About joeymangaser

A young lad dreaming of just being simple and happy, yet living life limitlessly. He loves traveling, photography and a few other interesting things.

8 Inspiring Lessons from The Alchemist

I have been re-reading The Alchemist by Paolo Coelho and this is what got me into blogging again. Until today, I never realized how much that book has inspired me to take a very big leap and believe in what is possible. When I moved to Europe in 2011 to pursue graduate studies in Paris, I sacrificed being away from loved ones and I quit a relatively comfortable job in the Philippines to venture into the unknown. Looking back, all I can say is that following my heart’s desire has been by far the best decision I have made. Everything that happened since then has been truly amazing and unforgettable.

I would like to share some of words of wisdom from the book that continue to inspire me and I am hoping that they will inspire you too in achieving whatever your heart desires.

  1. “And, when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.” Give all your energy and focus your attention to your aspirations. When you are very clear about what you want, life brings you the right people and the right opportunities at the right moment. Everything will just fall into place.
  2. “People are capable, at any time in their lives, of doing what they dream of.” It is never too late to pursue that skill or hobby. Perhaps you’d like to study a new language? Learn how to swim? Ride a bike? Run a half-marathon? All four things I did in 2013. Just commit yourself to it and do it. Little by little, you will become better at it.
  3. “Learn to recognize omens, and follow them.” Watch out for signs. You know when something is worth fighting for and when you have to let go. When opportunities present themselves, study them. Open the door and look at what’s inside. You don’t have to go in all the time. What if behind the door is the edge of a cliff? Sometimes, it’s okay to close the door and say no.
  4. “Everything in life has its price.” We pay a price for every decision we make and this is inevitable. Always ask yourself the questions, “Why am I doing this?”, “What am I sacrificing?”, “Am I willing to pay this price to achieve what I want in life?” When you have answered them and things are clear, go for it! When you are not sure about the answers. always trust your instincts.
  5. “When each day is the same as the next, it’s because people fail to recognize the good things that happen in their lives every day that the sun rises.” When we feel like daily life is just a routine, we fail to enjoy life’s simple pleasures because we’re trying to live outside the present. We are always bothered by what happened in the past or we’re too consumed by the possibilities of the future. Just focus on the time that you have now and you will realize how much fun the present is.
  6. “There is only one thing that makes a dream impossible to achieve: the fear of failure.” This is something common to all of us. No one wants to call himself a failure, right? However, making mistakes is part of learning. Mistakes teach us what not to do the next time. Be like a rubber ball! The harder we are pushed to the ground, the more we gain momentum to rebound.
  7. “People are afraid to pursue their most important dreams, because they feel that they don’t deserve them, or that they’ll be unable to achieve them.” Sometimes, I wonder why I am receiving all these wonderful blessings. What have I done to deserve them? While it is good to know we are grounded, it’s better to respond to these opportunities with much gratitude. The more we practice gratefulness, the more we will reap good things.
  8. “It is what you have always wanted to accomplish. Everyone, when they are young, knows what their personal legend is.” Always look back to that moment during your childhood when you were the happiest. I’ve always had fun looking at maps, spinning the globe, memorizing capital cities of countries and the flags of the world. I know my passion is traveling and this is my personal legend. How about you? What makes your heart beat?

This book is full of messages that will allow you to reflect about your mission in life. If you need a dose of inspiration, The Alchemist is a bottomless source of it. I wish you all the best in your journey!

P.S. I am traveling again this year. I’m most excited about the trip to Lapland in March (trying to catch the Northern Lights) and Brazil (Rio de Janeiro and the Amazon) during the World Cup season.


The Grand Slam Dream

I haven’t been following tennis like I used to but still one thing that I want to experience is to catch all of the four Grand Slam finals live. I’m happy that I’m just three more finals away from reaching this goal but I know this will be hard to achieve considering the expenses and the logistics required for these highly popular matches.

In summer of 2009, when I first came to France for a business trip, I was lucky enough to be staying there for a month at the same time that the French Open was being held. I was able to secure tickets but only for some doubles games since the finals were just too expensive for me to afford back then. I promised myself that it wouldn’t be my last in Roland Garros. True enough, since I am living in France, I was able to get tickets not just to one game but to both men’s and women’s finals for the 2012 French Open.

I was so excited to be finally on Court Philip Chatrier, with the red-orange clay filling my vision, cheering with other fans from France and all over the world. Seeing Maria Sharapova play and win her first trophy here, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic battling it out in an epic 2-day final (and I had to leave work that Monday afternoon because of the continuation) – it was an unforgettable experience for me!

So, three more finals to go and it would be a personal “sports” victory for me! This is the closest feeling to being a tennis superstar trying to chase his next Grand Slam trophy.

Here are some photos from those three memorable days:

Roland Garros - Rain and Umbrella Errani On the floor Maria Fly Maria Maria and baby Novak frustrated Rafa knees Novak & Rafa hug it out Rafa trophy Rafa autograph

Vienna: The Capital of Classical

I pleasantly enjoyed my recent trip to Vienna despite the last minute changes in plan. I wasn’t prepared to come alone but I still decided to go because I don’t want the money that I’ve already spent for all the tickets to go down the drain. Besides, it is one of the cities in Europe that I have always wanted to see and I am so glad I did. Vienna has nothing to show the world but grandeur in its truest sense. I spent only three nights in this magnificent Austrian capital and I kept wanting more. I was able to do the essentials and that’s what’s important.

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“Around” the world in 40 days (Part 2)

Manila, Philippines | March 17-24

Prior to the flight from Paris to Abu Dhabi, I was secretly hoping to be upgraded from economy to business class. Lo and behold! One flight later, despite having checked-in online, I was so surprised to know upon boarding that I was bumped to the front section of the Abu Dhabi-Manila segment. Hello business class with built-in massage chair! Thanks Etihad Airways!

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“Around” the world in 40 days

Exactly a month ago, my craziest travel experience to date started. I saw myself spending an awful lot of time catching trains and sleeping in airports. It’s unimaginable that I somehow managed to avoid the jet lag and kept myself stress-free as I enjoyed every minute of the journey. I feel like I was a rockstar doing a world tour.

Today is different. I have nowhere to go. This is the first weekend in the past month where I will just stay put in my own bed. I’ll probably continue reading The Hunger Games and watch some TV series that I missed. What about cleaning my room or going for a nice run along the beach? Or, just get that much needed sleep? First, I’ll reminisce what happened…

Warning: This is going to be my longest post yet as I cannot compress a month’s worth of travel in a very concise article. Do not read if you’re not interested. Ü

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