Vietnam; I left something back home.

A month ago I was sipping Vietnamese drip coffee and eating Bánh mì at Bui Vien after an awe-inspiring New Year’s Eve in Ho Chi Minh City. (New Year’s at Giangs & 10 ways to celebrate New Year’s bash in Ho Chi Minh City)

There’s something about this Vietnam trip that has tweaked me a little; I’m not sure if it’s the simplicity of people in this country that made me realize how materialistic I have become lately or is it just me able to understand myself a little bit better. I have always believed in Rumi’s quote about travel bringing power and love to life; in fact I did write something during my trip about it: Travel Brings Po & Ve – Rumi’s quote could be the apt one line summary of my trip.

Vietnam has mesmerizing yet powerful history of inherited culture, war, leadership, excellence, fortitude and love. And I guess this is exactly what defines the people of Vietnam. Not to ignore the intelligence of Vietnamese Communist, the trip to Cu Chi Tunnels gave me an awe-inspiring insight to their stealth and intelligence: (Cu Chi Tunnels).

As traveler it’s almost impossible to fall in love (considering the awe-inspiring options around you) but ‘love is not that alters with travel’ nor does it ask you when you would want to fall in it, you just do; My pinch of love (self and her) – Shadow.

Overall, Vietnam was an overwhelming experience due to many reasons, events, people and occasions. I don’t think I can ever get over Vietnam. And for this one reason, Vietnam is up on the list of my 2014 Travel!

You can read more about my Vietnam trip here: https://fortitudeandchoices.wordpress.com/category/vietnam/

I have also compiled two video blogs on my youtube channel:

 

Do Travel to Vietnam; It will bring power and love to you life.

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New Year’s Bash at Giang’s – the pho experience #13

For New Year’s bash this year, I opted for a house party with tons of alcohol, food, snacks, karaoke, movies etc (drinking games of course) but following are few ideas for a New Year’s party/bash in Ho Chi Minh City.

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10 ways to celebrate New Year’s to do:

1. Reserve a table at Chill Skybar on AB towers or in fact any sky bar in the town.
2. Countdown festivals: Heinekin, escape and other countdowns are hosted all over the city, just drop by any. It’s a little crowded though.
3. The Bui Vien Street: all the tourists go crazy on Bui vien street, they dance on the roads with random music, fake snow. It sounds fun.
4. A night in Melong Delta: Just spend a night in the peace of an island with your family or girlfriend on a tiny island in the middle of the river.
5. Local bars: if you’re alone and cannot afford big bashes just crash into local bars, you might even get lucky 😉
6. House Party: a lot of Vietnamese people prefer hosting house parties.
7. Firework and city centre countdown (District 1) – too much traffic though.
8. Go to an orphanage and celebrate with kids by sharing gifts, a peaceful meal.
9. Take a motorbike tour around city: hire a bike and go around the city.
10. Do multiple activities listed on the list above 😉

Happy New Year 😉

Travel Brings Po and Ve – The Pho Experience # Something

They ought might call it a cliché and most of the times I would agree but this moment (this spec of the second) where I feel vindicated, cannot be justified as a Cliché.

Now I’m skipping few interesting experiences I have had here in Saigon to share the contemporary ‘talk’ in my head.

“Travel brings power and love back into your life.”
― Rumi

I had weird expectations from Vietnam or from my trip in Vietnam. Initially, I just wanted to meet a friend, party with her and go around the city; later I changed my plan to just walking around- reading – writing plan but that too was a fail ( naturally). Eventually, things did fell in place, I did what I’m should have planned from the start.

1. Travelled around Saigon: Mekong, Monkey Island, Cu Chi tunnels etc
2. Partied hard: Karaoke, live music, bars, lounges, shacks, clubs, hookah joints – all done 😉
3. Art and history: visited every museum mentioned on Trip advisor and every artistic place or temple
4. Date: went on a date, felt inspired beyond thought. A positive change to life.
5. 2014 Resolution: yes, I went through a 7day awesome process to come up with a resolution.
6. Meeting friends, new people: met dozens of people over Christmas and New Year Party. New conversations, stories, ideas, thoughts; life.

