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The Journey of a Lifetime

The Journey of a Lifetime

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The Journey of a Lifetime

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Mar 14, 2015


The Journey of a Lifetime details the 200 days of adventure my brother and I experienced when we were travelling. We explored the Philippines, Laos, Malaysian Borneo, Thailand, Nepal and Slovenia. This autobiographical journal consists of 24 chapters, each depicting a unique part of the trip: for instance, we climbed South-East Asia's highest mountain Gunung Kinabalu (4095m), Slovenia's highest mountain Mt Triglav (2864m), Kala Patthar (5550m); we trekked through the Himalayas in order to reach Mt Everest Base Camp (5364m); we scuba dived the pristine tropical depths of the Andaman Sea and the Pacific Ocean, waters teeming with colorful life and incredible coral reefs; we bungee jumped in several places and parachuted over the flatlands of Thailand; we visited countless cities, some pulsating with life and some seemingly stuck in a century long gone by; we met countless people and made great friends along the way; we climbed limestone cliffs rising from the seas outside Ao Nang, and vertical mountain walls in central Laos; we explored cave networks and tunnel labyrinthes within the cliffs of Vangvieng and bathed in icy pools of water inside the grottos; we explored the jungles of Borneo, beholding its amazing wildlife of orangutans, crocodiles, elephants and fire flies; we raised tents in the dark jungle forests and spent nights sleeping on the beaches of paradisiacal islands; we canoed and boated across muddy rivers, swam in tropical lagoons and bathed in hot springs; we entered sunken shipwrecks from World War II at the bottoms of Coron Bay and explored hidden underwater caves; and all the while we learned more and more about ourselves and why exactly we went on this voyage in the first place. As the days rolled by we discovered something deep within us, a strong yearning for certain states of mind we christened moments, and soon we realized that we were constantly chasing that rare and elusive feeling. And as we traveled far and wide in our quest for these moments, we wrote everything down, composing not only a book, but a memory that will never fade away. This story is the story of our greatest dream--of our Journey of a Lifetime.

Mar 14, 2015

Sobre el autor

My name is Sebastian Procheus and I am still a relatively young writer who has been writing for as long as I can remember. My first works included poorly spelled short stories scribbled down in my math books in first grade, and ever since I have been working in close collaboration with pencils and keyboards.

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The Journey of a Lifetime - Sebastian Procheus

The Journey of a Lifetime

Copyright 2015 Sebastian Procheus

Published by Sebastian Procheus at Smashwords

Smashwords Edition License Notes

This ebook is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This ebook may not be re-sold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each recipient. If you’re reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your enjoyment only, then please return to Smashwords.com or your favorite retailer and purchase your own copy. Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author.

Table of Contents


Midnight Thoughts

In the Cacophony of the Night

The Leaps of Faith

A Point of View

The White Rocks

Cloud Connected

Idle Hands are the Devil’s Tools

A Fool and his Money…

Vertical Wandering

Welcome to the Circus

Where Eagles Dare

The Dark Race

In Caverns Old

Where the Cold Winds Blow

Cruising the Nepalese Skies

The Hunt for the Manta Ray

Off the Beaten Track

Task Force 38

The Jungle Above the Clouds

Midnight Thoughts

Just a Moment

At the End of all Hope

The Final Frontier


For as long as both of us can remember, my brother and I have dreamt of a great journey, an adventure that would take us to places far and wide across a globe we’ve always wanted, and intended, to explore; a journey that would see us delve deep into strange and colorful jungles, ascend eminent mountains, dive the mysterious, blue oceans, trek wild expanses of nature in foreign countries and explore caves and ruins fallen into oblivion. Even as small kids we knew that there would come a day when the two of us would leave home, family and comfort to journey out into the world and seek out these dreams. These aren’t the aspirations of every child, but they were ours, and there was no doubt in our minds that they would one day come to be. As we trudged through the years of childhood and adolescence, this grand scheme never disappeared. It resided dormant in the backs of our minds for a decade or more—sometimes faint and vague, but always there—and the idea never left us. Up until this point in our lives, a voyage like the one we envisioned was far from possible, but recently it has begun to dawn on us that the time is finally come; all conditions are met and the pieces of the puzzle are falling in place. Not only did this Journey become possible—it became inevitable.

