My friend got to our hotel in Ho Chi Minh City at two in the morning. Before she got there, I booked a little day tour around Mekong Delta, and we’re scheduled to be picked up at seven in the morning. So what did two girls who haven’t seen each other in years do?
Of course we stayed up until the sunrise.
I was waiting with a pack of beer, bags of chips, and all the stories and gossip I could remember. We were exchanging stories all night, and while I was accompanying her on her smoke break, we noticed dusk slowly turning into dawn. The sounds of roosters greeting the morning sun was drowned out by the motorcycle engines passing by and the voices of drunk tourists and locals walking around with bottles of Tiger beer in their hands.
We stayed in District 1. The Backpacker District. That meant loud EDM music blasting until four or five in the morning. Crowds on the street, while scooters tried to weave their way through – hell, there was a minivan at one point, honking its way through this busy pedestrian area.
After deciding that it isn’t going to be a good idea to go through the day without resting at least for a bit, we took a quick 45-minute nap and ate pho for breakfast. Luckily the place we were going to was a bit of a drive from the city so we were able to sleep some more on the bus there.
I had a few big goals back in 2018, and one of them was to travel somewhere I’ve never gone to before. And like any typical unemployed new grad, I couldn’t really afford backpacking through Europe — that goal has to wait until my bank account tells me it’s realistic enough.
So where does one penny-pinching millennial go for a three-week adventure?
I had a couple bad days last week. I want to blame PMS for the emotional roller coaster, but it feels like a cop out. I’m sure it played into it. I do get a little batshit crazy or insanely emotional over the couple days leading up to my period. Some months are easier than others because when I anticipate the PMS and the emotional roller coaster, I can control it.
But last week, I cried at a commercial that involved dogs and babies. I also cried so much while watching episode 8 from the new season of Westworld the week before. I mean, no spoilers, but if you know me enough, stories about (lost) love is my shit. I live for it. It was no surprise I enjoyed that episode. But I carried the emotions from watching that episode over to the new week and well… emotions and hormones plus dogs and babies?
Also some other things that I’ve kept bottled up inside resurfaced and I was overwhelmed with my own crazy thoughts. I feel lucky to have a friend who suggested going to Mount Nemo to clear my head and also do a Canadian summer activity at the same time.
After a short shift at the restaurant, I went home, slathered sunscreen on my skin, packed both of my Swell bottles, strapped on my good old Nikes and went off on a little adventure.
My sister and I got lost (again) but this time, it’s because the location we were going to was actually closed (BOO). Luckily, there isn’t a shortage of bakeries in New York City, otherwise we probably would have walked into Central Park hangry.
On top of that, we would not have trekked almost the entirety of the park in a day. We may not have explored the whole park, but we found some lovely *hidden* places in the north side. Less people, more peaceful. Also, we were able to see majority of the little “landmarks” of the park: the zoo, the bridge, the reservoir, and even the loch among them. Continue reading “The Park and Reconnecting (NYC day 4)”→
Saturday was the main event. The reason we came to New York City. The Musical.
But before the musical, we went to Black Tap in Midtown for lunch and milkshakes. Again, huge portions! I should have shared a meal with my sister because I could not finish mine. It was delicious, but I was already full halfway through my burger.
What we knew we’d all share though: THE MILKSHAKES. These things cost $15 EACH so yeah, no way I’m having it all by myself. So pretty. So tasty.
We began day 2 with croissants from Almondine Bakery (another place my sister found in her food research prior to our trip) and a *photoshoot* in Dumbo, before walking back to Manhattan via the Brooklyn Bridge, then rewarding ourselves with Waffles and Dinges (this didn’t happen because the stand was not where we thought it would be… huge disappointment! However, I saw a corgi with a bowtie, so…)
I spent the long weekend back in New York City because we got tickets for the new Anastasia musical in Broadway on the 20th, and my sister and cousin haven’t been to the city before… so we thought, why not spend 4-5 days instead of just the weekend?
Since I went with my foodie of a sister, our itinerary involved eating our way around the city while trying to hit up some landmarks and good scenery. Our first stop after landing in Newark and finding our way into Manhattan was Best Bagel and Coffee on W 35th St and 7th Ave. They have humongous bagels and are very generous with their spreads. I could only finish half of mine, and I was already starving before that. I saved the rest for lunch.
My goal for one of my English projects is writing a full feature article about unconventional travel. As part of the assignment, I needed to interview at least one person related to my topic.
In the past week, I actually interviewed three people who travelled the world differently. No fancy all-inclusive hotels, no shuttle bus pick-ups from the airport. It took me a while to find people to interview in person, but it’s well worth it.
My cousin, currently out somewhere in Eastern Europe (I think, where is Croatia?), inspired me to write about this topic. I crave travel… I just don’t have any money to do so.
At least, I thought of it that way until I talked to my cousin about their adventures, and also I met two university students (like myself), and they spent their summer breaks travelling in exceptional places. Continue reading “Have Backpack, Will Travel.”→