I remember when I used to think of Vietnam as a place of war, without much technology or advances and eating rice with sticks. « Vietnam is in the Conchinchina » my family told me surprised Literally!!
For things in life, I was given the opportunity to travel initially for 8 months and as life is so unpredictable, in the end I ended up staying 4 years. . Truly, living in a country that is so different from what you are used to, changes your life … it depends on you if this experience is for good or for bad. HERE I leave you the video of what happens when you live far away and return home …
I think that one of the most risky things I’ve done in my life, was to take that plane on December 29, 2012 to a place that in my life imagine to visit. It was almost two days of travel … Bogota- Miami … Miami-Dallas … Dallas-Tokyo … Tokyo-Hanoi … Yep … it was the longest and most exhausting trip of my life.
But it was worth the fatigue since I could spend the new year next to my boyfriend and celebrating in a different way to what we do in Colombia. I really felt like I was in another world. The chaos of the streets, motorcycles everywhere, small alleys, strange but delicious food and a language that left me speechless. Here I share 4 things that clearly made an impact in my life and that makes Vietnam a paradise with many hidden charms.
Well, no one told me how difficult it would be to live in Vietnam. One thing is to go on vacation and another is to live there and make your life. I really have not met the first person who did not give them some sort of emotional shock. Get up one day and go out, where you must walk the streets throwing blessings to God for the motorcycles to avoid you. Be fooled by the one who sells the pineapples or go to a store or supermarket and find products that you did not even know existed.
But in the end, after 2 or 3 months comes the adaptation and you are already an expert in not letting someone fool and steal you just because you are a foreigner. You have adopted the wonderful habit of taking off your shoes when entering any house.
You have become a pro crossing the streets even with your eyes closes and enjoying the circus on motorbikes. Rise at 5 am to do exercise around the lake, and certainly if you want to keep young for sure hiding from the sun is the key.
Speaking of food, if you have never tasted Vietnamese food …. You should go right now and try it. Obviously, I would not be able to go to a restaurant and pay 10 USD for a Pho that costs 1 USD. During my time living in Vietnam, I delight myself eating Pho and bun bo nam bo without stop.
My Eating habits have changed I learnt to eat more greens and eat of the healthy food until I’m full. Going to do groceries was a challenge in guessing the name of things and dealing with fruits, vegetables and products that seems are taken from another planet. It is an experience of discovering new flavors and aromas, some pleasant others not so much. Definitely after a while you become immune to any bacteria that might be on the food. !!
That’s right, get ready because you’ll be lost!! You will think that people are fighting for the tone and expressiveness with which they speak. I admit that I only learned the basics that helped me in the day bye day to survive. Hello, goodbye, how much it costs, turn left to the right, stop, go on, Oh my God, chicken, meat fish, Egg, water and numbers (I don’t remember more haha).
The good thing is that there are many people who speak English in many restaurants or supermarkets, but still with gestures, google translator and with bad pronunciation you can live. That is the main problem with this language and is the pronunciation so guttural. It is impressive how many sounds a single vowel can have. After so many years you can understand what others want to say to you but you keep pronouncing like a 3 years old kid.
The Vietnamese lifestyle is exotic, quiet and friendly. Every day you see things taken from a crazy place, but that is a day to day for them. It is impressive how many people from other countries decide to go to settle in this country for its landscapes, people and tranquility first and foremost.
I can say that without hesitation I would live in Vietnam again. It’s been 4 months since I left this beautiful country and I must admit that I miss it a lot. I admit that I lose my identity and feel a little exiled while living there, but certainly now living outside, I analyze what I could have done better. Without no doubt if I return there, I would be more confident of being able to do more things to take advantage of this wonderful culture.
So living in Vietnam is a parallel reality and if you want to escape from the world, I definitely recommend it !!!