hanoi, vietnam: reflection

 I love the simplicity and impact of this street art.

I love the simplicity and impact of this street art.

Vietnam had always been at the top of my list for places I wanted to see- for both its culture and its nature. Upon flying in on the plane and seeing the rolling greenery from above and then observing the gorgeous architecture winding through the small side streets, I knew within minutes why. 

Vietnam is also an incredibly popular destination for backpackers so I was excited to meet new people in this new country! This was by far the biggest, most energized hostel I have been to on my travels. With over 200 people staying here, it was super easy to meet people! I am so grateful for those that I met, the walking tours we went on, the meals we had together, etc. Being in such a warm place with such amazing people made for memories that will always stay with me. It really amazes me how quickly you can build great relationships and how much you can learn meeting people from places all over!

Additionally, as I mentioned in my previous entry, the social impact space is quite new over the recent years in Vietnam. I was so inspired and impressed by the quality and quantity of amazing organizations doing good in their community as captured via my previous entries!

Here are a couple of additional things re: Vietnam that had an impact on me:

Hanoi Streets- WOW. These streets!!! How I love them. They are chaos. They are beauty. All in one. The streets are windy- making it all the more interesting. There are small ones and big ones intermixed all together. There are infinite motorbikes and cars and people and animals coming in every which direction. There are restaurants and cafes galore with outside seating all along the outside. On weekend nights, they shut along all of the main streets in the Old Quarter and it makes for the best vibes all around. There is a mix of Asian and European both new and old looking architecture. It's just one of those cities that you arrive and the energy ignites you.

Walking Tour- I have never gone on a walking tour with a hostel. With over 20 hostels to date and this being a common and helpful thing, it is a bit surprising I have not done so yet. I often aimlessly wander by myself or with new friends to find out about the city on my way. 40 (forty!!) people left for the walking tour my second day in Vietnam's hottest day in 48 years :O. We were melting but it was so fun to weave through the streets, see some temples, markets, the lake, and try some ice cream and egg coffee in a vintage, speakeasy coffee place on our tour. It was also fun to hear the tidbits from the guide that I didn't know about the local Vietnamese culture and lifestyle. 

Wonder Woman- It felt a bit strange to do something as "normal" as see a movie along my travels but I was excited to see this movie! After seeing the Marvel exhibit in Tokyo a few weeks back, I have gained a new found appreciation of super heroes and what they stand for and what better than to see the first one featuring a woman as the main star?! I absolutely LOVED this movie! I loved everything WW stood for. Learning languages, learning about the world, changing/saving the world, loving the world no matter what. She emits worldly goodness and gives hope and love to those that need it. It makes me think of how good the world could be if we all used Wonder Woman's determination to achieve the Global Goals. 

http://www.globalgoals.org/

 My sketch of Wonder Woman with each of the 17 Global Goals- from No Poverty to Climate Action and everything in between.

My sketch of Wonder Woman with each of the 17 Global Goals- from No Poverty to Climate Action and everything in between.

Toong Coworking Space- I write these blogs from my 2nd day at Toong Coworking Space in Hanoi. This has been my 3rd coworking day in Asia and I'm absolutely loving it! There is something about being in an agile, creative space with like-minded people that absolutely ignites you! I feel so inspired and in the zone and am grateful for this time and space to reflect on my experiences. I'm looking forward to continuing to do this in places among my travels. 

Tonight, I head to Bail, my final destination within Asia. I cannot believe the time has come and how fast it has gone! I am so excited for reflection time to come before I embark on my last continent... South America!!

Lauren WittigComment