I chose to move to Hanoi, Vietnam, which was an unexpected turn of events. There was a moment of silence after I told my mom the news.
“Didn’t you just tell me that Hanoi was a shit show?” She replied in confusion.
My response was “Umm yes, those were my exact words, but I never said that was a bad thing!”
I guess I like a good shit show. There are an absurd amount of motorbikes and cars in the Old Quarter of Hanoi. I see my life flash before my eyes every time I go out. It feels like a live version of the video game Frogger, when you nearly escape a car, and there are no extra lives left. They beep their horns so much I’m sure they are convinced they need to honk for every person or vehicle they pass. When locals walk by, they shove you aside like they’re Regina George from Mean Girls storming down the halls to get revenge. By the end of the night, the streets look as though a frat house just threw a rager, and sometimes I have to hold my breath walking through the markets.
Yet, it’s so rich in culture, and there is so much beauty. Even though they shove, they don’t realize they’re being a dick head because it’s just their way of getting by. They’re so friendly once you get to know them.
But guess what? I’m living my best life but not for those reasons. I love living here because of the community I’m in, the freedom that I have, and I love what I’m doing with my life.
Someone could be happily living in the bum fuck middle of nowhere. Another person could be in the most advanced, pristine city in the world, feeling like the Scrooge who had one too many drinks the night before and regrettably texted an ex.
After giving it some thought, as much as I love Hanoi, it really wouldn’t matter if I was here or anywhere else in the world. I love my life in Vietnam because I followed my joy and am living a life of freedom, fun, and adventure.
Yes, I could have easily gone back to my home country and convinced myself a 9-5 was the more safe and stable action to take in my late 20’s. However, I chose to work somewhere that fills my cup. Maybe my liver isn’t thrilled when I have to lead drinking games, but my soul is when I’m socializing with people who’s company I enjoy.
Theres a sense of instability for sure. I know there will be a time when I move on and the future seems unclear. That said, I’d rather be happy where I am and have an unclear future in Vietnam, than be miserable and hope one day I’m happy in a place that feels stagnant.