I decided to test my travel capabilities over Thanksgiving by flying from Denver to Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), Vietnam and staying for 36 hours. I arrived into Saigon early Friday morning on the 25th and took the time to explore the hustle and bustle and chaotic city life in Saigon, Vietnam. During my time on that Friday, I ventured around the city and got a taste of the delicious cuisine that Vietnam is known for. The highlight of my short trip came the next day.
I awoke early and embarked on a private tour in which a local picked me up at my hotel, and we drove 2 hours south of the city of Saigon, past the vast farmlands and into the Mekong Delta, which was host to many battle scenes in the Vietnam War. We spent 5 hours traveling on a boat along the Mekong Delta and into the narrow and mysterious Mekong River cannals. It was an eye-opening and absolutely incredible experience. I got to see how the locals live on a daily basis. From observing workers on a coconut farm to watching fisherman work for hours on end to create lives for themselves and their families, I was able to truly appreciate all that we have here in the United States.
This was my third time to Southeast Asia, and it gets better every time I go. I truly appreciate the poverty and the people over there. We often get so caught up in technology and social media here in the United States that we neglect to look up from our phones and experience the world in front of us. What you see in Southeast Asia are people working very hard to support their families and more importantly, what you see are people living one minute at a time each and every day. You don't see people looking down at their phones constantly, or getting distracted by the camera rather than truly living in the moment. I think we all find ourselves guilty of getting lost in what is not as important. When you travel to these types of areas, you tend to truly live in the moment with the wonderful people and the culture your surrounded by. It changes you. Every trip I return home refocused, re-energized, and motivated. I return with lasting memories and an even greater urge to get out of this country and venture into the unknown.
The time is now. Explore. Dream. Discover.