Play this first.


~ CHAPTER 16 ~

My sister knocked on the bedroom door and told me to sit down.

My Papa had gone.

I was 16. Confused. Lonely. And angry. Very angry. So like any 16 year old, I dealt with my new reality the only way I knew how—I didn’t. I hid it under the rug.

I went from tormented to forgetting. No, no grieving. Just forgetting. Forgetting everything. I collected every little memory of him and buried it in a tight, dark room somewhere in a deep part of me. Kept it locked. Hidden. Never to be heard of, talked of, thought of. Never to be discovered.

I told myself that I had no right to grieve. After two years of suffering, almost completely bedridden, he was finally out of misery. At a better place where, I hoped, pain was just a word that didn’t hold any meaning. No more nights desperately trying to get sleep underneath the yells of him begging for the heavens to finally take him.

I was 16. And I was a deeply sad person.