This travel has made me realise there’s good and evil in all, including myself. The evil is me always existed and I had only a faint idea about its existence but now I know what’s evil, I know why it’s there and I know how to work my way out without any emotional shutdowns.

I guess it all started with,” Loving Yourself”
Either ways, I’m inspired, I’m ready to face any adversity put forth in 2014; for this fight is called Life.

I guess Rumi was right, travel does bring power; for the love part only time will tell.

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Mekong Delta – The pho experience #12

Last Friday I took a one day tour to Mekong Delta. It was short and sweet.

The location My tho – Ben Tre is roughly 2hrs away from the HcM city. It is said to be “an unforgettable way of seeing the true Vietnamese culture of the South”

We took a boat trip around the four islands of the Mekong delta: Dragon, Unicorn, Tortoise and Phoenix. Post that we visited the natural creeks and peaceful villages of Ben Tre province. Tropical fruits, honey tea and traditional music were the top highlights.

I really loved the special rowing boat trip that takes you through the amazing naturally green canals.

The trip was more fun because of 5 cute Australian med girls ( they were studying medicine), they were really nice and helpful (I was sick and hence I was literally being nursed by them) , I had incredible conversations about our lives in our countries, their med experiences, cultural differences etc.

I really wish them good luck on their trip and travel ahead.

Overwhelmed – The pho experience 11

Even though as a project manager I would never like to believe this (and my bosses please don’t quote me one this one), a plan will not always go through as planned. No matter how well you plan the same you will meet deltas and variables in your progress.
(A good project manager plans these deltas and variables but during my travel itinerary Planning I did not take them into consideration)

I met certain variables during my travel plan right now, and my entire itinerary has changed.

Variable 1: A good travel agency
I found a good travel agency that suggested me trips and tours via which I could do more of touristy things in less time. They are cost effective and helpful (flirting pays back ;)) – hence what I thought I would do in 5 days, I did in 3.

Variable 2: Amazing host
Yes! My host aka Jean aka Giang aka Rudolf is super awesome, she mostly picks me up and drops me to places everyday. She has taken me to several Vietnamese cuisine restaurants in a span of 5 days! Not to forget the party places. Hence what I would have explored in 5 days, I explored in 3 🙂

Variable 3: a date
Of course I never planned to go on a date in Vietnam but I did. I think after a real long time I felt a was date like an actual date. Date causes change in budget, travel plan and of course mood. I feel very much relaxed and happy 🙂
For what will happen next, only time will tell.

Variable 4: I’m sick
When so much happens in so less time you tend to not take care of yourself and fall into the vicious sickness circle. I have my same old cold which happens due my allergy towards dust and extreme temperature changes. I’m fine, have my meds. Even took a trip to. Meekong in partial sickness haha. But still it does stop you from doing more.

For what I will do next is not planned because at moment I have no idea what lies ahead and I’m in no mood to predict!

And there I go, in the shadow – The Pho experience #9

She gleams with a shadow of my existence that I know is true,
I would smile, hide yet believe because I know it’s you
I won’t beg
I won’t plead
Because it’s you that makes me, an artist, a passionate explorer, makes me me.
You smile at a running dog that makes me Glee

You’re pure like pink lotus flower,
There’s a story we share and a night that we know it’s ours
I’m scared to know how you feel
Is this me imagining ? Is is real?
I won’t force
I won’t chase
Because it’s the nature of life, like a broken seal
Be my life, like a captain’s wheel

Did I say to much? Is it a lot?
I know I’m being weird and may be like a bot
In my eyes you might seek truth
Is this a dream or is this true?
It’s in my heart, tonight, you’ll find you.