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six weeks in vietnam - manifestation, volunteering & broken ankles

kayleigh974

5 min read

Apr 19

40

2






In my 31 years of living, I’ve seen 31 countries. Yes, I absolutely include England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales because if I’m going to see every country in the world before I die then I really have to count them all. I have rules on what counts as “visiting” a country and what doesn’t. For example, if I do a lay over in an airport, that does not count as “seeing” the country. I haven’t yet decided to what extend I’m allowed to say I’ve “done” America, but it’s my game so I can decide that whenever I want. But by any set of rules, I can well and truly say I’ve “done” Vietnam.


Before I flew to Vietnam, Luke and I did a huge trip across half of the world in just 3 weeks (I’ll write about this bucket list trip where we swam with humpback whales another day), before he had to go back to work. I spent a few extra days in Singapore, catching up with some old colleagues before flying to Vietnam to visit my aunt and uncle. I was expecting to stay 10 days, 2 weeks max.


I had a mission for the trip and it did not go to plan. Not only do dreams change, missions do it.


The Mission:

  • Find my new home

  • Start a business

After spending 2 months working in Australia in 2022, I left a little piece of my heart there. Australia is a big tick towards both items in the mission, so I was in a huge rush to get there. Vietnam wasn’t a step in helping me towards solving the mission but an exciting opportunity to see my family.


Other than the reasons in my previous blog post, I was also extremely burnt out working at the Trading company. My stress levels were through the roof, I found it very hard focusing, sleeping or even getting air all the way to the bottom of my lungs. I needed some time out to chill, but I’m not sure anyone was going to be able to tell me that. In my head, if you want to be successful you’ve got to act like a bullet proof train. No-one’s going to get in my way or stop me getting what I want to achieve which, as you know, was become C-suite one day. I was a woman on a mission.


My first 24 hours in Vietnam were… eventful. Michael and Irina made me feel the most welcome in their beautiful home in Hoi An. They both run a few businesses so their life is pretty chaotic, which I love. I thrive in a chaotic environment. Honestly, if I didn’t I would never have made it out of my childhood home alive. That house is the epitome of chaos!


Irina works in Da Nang, most evenings. This is about a 35min motorcycle ride from Hoi An. Or, if Irina’s driving, more like 25mins. If I wanted to go anywhere with them, I would have the be a passenger on their bike. In 2013, in Koh Pha Ngan, Thailand I came off the back of a moped. It flipped over, landed on me and a broke my elbow just 2 days into my first trip abroad with Luke. After this I vowed to never get on the back of a moped again. I didn’t tell Michael or Irina this because I really had no choice, I get on the back of their ped or never leave the house. Absolutely trembling I get on the back of this bike.

You’ll be pleased to know I survived. But this wasn’t part of the eventful events I was referring to..


Walking the streets of Da Nang became very wet that evening, so I took shelter in a bar. I ordered a drink and the waiter asked me if I was alone and insisted I joined this other group of women. These women soon noticed me, they were sat around a whiteboard, a whole mix of women. Before I could reply I was being ushered onto the sofa. “We are a women’s empowerment and entrepreneur group”. WHAT ARE THE CHANCES?! I like to think the energy we put out in the world means you attract the sort of energy you want back. Could this be manifestation? Does it really work?! To be honest, we will never know, I like to think the world is a little magic so even if you think it’s a load of BS - I will continue to believe. I had such a wonderful time with these women who soon became my friends. I learned so much and I ended up going back every week.


I was feeling so energised and inspired when I woke up the next day, I decided to take one of Irina and Michaels thousands of dogs (you should know by now, I like to be a little dramatic) for a run. I had no idea where I was going, I hadn’t yet explored the streets of Hoi An and I had no data in Vietnam (purposefully). I’m not even going to bother building this up all suspensefully because it’s so predictable what happened. Yes, I broke my ankle falling down a pothole. It’s actually severely sprained, no broken bones but I felt the ligament pull all the way up from my foot to my groin as I army crawled out of the puddle. (It’s easier explaining it’s broken). It’s still not completely healed to this day, I struggle to walk for any more than 1hour a day, 12 weeks after injuring it.


So that was my first 24 hours in Vietnam. This definitely reenforces the idea of manifestation, I did want to relax…. Maybe I manifested too hard? I really didn’t want to sit on my a** for 12 weeks.


Oh well…




I wanted to embrace the serendipity. I volunteered teaching in a local school, teaching English to 7-9 year olds, I stayed at a university in Da Lat volunteering teaching the students English for a week. I visited Ho Chi Minh City (Siagon), Hanoi, Ha Long Bay, explored Hoi An, partied with old colleagues and new friends in Da Nang despite the hobbling (I will do another post on where I stayed, what I saw, what I wish I saw and recommendations etc).


All in all my summary on Vietnam is that I loved spending time with Irina and Michael, I loved meeting so many interesting people, the food was incredible and I absolutely loved the volunteering. Vietnam is not somewhere I would chose to live but I learned what I don’t want from a culture when I’m looking for a home and I started a small Maths Tutoring business (Prime Maths Hub)!


I guess Vietnam did help me towards my mission, broken ankle or not!


So, as I board another jet plane in just two weeks, I’m ready for the next chapter. Bring it on, world!







kayleigh974

5 min read

Apr 19

40

2

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