“Adventure is worthwhile.”
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.
Like any good story, this one starts with a call to an Uber. I should end the story right there and let you do the math. However, this Uber story doesn’t involve alcohol, drama or a dateline story that ends in my death from climbing into a car with a stranger. As I recently turned twenty-one and have started the lengthy process of growing up and becoming an adult, I made a trip to the DMV to get my new license. This is where Alfie comes in as he was my driver that Uber gave me. I decided to turn the tables on my driver and had a great conversation for seven minutes while also making a new friend. What more could you ask for?
While in Hanoi, Vietnam I had a morning off from work and decided to meander around the city and see where my feet took me with no conscious plans in mind other than writing and enjoying the day. My feet ended up taking me through the twisted streets of the Old Quarter and up a floor to the balcony of a vegan restaurant where I sat perched outside writing and drinking a blended green juice. Wanting to capture the moment, I went back inside and asked the first person I saw (there were only four people there) if it would be okay if he took a picture for me. Here enters Trent. Trent was one of two bearded men in the restaurant (the other one was wearing plaid) and had he been there a moment too late or soon, I would have gone with the other lumberjack. I’m so glad Trent was there when he was. We soon discovered that we were one of the same and had kindred souls. I have never had a conversation with anyone ever where we immediately were thinking and conversing on the same wavelength. It was inspiring and a unicorn moment to say the least. After realising that Trent was a fascinating and compelling person after a hot minute, I asked if I could intentionally interview him.
After a fantastic time trekking through Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and Cambodia, we made our way to Vietnam, landing in Ho Chi Minh City (formerly Saigon).