Where Have I Been: Vietnam 2015

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“Adventure is worthwhile.”

– Aesop

As a break draws closer (Thanksgiving break can’t come soon enough!), I wanted to reflect on a trip that I took almost a year ago to Vietnam. I was hired as an adult adoptee mentor for a travel group that takes adoptees and their families back to their birth countries. As an adoptee myself who has gone back to China, it was a very moving experience where I learned a lot. While a large part of the trip didn’t go as I planned or expected, that’s part of life; learning to accept yourself, adapt to unexpected situations and learn from every experience.

We started in Hanoi, which is without a doubt my favorite place I have been in the world. Hanoi is stunning. Gorgeous. Amazing. I can’t say enough about it. There is a certain energy in the place that is addicting, vibrate and energizing. Around every corner is a flower market, a group of dancing ladies in the park, people running around, amazing food and more. It is a contrast of old and new, historical and modern that I love on an unreal level. Our next stop was to Halong Bay where we spent a few nights aboard a boat, floating around the gorgeous islands and relaxing. Part of the experience of this trip is going back to the kids orphanage if they choose to. For me, the experience was very positive and I look forward to going back to China many times over my lifetime. I can’t speak for the kids and families, but it was beautiful to observe their experience during a poignant experience in their life. We then reunited back in Ho Chi Minh city and more families joined us for the second leg of the trip. While in Ho Chi Minh City, the other families got to go back to their orphanages and experience that. I went along with one family and it was such a powerful experience that brought back a lot of personal memories. We finished the trip in Can Tho, a peaceful beach town. The last two weeks had been a whirlwind and it was a great way to relax, hang out and soak in the experience.

Most times in life, things don’t go as planned. And that is the beauty of infinite learning and growth. We all have the ability to change.

Here’s to infinity and beyond…

-Kaila

Visiting an orphanage of the organization SOS and touring the
mausoleum.

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Flour market on the side of the many intricate, beautiful streets.

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With our in country guide, the kids affectionally called Mr. Chi.

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On board our boat in Halong Bay. Great group!

The middle part of the trip was going to Halong Bay and spending a night on a boat while cruising around, visiting islands to go cave exploring and canoeing around. Halong Bay has really cleaned up in the last few years and has become quite the tourist hot spot. It’s still worth going to though! It’s like floating in a sea of clouds and rock formations.

In Can Tho…on a smaller boat and crusing around.

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Back in Hanoi eating the best pho I have ever had.

Exploring Can Tho by bike and boat!

The rich and vibrant culture in Ho Chi Minh City.

The food of Vietnam is absolutely top notch and amazing. From the pho, to the egg custard drinks, Bun Cai, sweet clams and street food…I loved every moment and every bite. Street food is one of my absolutely favorite types of food while traveling and I encourage everyone to dig in!

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Until the next time…

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