Tag Archives: Travels

Jan 19, Monday: Gratitude

1. Readers
When I started this, I did it for me. I only shared the link with about 3 friends and that was it- it was my diary and my place to be me. Now, I think 4 other friends have the link making it a total of 7 people I know but the number of people who comment, email me, read this is amazing and when I sometimes see the stats, I am blown away by the interest in my ramblings. Thank you.

2. Travels
Planning a holiday is just the start but going on one is amazing and I am looking forward to taking a detox month of Feb from the online world and blogging to go spend some time with my family. The weekend away, though only one night, was amazing as well and I am so grateful to appreciate these moments.

3. Movies
This year, I have seen some fantastic movies- less than a month and cinema has been awesome, I love it!

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Dec 9, Tuesday: A Beautiful Memory

This is a memory that never actually happened- for some reason, I still talk of it as if it did!

Many moons ago, when I broke up with TL, I recall Ryan and me talking about some stuff. One evening, we were discussing the company and I had given a lot of advice (as we both did to each other then) on business etc. When he learnt I was not coming to visit Dublin the next month as was my original plan, he decided to come to India- the way the cheap flights worked out for him meant he would be here for my first time seeing TL since our break up and TL’s father’s birthday which I was invited to.

He arrived on a Saturday and for some reason, I claim he only decided on a Wednesday and arrived 3 days later to support me.

Today, I have good memories of that trip but I do genuinely wonder what made me make up such a story?!

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Nov 25, Tuesday: A Beautiful Moment

A good while ago,  Winnie and I were on holidays. As part of the trip, we went on a road trip with two other guys we met during our travels.

As is our thing to do, we took photographs of us jumping in random places, including this beautiful road lined with trees. The two boys were so straight and narrow, they had never understood this and got completely into it and started doing their own versions too.

Seeing the kiddie-glee beam out of all of us in a random place bonded us all for that moment. Will I ever see those guys again… who knows?! But for that brief moment, it was just about us being kids and having a good time!

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Sep 30, Tuesday: A Beautiful Moment

A friend of mine called me today- I haven’t spoken to him in 3 years at least but then he and I are like that- we have a blast when together, we keep in minimal contact and we are just always the best of mates.

We are now planning a weekend away in October since he will only be a few hours away.

Last time I saw him was in Laos when I was doing South East Asia. The 3 days of spending time with him, the 3 days of pure alcoholism, the 3 days of sharing great stories, the 3 days of tubing, the 3 days of slagging, the 3 days of laughter make for a great memory and I am so glad to have a friend like that and I am so excited about the prospect of seeing him again at the end of the month.

I so hope the trip works out!

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Sep 2, Tuesday: A Beautiful Moment

Many years ago, Tigger and I were coming back from a party in a taxi just before we embarked on our adventure around Peru and Ecuador. I remember her turning to me, giving me a hug and telling me how much she loved me, cared for me and how I was her closest friend.

Over the years, we became closer, and then we drifted apart, we had our differences but we patched them away. We may have both gone through our phases of not being the happiest with our friendship but times like yesterday, times like the moment in the car, times like sipping pisco sours on the boat in the galapagos remind me of what we have shared.

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April 15, Tuesday: A Beautiful Moment

Kinda obvious and surprising I haven’t written off this at some stage but one of my favourite memories remains of me in the Antarctica! The day I stepped on that ice for the very first time remains special and is a constant reminder of how dreams do come true.

Now my dreams have changed, they have evolved as have I but my faith in them has gotten stronger. I see around me so many dreams coming true every day- sometimes, we forget the dreams don\t always have to be lofty (I do think some of them should be though!)

All in all, my next dream is 10,000- I know this makes no sense to anyone else but me but I hope to see that number in the correct context soon.

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Fueling corruption or supporting tourism?!

