the WHY factor

Twisted Lou:

So the question on most people’s mind is why? You can probably guess how many times I’ve heard that from my parents and friends alone. But, it’s way more than that. Think about the phone company when you have to give the reason for cancelling. And the bank when you tell them there might be a few overseas transactions. And the chicken’s flown the coop once word hits Facebook. Hell, its hands-down the most asked question I’ve received when I told people “I’m moving to Vietnam.” And to be honest- I didn’t even know why at first.

At first I told myself it was to get a job. Although what kind of job I was unaware. Vietnam is rich in textiles (aka cheap labour) as well as coffee and cashews, but where do you really start? I had been an ESL teacher in South Korea from 2007-2009, and I knew that I didn’t want to go down that route again. But, all that aside… the answer still remained- Why Vietnam?

Bambini Montessori- Class of 2007

Bambini Montessori- Class of 2007

I think it had to stem from my love for Asia. I had a great dose of it over in S.K. and Vietnam sounded like it had everything Korea had to offer- but on a cheaper budget.Throw in beaches along a coast that runs 1000 miles, mountains just shy of 10,000 feet and a bowl of phó on the streets for $1- I guess Vietnam was just calling my name. It’s also a great stomping ground in S.E.A. to do a little country hopping. With Laos, Cambodia, Thailand, China and the Philippines next-door, it’s almost as easy to cross the border, as it is to ask your neighbour for a bowl of phó.

I guess I knew the answer all along- it’s the adventure. The unknown. It’s about being able to walk down foreign streets with my head on a swivel in awe. It’s about meeting amazing people and being let into a slice of their life for the day. It’s about not understanding anything at all, and having it all slowly piece itself together.

It’s about being so unbelievably passionate about life that you can say good-bye to everything behind you, put on a backpack with the rain in your face and say where next. That’s why Vietnam. 

Costa Rica December 2012

Costa Rica December 2012

Twisted KT:

“Because you have to start somewhere…”
This was my clever little way of getting around the inevitable “Why Vietnam?” inquiry. The truth was that I didn’t know why. I didn’t know how. I wasn’t sure when or for how long, either. As I answered the who, the what, the where, and the when, I was still stuck on the why.

I always knew I would travel after finishing University. As my fellow classmates applied to post-graduate programs and started looking for “adult jobs”, I was making lists of places I wanted to visit, searching travel blogs and reading travel books. I joked that I wasn’t ready to start “real life” yet, I had other things to do. How could I commit to Hamilton when I hadn’t seen all the other places first? I love you Hamilton, but we need some time apart. I just wanted to get out, I needed something new.

Vietnam offered something that Canada didn’t – foreign food, faces, and feelings. While there is nothing specifically drawing me to Vietnam or making me obsessed with Vietnamese culture, it is a place to start. There are beaches and mountains to explore, bustling cities to get lost in, and rich history to learn about. There are religions to be inspired by, cultural customs to be baffled by, and insane traffic to master. There are neighbouring countries to navigate, a plethora of cafes to read in, and endless street-eats to experience.

Every journey needs a beginning, & for mine I chose Vietnam!

7 thoughts on “the WHY factor

    • Hey Rebecca, thanks for the comment :) This is Katie – Lou’s gf. I checked out your blog & love it! Love the concept of all the discarded flip flops & stories behind them – super silly and fun. That’s a really great idea you can obviously apply to all travels. Thanks for checking out our blog, we’ll try to make it as interesting as yours ;) Cheers, Katie.

    • Thanks Rebecca…i travel out of love and appreciate towards the world, not out of fear of settling- although at this age i find that rather stifling. Who knows what is truly right for the soul… all i know is that i never wanted to live my life conventionally… and it is most certain that i am not. I hope you enjoy the read… in 2 weeks we are on the road and from then on it will be a crapshoot from morning to morning. hope you are well:)

  1. I’m really excited to follow both of your journeys! I am truly inspired by the fact that you were able to just run with the decision to move to Vietnam. It is easy to get caught up in the questions from others when you’re convinced to follow your gut feelings and I know personally that’s something I have struggled with. So I think reading your blog will help me overcome those to see that is okay to pursue your dreams no matter what anyone has to say about them :)

    • Hey Gabby – this is Katie, Lou’s gf. Thanks so much for the super sweet comment! Other peoples questions are hard to answer sometimes, but in the end it’s about YOUR feelings and YOUR own perspective, so run with it! :)

    • I really appreciate your kind words Gabby. If every time you were told something is dangerous, or something is not good for you, or something is not of the right timing- you would spend your entire life in limbo. The answer is that there is no right time to anything and that it is always the right time to do anything. I hope that our travels can in anyway show you a few wonders of the world and one day you will explore and find your own. They are out there waiting for you.And to be honest they are not always going to go smoothly. Along our travels so far we have been denied stays at hotels in the middle of the night, our motorbikes have broken down countless times, and we have gotten lost time and time again along the road- i was even pick-pocketed recently, which you are the first to hear about (a story will ensue). And as much as family pressure and society put on you- you have to do what the heart wants. You can believe me when i tell you that my mother was quite content on me living in Hamilton the rest of my life, but now after seeing me happy and truly living my life, she would do nothing in the world to halt that.If you have any questions i am always here for you.. Thanks for checking out the website and we have so many more adventures in store.

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