Entering Hanoi

Ji and I were half dead when we stepped off the plane this morning, but it felt so good to arrive in Hanoi.  Every flight we’ve taken has extended our day by a couple of hours, and we haven’t had a full night sleep in a while.

The first thing that struck me about Hanoi – from the window of a taxi – were the buildings.  They were tall and grand, yet scattered and crumbling.  Piles of rubbish lay in the sides of the streets, and the traffic was worse then KL.  Amongst all this organised chaos, were rice paddies or vegetable gardens, and people wearing large straw hats, working the fields.  To get to our hostel (Central Backpackers Hostel) in the Old Quarter, the taxi had to dart between motorbikes, stopping suddenly here and there.  When the car finally stopped, he waved his hands frantically, to indicate that we’d arrived, and someone from the hostel helped us bring our luggage in.

Everything felt like smooth sailing from there.  The reception staff were so lovely.  They went over the checking in details, the tours we’d booked, and offered us a place to keep our luggage, as our room wasn’t ready yet.  They also suggested we join the daily (free) walking tour of the city, which sounded like a great place to start, so that we could gain our bearings.

I don’t know why I wanted to come to Vietnam, except that it just felt right.  A lot of people had told me how beautiful it was, and when I found out about the anthropology course, it seemed like a really good decision.  As I followed the walking tour, getting my first real taste of South East Asia, I felt so at home.  I realise I haven’t been here yet for a full 24 hours, and I always say I’ve fallen in love with a country when I enter it for the first time, but…I’ve fallen in love with Vietnam.  It’s so different to anything I’ve every experienced.  I love how busy the streets are.  I love how easy it feels to walk around.  I love how gentle everything seems under the surface.  I don’t understand the language, or know much about the culture, but I feel like I fit in here (although I probably stand out like a sore thumb).  This is quickly becoming one of my favourite places.

It’s normal to feel a little bit scared before stepping out of your comfort zone.  But I love how the more you do it, the easier it becomes.  The lessons I’ve learned from throwing myself in the deep, I’ve found to be the most valuable. I’ve noticed they always lead me to answers I never knew I needed, and helped me realise who I wanted to become.  Someone comfortable with the unknown.

With Love, Kat

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Christmas in Kuala Lumpur

This evening we landed safely in KL and ventured out into the city.  We had 12 hours before our connecting flight, so we figured we should make the most of the stop over.  The pilot told us before getting off it would be 30 degrees with light showers outside, and my jaw dropped – definitely not ready for humidity.

It reminded me of Singapore.  Standing outside felt like an authentic sauna experience, but then when you hopped on a taxi or stepped into a restaurant, air conditioning blasted out, to the point that if you didn’t have a jumper, you’d freeze.  Besides my struggles to adapt to these extremes, I can say I absolutely loved KL.  We met one of our old friends at a hotel, and she drove us into the city for street food and sightseeing.  Everything was delicious. Rice, vegetables, fish, chicken, calamari, served on great big banana leaves.  Drinks were warm at the bottom and cold at the top.  People around us ate with their fingers, but we opted for cutlery.  Although it was getting late, the streets were still very busy.  Everywhere was lit up. An old woman walked from table to table, trying to sell people tissue paper, and every restaurant, bar, cafe etc. was occupied.  It was a sea of chatter, laughter, and bustle.

Later we drove to pick up her sister. As we entered her neighbourhood, there were several large dogs wandering around.  Sue didn’t seem phased by this, and told me it was the norm.  Other things that took me a while to get used to, was the driving.  No one pays attention to the road rules, and the locals have a shared understanding for parking – you can park anywhere.  Sue told me she once parked at a traffic light.  I was taken aback.  I loved though, that even in this city where cars suddenly stop, and people park in the middle of roads – in the midst of this chaos – everything still seemed to function, and keep moving.

We spent the rest of Christmas in KL walking around the streets, as fake snow drifted down on us (via fans), and ended up in a bar, dancing until the early hours of the morning.  At some point we ended up back at the hotel.  I don’t know what time, I fell asleep on the bed, then an hour later Ji and I went to grab a taxi.  Now here we sit, Ji is fast asleep, and I’m still awake (I don’t know how) waiting for our next flight, and next adventure.

We seriously can’t wait to get to Hanoi – the capital city of Vietnam, and starting point of this trip.  But a taste of Malaysia has already made this venture feel really exciting.

Sending love and Christmas wishes,

Kat & Ji

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Happiness 

The simple things in life. Definitely. 

Have been feeling so much love, and happiness with my life. I thank God everyday! 

The laughter with friends, the sunny times, the songs that make you dance, the food that makes you jump up and down in your chair form it’s flavour bursting in your mouth. 

Please find some happiness this week. Smile and pass it on to someone. 

Take care and appreciate everything, even the small. 

Love Ji xx 

Thoughts 

So breaking from the cycle – I really felt like writing something a little more persal today. I went and got a little rememberance for my Grandma, new ear piercing. I know people deal with greif differently but I got one of my piercings for my Grandpa, naturally one for my Grandma followed.
I’m Thankful for a lot of things lately and needed to get that out. Enjoying where things are taking me.


I hope you all can feel thankful for something this week.
My love to you all!

ji x

This weeks life lesson

Lots of things happening and going on with life and I think they’re the best times. Definitely good to just take a moment and reflect on some things. 

This week brought the reality to me that you are only as young as you are today. So you may as well make and accumulate many memories. Really truly appreciate the gift of life we have. 

So hope all of you take some time to make a good memory this coming week. 

Love to all, Ji X 

Moments with cosmo’s and karaoke 

So random Tuesday night indeed. Started off listening to some Jazz at an underground bar named “Molly’s” in Canberra. Had a cosmopolitan then decided Kareoke was a good idea! 

Anywho, it’s these moments where unexpected things bring you happiness and joy. Treasure those little times in life when you are amazed at the scene Infront of you in reality. A Kodak moment indeed.

Hope this week has been bringing you all some happy moments. Snapchat reel on. 

Love Ji X 

Well being – balancing act

I once read an article about balancing your family life, career and spirituality. If ones failing take time to mend it. For instance, if you’re prospering at your career you’re probably not spending too much time with family. I’m not saying this is the case all the time, but balance is key here. If you’ve been spending time with a focus on one thing then take time for the others. Make sure you have your family time. Make sure once a year you get-away for yourself and get I touch with your spiritual side and Mother Nature. All in due course we can’t forget all the important things life offers.

Take care all of you, happy hump day! 

Love Ji X