Every time I travel, I like to reflect and think – how has this experience changed my life? What did I learn?
5 Takeaways from my trip to Vietnam:
1. Life functioned fine before cell phones. The Saigon airport is like any other airport in Asia – a zoo. My uncle came to pick us up. I didn’t have access to my cell phone the entire trip. As we walked out of the airport, all I could think was – It took us an hour to get through customs. Is he still here? How is he going to find us among this sea of 2000 people?… We found each other within a few minutes which confirmed to me once again, that life functioned fine before cell phones. Better actually, because people have more integrity without them.
2. Vietnamese people are gangsta. Just one of MANY examples I witnessed – You know the 50’s style diners where the waiters roller skate to bring you food? They have that in Vietnam but instead of burgers and fries, they are serving hot pot and Pho. Carrying boiling hot liquid on roller skates = gangsta.
3. The traffic situation in Vietnam is like my brain. It’s a cluster f*ck, but somehow it still works. The streets are filled with hundreds of thousands of scooters. No one uses turn signals or yields. You can drive on the sidewalk, through the grass, against traffic, diagonally with the traffic, with how ever many people you can physically fit on your bike (the most I saw on this trip was a family of 6).
4. A warm welcome. The whole family (Vietnamese families entail 15+ people) will go to the airport to send one person off. What a great feeling to be sent off or greeted upon arrival with that much love. My friends and I try our best to create this here in LA. Every time one of us needs to be picked up from the airport, whoever is available in our “friend family” will get together and pick that one person up. We greet each other with love and then all go out for boba after.
5. Hot humid weather will make you relax whether you like it or not. Being in Vietnam during March and April is like being in a steam room 24/7. You WILL slow down both physically and mentally. It forces you to relax, which is great for people like me.