Asia · Vietnam

Goodbye, Vietnam

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This morning I woke up at 6.30am and decided to go for a walk for my final glance of Vietnam. It’s so busy at that time in the morning. It’s strange how quickly you settle into a routine, living in PH3 and volunteering just felt like life and I was heartbroken that I was leaving.

Sitting at the airport reflecting on the last six weeks, I know this has been the most amazing experience of my life. I have met the most inspiring and kind people ever… I didn’t realise so many existed.

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If you ever need to restore your faith in humanity, go to the south of Vietnam. People share everything they have (which often isn’t very much) with you… And they do it with a smile.

I think they have it all figured out in Vietnam: people work hard for not a lot (by Western standards?) but they are grateful for what they have. They have a great social culture around food and drinking and playing board games (something similar to chess) on the street. They don’t rush through life (except when they’re on a motorbike, then it’s all about speed!) and they don’t make it more complicated than it needs to be.

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Vietnam has taught me that you can’t control every situation and sometimes you just have to roll with it, it will always work out ok. I haven’t known what’s going on about 80% of the time but I’ve had the best time ever!

Thank you…
International volunteers: I’ve met such a variety of people from Ireland, America, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Switzerland, Spain, Germany and everyone has taught me something. I had so much fun living and working and socialising together. We’ve had some great adventures.

Local volunteers: for showing me the real Vietnam through our chats, motorbike tours, street food, coffee shops, yoghurt shops. You have shown me the true meaning of selfless, always willing to give up your time to show me round and make me feel at home in Vietnam.

Maq8 boys: for always making me smile (minus running away incident!) and bringing such happiness to my 6 weeks.

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Phu Nhuan: for putting everything into your studies and being such great students! Special mention to Xuan (Sung) who is the most inspirational person
I have ever met.

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VAA: for teaching me all about Vietnam through our lessons.

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VPV staff: for giving me this incredible opportunity and always being so accommodating.

And last but not least the wonderful Thao: for always being there for me 24/7 for anything I needed! For help, advice and support that was invaluable.

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Special mention to mum and Simon… For giving me the space and opportunity to travel and sorting out everything that needed to be sorted while I was away. This has been the greatest adventure of my life.

Goodbye Vietnam (for now)… And thank you.

(Tiem biet Vietnam… And cam on)

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