So there are a million different cruises one can do in Halong Bay- or the Bay of Descending Dragons- but there is one company called IndoChina that provides better cruises as they have their own private fishing village, their own private cave, their own private island and completely away from the 60 odd other boats- however, I suspect this is done not “because the Director has great relationships with the government and is trying to clean the bay” but due to the exchange of a fair amount of money…

On a different aspect, the upkeep of Ho Chi Minh’s embalmed body costs the Vietnamese government US$3 billion per annum- and they charge NO fee to see it- for Vietnamese or foreigners. And by the sound of it, this is the only thing the communist government provides free in this state!

By going on that particular cruise, by going to see the body- am I fueling corruption or just doing the right thing as a tourist- ‘cos there is an argument that Halong Bay (or aspects of it) will be kept clean and preserved due to the potential tourist attraction and the possible incoming revenue and that to see Ho Chi Minh, some might travel a fair distance and that attracts tourism… is this my way of justification for an unintentionally incorrect deed I might have committed?! Hmmm….

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Tunnels…

So, before June this year, I really had no interest in seeing war tunnels. I mean these things are usually depressing and yes, educative but still, mostly depressing and I don’t know how much of an impact it has on getting to the global goal of world peace. Anyhow, I had my first experience in Ieper and really enjoyed it- it was moving to remember the soldiers, the freedom fighters- whether they were right or wrong and celebrate the patriotism! I was intrigued by the conditions, the strategies people applied and just the way things were done.

So in Vietnam going to CuChi was a no brainer- there was no way I was going to miss it. They are better preserved- well, they are younger, took over 27 years to make and thought they were tiny- even for the Vietnamese, they were very interesting and intriguing. Being able to fire the guns they used in the war was definitely a plus. All in all, a great way to go learn about the history.

En route to the tunnel, we went to the largest Cao Dai temple- a religion that really amazes me- it’s obviously a way of life but I am not sure how practical- I mean 4 times a day, one has to pray for 1.75 hours! That’s 7 hours, and it has to be at specified times so how one manages to pack in work and sleep, I am not sure. The other aspects are still ok- vegetarianism, need to marry etc are all aspects of Hinduism too so I get that but the forced 4 services a day is not something I understand… but each to their own. Personally, I would have rather gone to a smaller Cao Dai temple and used the time for something else than sitting in a bus that seemed to be a poor imitation of a roller-coaster ride.

I wish I could have done a private tour because the drive was very interesting- some awesome pictures- the Chinese fishing nets, the little boats on the river, the people in their hats working in the fields, along the roads and so many stills of life that make Vietnam so picturesque and interesting!

So post tunneling, post praying, post eating, we went for a walk to a community concert, to take in the sights and the sounds of the bustling city which so reminded me of smaller towns in India till we ended up in the Rooftop Bar in Sheraton- a gorgeous setting, the view of the city is awesome and the band they had there was absolutely amazing- one couldn’t tell they were cover-ups at all!!!

And ending up being chatted by 2 guys- a Canadian Vietnamese and an American-Japanese-African was pretty damn cool too- a great compliment to the system 😉 And hey- who doesn’t like being complimented….

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Dec 23: Since I never got to publish the above post, I may as well keep babbling here… after Ho Chi Minh/ Saigon, after a whole day of business meetings, we headed on to what has been my highlight of the trip so far (bar being chatted up by 2 men in a space of 5 mins!)- a cruise in Halong Bay- seeing stalactites and stalagmites caves, kayaking in the serene sea, eating meals under the stars, waking up to the serene calm of nature, boating in bamboo boats and just enjoying conversations with other people… that’s the life and oh! cocktailing/ wining it up is all good too!! 🙂

One of the girls said something to me that’s definitely playing a bit on my head “Aap bahut badi galti kar rahe ho- yeh ladka aur aap pehchaan nahin rahe ho ki aap ek doosre se pyaar karte ho- aisee galti mat karo- yeh dosti bahut khoobsurat hei par pyaar aur bhee zyaada”- only someone who uses Urdu as their first language could come up with something as poetic as that 🙂

Offski nowski to explore Hanoi more… Merry Christmas peeps!

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