The Time I Almost Died in Vietnam

D937D011-B8B7-49E0-A3B7-83D40B4BFD40.jpegEverything was going so smoothly my first several months traveling. Almost too smooth. Then, it all started with a bang, and by bang I mean me swinging the bathroom stall door against the wall while leaving a trail of vomit behind me.

Several hours later, I’m in the hospital in a developing country. One would think that would be the cause of my near death experience abroad. That however, along with loosing my debit card and breaking my phone within the same week, should have been taken as a warning sign for what was to come.

I had no card, no phone, and very few endorphins left in my brain. My friend  James, who I met because I was forced to ask people to lend me money, offered to give me a ride on a motorbike to get my phone fixed. We borrowed our hostels motorbike, and headed towards what should have been a 17 minute journey to the phone repair shop.

The wind in my hair, and optimism in my mind, came to a halt as we approached a more than mildly terrifying intersection. Not because the roads looked like a challenge even for the Fast and Furious crew, but because we ran out of gas. We got off the road as quickly as we could. James guided the bike towards a little rundown convenient store on the corner as I walked by his side. At that point, I found the situation pretty comical, and would be lying if I said his frustration didn’t make it funnier.

We started trying to communicate with a local there which turned into a game of charades.

“I don’t know what the fuck this guy is trying to say.” James said in aggravation.

“I know this sounds crazy, but I think he wants me to get on the back of his bike, and for you to get on ours. I don’t know. Let’s just do it.” I said as I hopped onto the back of a strangers motorbike.

I furrowed my eyebrows as I watched the man stick his leg out like he was Jackie Chan about to kick down the bike James sat on. Instead, he hooked his foot onto our bike and put his keys in the ignition.

Next thing you know, I’m flying down a four-way highway during rush hour as James is being pushed along by this mans foot. Cars and bikes were swerving around us and beeping like it was their day job. We arrived at an intersection with so many cars and bikes, you could barely see the pavement.

I closed my eyes tightly and figured at least if I died, I went out with a bang traveling the world. I heard James repeatedly say “Oh my God.” as we made our way through. When I opened my eyes, I felt like I could conquer the world even though I really didn’t do shit. James stared back at me as if to say “Is this real life?” And we both began to laugh at the absurdity of it all.

To say getting sick, loosing my card, and breaking my phone put a damper on things would have been an understatement. It was the kind of damp that reeked of mildew as it tried to dry in a plastic bag.

Maybe I’m being a bit dramatic because there was so much good that came from all of those situations. It’s easy to be so caught up in the moment, that we don’t see the beauty in it. Sometimes the events in life that make us want to hit our heads against the wall, or nearly kill us, end up being the memories we wouldn’t trade for the world.

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brookelynlandon

“Do it for the content.” Is a phrase that often comes to mind to give me that extra nudge, so I can open myself up to more. The more I push myself to learn and grow mentally, physically, and spiritually, the more I evolve into the best and most authentic expression of myself. Along with the internal growth, I’m left with a lot of great content to share with others to inspire them create their own content/internal growth. I call this “The Journey to Become More Zen As Fuck” because that is what my life will forever be. It’s a journey, and I want to find a way to have my experiences inspire people to take risks, love themselves, seek more out of life, and have some laughs along the way.

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