The year began in Da Nang, Vietnam, in a slightly different way than usual.
After studying for a semester in South Korea, it was time to explore new locations, and Southeast Asia was the chosen one.
By following a different calendar, the Tết (Feast of the First Morning of the First Day), or Vietnamese New Year is celebrated in the first month of the lunar calendar (something between 19 January and 20 February).
At the turn of the night from December 31 to January 1, we stood near the dragon-shaped bridge (symbol of the city), but no fire came out of it, nor fireworks from any corner.
Along with other backpackers, we toasted what was to come, and also for a future as good or even better than the recent past.
You know, those nonsense resolutions, new year, new life!
Forget it! Do everything now. Why postpone even more?
Next year there will be a single change: the unit digit, from 7 to 8.
But enough of it. It is up to you.
From Da Nang we went to Hue, with all its temples, palaces of the imperial period and ruins. The other day we moved to Hoi An, with its French colonial buildings mixed with Chinese houses, and thousands of shops and tailors.
I admit that I missed the Vietnamese warmness at this point, whether it was the incessant rain or the amount of foreign tourists.
From there south, to Ho Chi Minh City, or Saigon if you prefer.
Chaotic with many motorcycles, temples, shops, kind people and good food.
It was time for Fernanda (my sister) to return to Europe, and from the direction of my travels to change drastically.
What was to be a backpacker alone in Southeast Asia for 2 months, has become one of the best experiences ever obtained, thanks to the people I met on the way and also by the rides encouraged by the unshakable spirit of my new Polish friends, who during 1 year put their fingers in riste from Poland to New Zealand.
Thanks to them I began to write more, to publish more, to throw myself (even more) in the world, and to fear even less the unknown.
I will say that this text would probably not be written if it were not for them.
It would be very difficult to list all the people who came into my life during this year. If coupled with the relationships that were strengthened, and even with those that moved away a little, I would be forgetting some. Therefore, names will not be mentioned.
Also, I visited many friends around Europe, and more came to my place in Berlin. I think I already mentioned that I don’t like guests, right? Why do I hate them? Click here to know!
One of the most memorable moments of the year occurred in a small Vietnamese town where, along with a friend, I was followed by a crowd of children who were amazed by the Vietnam flag on my T-shirt. I guess I never gave as many “hi” as I did that day.
After meeting my Polish supporters in Can Tho (Vietnam), we even tried to separate, when I went to Phu Quoc, and they entered Cambodia, but destiny (always playing with me) united us again at random in Sihanoukville, and together we went through January.
Lots of rides, laughts, temples, cheap meals and beers to renew the energies around Vietnam, Cambodia and Thailand, but it was time for farewell. Remember: Never say goodbye, but “see you soon”!
I was to go into Myanmar and they would go to Malaysia, and as much as I delayed that day, I could not cancel it.
Ancient Burma has toasted me with the most beautiful sunrises and sunsets ever seen. A country that definitely got my heart.
Family, friends, various delicacies in the homeland and towards the next semester of studies in Berlin, the last, successfully completed and a fear to come: applications for internship.
Applying for job, selling my image!
I suck at that and I hate this system, but this is the current song and we need to dance to the rhythm.
The compact of it all can be seen in this video:
Summer came and with if some concerts, such as the Rolling Stones, Queens of The Stone Age, Parov Stelar, Foo Fighters and Radiohead.
During these trips I met wonderful people, who taught me a lot, amused and helped me, but it was time to return to “reality” (according to some).
The applications and rejections appeared in the same proportion, and along with them came the discouragement for not suiting me to the system. Were I being very picky?
I changed the form, the content, even the area of action, but the answer remained the same: “Thank you for applying, but we found someone more qualified for the position. You remain in our database and we will contact you for future vacancies. “
A tremendous slap in the face, disguised with delicate and mild words.
When all seemed lost, and new projects were beginning to emerge in the imaginary, I received a response from the first organization, which I had submitted the application: the United Nations.
Just what I really wanted.
An organization with a purpose greater than just profit.
Then from one hour to the next, everything changed again.
From uncertainty and frustration to joy and anticipation of a new adventure.
Today I am through this new adventure, in the land of smiles, also called as Thailand, and for the next months of 2018 I will be here, hoping that the next retrospective will be even better than the one you just read.