I have been living in Hanoi, Vietnam for 11 months now. It has been an extremely profound experience. Internally and externally. I learnt so much about the world and it’s people.. more on that later. But I learnt even more about myself, the depths of the human spirit and this journey I’m on.
This is something I wrote on 19 April 2017, the day I took my last cycle from my apartment to and around Tay Ho (West Lake). This was one of my favourite things to do while I lived in this area – 545 Xuan Dinh. The cycle takes you through local life and markets which are not all pretty and pleasant. But you reach the lake which (from a distance) is grand and beautiful and the lake atmosphere naturally lifts your spirits. You pass by parks, pagodas and cafes. The route highlights so many common contrasts in this crazy Asian city. I wrote this in an attempt to put a pin in the state of mind..
I’ve come so far, it’s hard to remember the point I started from.
I cycle around the lake and I remember small time frames of mind frames.
May I always remain willing to change
And authentically, unabashedly me.
May I always allow myself to dream and to breathe
And honestly know and love myself enough.
May I always have the courage to stare it all in the face.
Cycle through the dog meat vendors and garbage trolleys.
Push towards the other side of the coin.
See not only good and evil, but the grand scope of freedom.
See not only dark and light, but the intertwined playing of differences.
See not only us and them, but a spectrum of which I am undoubtedly a part of.
And when I reach the edge of the lake I don’t turn back to the soft edge apartment.
I align my head and my heart and I cycle all the way to the other side.
Because I have truly learnt that the destination is not the prize, nor the fuel.
It’s about your feet going in circles, chasing and not catching each other.
It’s the mind frames along the way; thinking without conclusive answers.
It’s revelling in every breath.
Simple sunrays and colourless birds hopping by.
A joyous life residing in the ability to revel in the mundane moments.
A meaningful life residing in the balance of being content and always hungry.