Looking Back

It’s been a week since we returned from Vietnam, and I’ve been going back through my journal and reflecting on all of the amazing experiences. I wish I could share everything about my time there, but you probably don’t have time to read a whole novel. So instead, I thought I would share a snapshot of my experience as an international intern in Ho Chi Minh City through quotes from my journal:

4 January: “Wow. Ho Chi Minh is amazing.”

5 January: “I feel like I learnt a lot about Vietnam today, and I did things like crossing the road and trying street food.”

6 January: “I’m starting to feel really comfortable in the city, but I’m still getting to explore lots of new places and experiences.”

7 January: “Unsurprisingly, today was another really good day.”

8 January: “Tomorrow is the start of our internship! I’m feeling pretty calm, although there definitely are a few nerves.”

10 January: “Another big day at the office – I can definitely see how a fulltime job can be exhausting! It’s a good thing I’m really loving my job.”

13 January: “I’ve been a bit stressed over the last few days, I think it’s because I’m tired. But I’m proud of the way I’ve handled this stress, and I know it’s this kind of thing that will be a key learning experience from this trip.”

15 January: “I’ve had such an amazing trip so far, but if I want to continue having a good time I need to remember to take time for myself and get some good rest.”

17 January: “Today I went to go see a market and ended up in a not-so-nice part of the city. This was the first time I’ve felt truly uncomfortable in my surroundings here, but it was a good experience to know that I can keep my cool in an uncomfortable situation, and I made my way home safely.”

18 January: “Today was exactly what I needed, and I fell in love with Vietnam all over again.”

19 January: “We’re on our way to Hanoi!”

22 January: “The last 24hrs have been insane, probably the best of the trip so far. And it’s my 21st birthday!”

23 January: “Words can’t even describe how amazing Ha Long Bay was, I loved every minute of it.”

24 January: “Well last night was an experience. We stayed in a homestay with a group of 20 travelers, but it wasn’t quite what we were expecting as there weren’t even proper mattresses and nothing was very clean. Definitely an example of Type 2 fun – when it’s not funny at the time but at least you have a good time telling the story later.”

26 January: “What a whirlwind. I can’t believe we finished the Ha Giang Loop. I’m so glad I did it, it’s probably one of the most amazing experiences I’ll have in my life.”

29 January: “What a good day, such a perfect way to finish our Tết trip.”

1 February: “It’s been a while since I journaled, but since Tết it just feels like not much is going on.”

5 February: “There’s only three weeks left! I want to try make the most of every minute I have in this city, as well as exploring new places in the last two weekends.”

6 February: “I feel like time’s running out, and that’s scary.”

7 February: “This evening we did a motorbike food tour around the city, and it was incredible. The food was so good and our guides, who are local students, were so nice and cool to chat to.”

9 February: “Another good day in Vietnam.”

11 February: “Today was the hardest day I have had on this trip. Honestly the last 24hrs have been all over the place, and a lot of our travel plans didn’t quite work out. But I’m feeling good now, and despite not being the most fun, these are also the experiences I came here for as they’re the ones test you and give you the most learning.”

15 February: “I’m so exhausted, but it’s been a good couple of days.”

16 February: “I’m actually so happy it’s crazy. Not for any reason in particular, I’m just loving life and I’m so happy to be here.”

19 February: “What a perfect way to spend our last weekend in Vietnam – travelling to one more part of this beautiful country.”

21 February: “After work we had a company dinner. Everyone was so lovely, and it was so nice to spend the night just chatting with everyone before my last day of work tomorrow.”

23 February: “As I’m writing this, I’m so sad to leave, but I’m also okay with it. I feel like I’ve seen and done everything I came here to do.”

24 February: “And we’re off.”

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