Vietnam in Retrospect
Ho Chi Minh City Travel Blog› entry 15 of 24 › view all entries
December 6th, 2008 – by: jaeWALK
As for the photo safari in Vietnam. I must say that went so well. With my 4 CF cards, my mac, and a portable Hard-drive, I got to bring home 3551 pictures! Now, how am I to organize, edit and enhance them all, i don't know. But that will keep me busy for the entire 2009 I guess. In Vietnam, my creative juice(s?) overfloweth like the Thu Bon River in Hoi An. I've never had something like that in quite a long time. I was having so much fun flicking! Now, this was really the first time I traveled with the main goal of taking pictures - and not shopping or partying and it paid out really well creatively.
During my first night, my monopod broke, I accidentally kicked my camera off the bed, and broke a lens filter. But that didn't hinder me from getting the shots I want... always trying to think of ways to go about the given situation and making do with what I've got.
Vietnam is such a photogenic country, in every corner there's a moment waiting to be captured. The favorite place I've shot is probably Hoi An despite the bad weather. It's such a colorful and rich little town! Another photographer's dream would be Sa Pa - simply wonderful!
I would never have accomplished #1 had I been traveling with someone else.
I just needed to be away from it all... away from work... from loved ones... from my dog... from my life. I was experiencing burn out in Manila during the past year and I really want some time for myself where I don't have to think of anyone or anything (thank you all for letting me have that). Of course, I could never completely turn my back on work. I have to run it remotely. I have to admit that even if I have a business to run back home, I forgot about it several times. Like, what the hell i'm on vacation!
This wasn't my first time to travel alone, but it was more fun than the last time I did something like this.
It's really difficult to choose which among my destinations is my favorite. They were all great! Well, I had a one bad day in Saigon, so I guess that makes it my least favorite place. But the next day made up for that. Creatively the most rewarding was Hoi An and as far as R&R goes, it was no doubt Ha Long Bay. It would have been nice to spend a day or two in Hue (as originally planned), but It's the place I was least immersed at since I only did a day trip there.
And finally as far as #3 goes. Although I meant that one as a joke, I think there was a bit of soul-searching that went on during the last 2 weeks. Nothing major really, I mean i've always known who and what I am inside and out, but the trip i think reinforced more of my ideals in life. I wouldn't say I'm a better person or a stronger person because of it - it's just freaking two weeks! But I could say that I do have a clear idea of what I want to do and where I want my place to be in this world.... oh and as much as i've learned that I have a heart, my inner bitch is never going away.
Some of the things I found out about myself:
1) I'd go through great lengths to get good pictures like disregard the threat of a flood; ride a motorbike - sharp curves, steep drops and all; pay people to smile; and sitting in one corner for hours (which i had the most difficulty with since I am the most impatient known to me).
2) I want a Vespa.
3) That I have little tolerance for people offering me massages with happy ending.
4) That even traveling on a budget, I have to have the little comforts every now and then - like my own toilet, and more than a three-star hotel for a couple of nights. Like I said, I'm a backfaker.
5) I actually get a little tense when flying. I've never had this problem in the past, I dunno if it comes with age, but i get a little restless now whenever I am in a plane.
6) As much as I like traveling with other people, I do enjoy a new place alone. There are moments that I wish i was sharing it with someone, but again that's one reason to go back.
All in all, I had such a blast in Vietnam. The sights, the smells, the sounds, the people... everything about it has given me one unique experience. I went to Vietnam with the thought that I wouldn't have a good time, well guess what, I left Vietnam with 3000+ pics, excess baggage, a few friends, and one big smile on my face.
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