I believe the very first time the gravity of what the immediate future held for us truly came to our attention was during a cloudy day out in the Swedish east-coast archipelagos, where we had just finished our first outdoor scuba dive lesson. The majority of our group of divers was hanging out around a small fire, escaping the cool autumn afternoon in the warming vicinity of its embers, but Mattias and I were sitting on a cliff some stone’s throw away, drinking from a thermos of coffee and enjoying a truly magical moment. We weren’t talking, but our thoughts and feelings were identical. Rays of sunlight were bursting through the gray clouds above, and we contently gazed out over the waters from where we had just recently emerged. It felt as if something important was starting right at that moment; we were on the cusp of something great—of something enormous, in fact—and at that moment, we felt it in its entirety for the very first time.

Not more than a month has transpired since we finally decided to do this—to realize our lifelong dream of travelling out into the world to look for adventures. Acquiring a diving license was merely one of many preparations we knew the following fall would contain, but it was that magical step from fantasy to reality—it was the beginning. Like a smoldering piece of coal, just waiting to burst into flames, the prospect of this voyage has slumbered in our sub-consciousnesses for such a long time, biding its time and patiently waiting for it to turn ripe, that now when it finally has, not only does it feel fantastic, it feels downright unreal.

This autumn seems unusually bleak, but that has only served to strengthen our yearning. We have spent so many evenings sitting in my apartment with a cup of coffee and just talking about what is to come. The four months that remain until we leave will be long, that I grant, but it seems like smooth sailing in the knowing that come the advent of the new year, our lifelong dream will finally begin to unfold.

Midnight Thoughts

If all roads lead to somewhere, then obviously we're not there yet.

I'm sitting in the dim darkness of a sleeping airplane, my rest an elusive luxury. My brother, on the other hand, enjoys sweet, unconscious oblivion beside me, as do most other passengers. Frankly, I have no idea what time it is, where in the world we are, or by what time zone we currently abide. It just feels like night, and it sure is dark outside. So why can't I sleep?

It comes as no surprise to me that my mind is restless (for this is the quandary—mental restlessness—of that I am certain). After all, we are on our way; our journey has begun, even though, in a way, it really hasn't. Aren't we still on the way to the beginning? But then again, they say it's not the destination so much as the journey, and I say there might be truth to that statement; after all, our trip is a six month long journey, but whatever destination we might be looking for is currently unknown to both of us.

There are many feelings involved in an enterprise of this magnitude. I am sure I speak for both of us when I say we have been reflecting a lot on what we are undertaking. Why are we doing it? Are we really prepared to disappear into another world for half a year? Some might think, and I understand this thought, that we have shown very little elation during the days leading up to our departure. In truth, we are both deeply and fundamentally certain that we want to do this—that we have to do this—after all, we have spent half our lives talking about it. And my brother kind of hit the nail on the head when he said, just a few hours ago, that this is the kind of thing you don't just prepare for during the couple of days preceding takeoff—this has been percolating, steadily growing in size, in importance, in power, within our very beings, for a very, very long time. I might even endeavor as far as saying that this is our destiny writ large.

This does not come as a revelation in this silent moment on the airplane. I knew this a long time ago. Deep within my subconscious mind, there is clearly a larger plan at work. The following months will be enough time to extract and unravel it and for us both to find the purpose of this adventure of our lifetimes.

And with that being said, let the journey begin.

In the Cacophony of the Night

At around eight pm I sit up straight in the bed. What about the island?

The question is a response to the issue that has been lingering in the air since dinner. We have been living on Koh Samui, an island off the East coast of Thailand, for only a few days, and although we have had ample opportunity to sample its colorful character during days spent on beaches licked by casual waves inbound from the turquoise Gulf, and during nights in a town that is every bit as vibrant with energy as it is awash with perpetual partying, we have already grown a mite tired of it. Our actual plans for this country involved neither of aforementioned activities, and it feels like the time has come to try something unusual instead.

My brother responds to my question in a way I suppose not many other people would have. He looks at me, and even though there is no verbal response, his intent is clear. He isn't asking himself whether or not he wants to; he is asking himself whether or not it's possible.

We have to think every detail through, the answer finally comes.

Chaweng Beach is ablaze; bar after bar lie along the stretch of sand, and they are positively pulsating with the inebriated energy of celebrants auspicating nothing in particular. Unintelligible, drunken chatter escaping arbitrarily from this feisty folk festival, mildly deafening house-music of the most frenetic nature and sporadic fireworks all add to the nightly pandemonium of this ordinary Saturday. A vast cultural mélange mingle in this frenzy, the very same frenzy which we partook in just one night ago. So why exactly are we purposely striding past all of this now, giving it no more attention than it takes for us to notice, to our gentle amusement, how confused people seem to be about our failure to adhere to the beach party dress code? How come we don’t shed our backpacks and boots to join in the festivities? The question has

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