Essays

The Journey Continues

Words By Victor Tam

Though bittersweet, the end of a journey always signals new beginnings. In our epilogue, these beginnings were of self-discovery, of friendships born from chance encounters, and of an exciting year ahead for Monos.

Mallorca, Spain

The road trip continued to Spain's pearl of the Mediterranean as we crossed over into the island of Mallorca. Our vehicle was not only a means to reach our destination but an incubator for sharing and widening perspectives. As iron sharpens iron, our conversations deepened through questioning, encouraging one another, and reflecting on new thoughts pooled from our five different walks of life.

We meandered through the hidden villages and even braved the twisting curves of the famous Sa Calobra highway. We oscillated between jolts of adrenaline navigating sharp narrow bends just barely wide enough for two cars and being completely awe-struck by the spectacular panoramic views of the island. As we drove along, we realised that the rules of the road and the intuition needed behind the wheel were powerful metaphors. In order to navigate through this crazy thing called life, you need to know when to yield, when to proceed with caution, and when to gun the engine as you charge straight for the horizon.

Barcelona, Spain

A bombastic urban, architectonic complex located in the former Sanson cement factory, Walden-7 from revered Spanish architect Ricardo Bofill is a masterpiece of modular cubist design. An intricate lattice of structural lines, it is a maze of inspirations taken from the utopian novel Walden Two, written by behavioural psychologist B. F. Skinner. The first wave of residents was an enclave of artists, poets, and free-thinkers of the 70s. Fifty years on, the legacy of their creative energy still remains, imbuing the space with their immortal ideas.

As we meandered through the labyrinth of interlinked passageways, we paid careful attention to the gallivanting inspiration peppered all around us. Capturing it in photos and burned into our brains, carrying it forward with us as the ultimate souvenir of our travels.

Marrakech, Morocco

Marrakech is truly a sensory experience like none other. Vivid palettes of burnt orange and saffron; bold and ornate patterns etched into tiles; lush rugs hanging from above walkways; aromatic vapours arising from the guild of street food vendors, and the cacophony of shouts from the merchants to the swarming passersby. Our senses were cranked into overdrive as we raced to keep pace with the beat of this vibrant, pulsating city.

As a refreshment amidst this beautiful chaos, we retreated into a pocket of tranquillity at our riad, a traditional Moroccan home built around an inner courtyard. It offered us a serene, introspective haven from the hectic bustle of city life. It was here that each of us withdrew to our own thoughts, deeply treasuring the importance of creating space and taking time to reflect. Our final evening was spent on a quiet rooftop with the sound of solemn prayers humming in the distance.

We presented this moment of calm with the canvas of our minds alongside new hues of gratitude, inspiration, and understanding, painting our hearts into the late hours as the gentle breeze of evening hushed the day to an ebony slumber and drew the curtains of our unforgettable trip to a reluctant close. Though bittersweet, the end of a journey always signals new beginnings. In our epilogue, these beginnings were of self-discovery, of friendships born from chance encounters, and of an exciting year ahead for Monos. We smiled, ready for our next odyssey. ■

Essays

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