About failing

Monique Birgitte

Monique Birgitte

I have failed myself. Big time! My body is exhausted and my mind is numb. I’ve neglected all that is mindful and knowingly put my body through hell… “Why would you do that to yourself?” you ask? Because I was enjoying (almost) every minute of it- living in the moment. It all started two weeks or so ago….

“This is your bed and this your locker” Mano, the receptionist of this little paradise called ‘Mui Ne Hills’, says with her cute Belgian accent. A fit looking young man enters the dorm behind her. He says ‘Hi’ to me and from his accent I can immediately tell he’s Dutch. Another guy follows with a distinct American accent, except he’s Canadian. Should’ve known! All travelers here are Canadian. Unless they say the word ‘About’, I still can’t tell the difference. Ah well! The Irish guy, with the most infectious grin, I met earlier joins the conversation and we all immediately hit it off. “ You guys wanna go for a beer?” I ask. It’s almost 5 o’clock- definitely beer o’clock in ‘Paradise’ : )

We head up to the pool and start playing cards. Another hilarious Dutch guy joins, and the party has officially started. From that moment onward we were inseparable. We spent every minute of every day together and I couldn’t get myself to break free ’cause I wanted to be around these people all the time. The next day another Dutch guy, looking like a Tom Cruise from his early ‘Cocktail’ days, joined. I have now adopted his laugh and might not be able to shed it for days to come. Thanx Robbi!  

More people joined our group and it was just madness. We drank, we partied, we came home covered in sand from skinny dipping at times when other travelers had already gotten up to go sightseeing, we woke up early ‘cause the sun was shining and we wanted the yummy breakfast, which included ‘Brie!’. We were all very excited about ‘The Brie’.

Every day we would separately go downstairs to the reception and book the bed for another night. “This is the last day, I promise! Tomorrow I’m really leaving” I proclaimed.  Cheekily the receptionist looks at me. “ Aaaah, that’s what you say every day” she teases. She’s not wrong, it’s been like this 6 days in a row and the other guys have been doing the same thing. We both laugh and she helps me change my bus ticket that I had already booked to Ho Chi Minh for that day.  

This went on for a while, until I felt like I was no longer enjoying it so much and desperately needed Mo-time and get back to my healthy lifestyle. Not once during my days in ‘Paradise’ did I get inspired to write a story. Of course not, your brain cells died from all the beer, rum & coke and lack of sleep. My camera remained untouched in the locker and the Ukelele stayed hidden underneath the bed feeling neglected. Yoga & meditation were stripped from my routine and I hadn’t written in my gratitude booklet since day 1 in ‘Paradise’.  Needless to say, I was ready to move on. But then…….

I was in the process of checking out when I received the text saying I was one of the selected people allowed to have free kitesurfing lessons worth 400 dollars. Whutt??? Free kitesurfing lessons??  Yes, that’s right! I couldn’t believe my luck! How can I pass that up??? My exhausted body was not ready for anything active, but I’ve been wanting to learn kitesurfing ever since I got acquainted with the sport at Zanzibar seven years ago. Every time the opportunity arose since then, the wind had not cooperated. This was definitely a once in a lifetime chance, which I could and would not pass up. Yet I still felt a contradiction ‘cause the need for alone time was growing stronger and stronger.

That night I met two Canadians preparing their own salad with so many fresh veggies. I was in awe. The girl (only nineteen years old) told me she wakes up every morning at 5:30. She can’t help it. Her body just wakes up. Granted she goes to bed between 8 and 9 so yeah, makes sense that she’s well rested after more than 8 hours of sleep, but still…. “I wake up and go out on the balcony to stretch and meditate”. We had a long conversation and they shared a lot of things they do or don’t do. For instance, they  distance themselves from other people not to get tempted to drink alcohol.

Hearing her and her boyfriend talk about their lifestyle while traveling inspired me. I am like them. Not as extreme but I did all those things before I started actually moving around. So now I am excited to find out how I can balance the party-Mo with the healthy-zen Mo. I am positive a lot more travelers exist out there that want to discover the balance, which is hard. Believe me! When you have no kitchen of your own and don’t want to carry salad bowls and your own knives with you all the time, when you are constantly surrounded by people and have no privacy what so ever.

Even though I’m not sure how to do this yet, I am determined to find out. It’s a matter of trial and error. I’ve lived through the error part- which I needed. Had I not failed myself, I wouldn’t have seen this opportunity. Just as the picture suggests, I turned away from myself but am looking at flowing beauty. Continuous movement. A new beginning has resurfaced and I’m happy about the room for so much more growth this experience created. Next up is more trial….The island of ‘Koh Chang’ being my ‘Everest’….Wish me luck!    


Hi, ik ben Monique! Een ‘Life Voyager’ zoals een producer/manager uit New York mij zo mooi noemt. Deze voel ik wel. Ik ben inderdaad iemand die het leven ziet en voelt als een geweldig avontuur. Dat was langer niet altijd zo…




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Meld je hier aan voor de ‘Truly Feel Good’ nieuwsbrief en ontdek manieren waarop je harmonieuze relaties kunt creëeren, met jezelf & iedereen om je heen.

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