Vietnam is a country rich in history, culture and tradition. This being my second visit here in just 4 months. And I’ll be back again. There’s always something new to see and learn in Vietnam. Like so many Southeast Asian countries, Vietnam’s recent history has been dark and tragic. Tens of millions of Vietnamese suffered and perished through war, famine and oppression from their government. It reminds us that human beings can and will inflect terrible suffering on each other for a cause and protecting their own interests. But things are improving in Vietnam. The country is moving ahead with plans for a better future. As investment from the West pours in, the Vietnamese are hopeful their future will be brighter than their past.
Space and time fades away…
One of things I look forward to most about going on holiday is getting lost. As I lose myself in the adventure, I begin to feel like a kid again. Awe and wonder. Is this a dream? I love the streets of Vietnam for that very thing. There aren’t many places in the world where I feel such an excitement in the exploration and a connection to the people and their roots. Walking down the streets you get a true sense for the people, their lives and their passions. The smells of the street food fill the air. Crowds gather around the TV. Vietnam is playing Cambodia in a friendly match. I chat up the food vendors and ask locals what they recommend. There is the laughter of children playing in the streets. Everyone stops and watches the sunsets.
Give me some time
For me, it takes a while to completely unwind and immerse myself in a new way of life. There’s a sweet spot on a trip that I find generally occurs between 10 and 14 days. That’s when things that once mattered back home stop feeling so important. Time seems to go into a slipstream. The 9 to 5 routine I had back home no longer is a reality. I begin to question whether if it ever was or if it something I ever wanted. I now live in this storybook. My very own, and I get to write my adventure. For me, Vietnam is a place where the story feels like a Jon Krakauer novel. There’s excitement at every turn. Time fades and I lose myself as I fall in love with the people and the culture. It slowly consumes me. Wonderful people, views that take your breath away and food that some give their first born for. Vietnam is good for the soul. But you’ve got to be willing to dive in. Only then will you experience the true essence that is found in this wonderful place.
“Some beautiful paths can’t be discovered without getting lost.” -Erol Ozan