The words, “This is our last year in Vietnam” clearly struck fear into the hearts of my family members. Before you could say, “Tien’s your uncle” suitcases were packed, tickets bought, visas ordered and – lo and behold – they came, they saw, they loved it. For JD and me it was a chance to see them, to show off our city and to revisit our best spots.
So where did we go?
Bucket lists are terrible. 100 Things to Do Before You Die must die. Is this how pessimistic we’ve become? Death is imminent so make sure to have fun!!!!! How about we change our minds to do what’s fun for you when it’s fun for you? Yes, we’ll all die. But, heck, I don’t have a countdown to that super special day.
There’s a point of these overtly obnoxious kicks in the butt. Many of us are lazy, out of shape and perhaps in search of direction. A “bucket list” scares us into moving.
But let’s act, not on fear, but on want. Contrary to fashionable belief, not everyone has to skydive, or learn a new language or even *gasp* travel. All we must do is be kind and support ourselves. The rest is incidental.
What if you had told me I’d wind up in Vietnam for five years? That I’d live here, all of all places, for longer than I’ve lived anywhere other than my parents’ house as a kid? What if I had seen this house as my home instead of the forbidding Haunted Mansion? What if I’d framed pictures instead of using each trip home as a way to offload a suitcase of souvenirs onto my very space-generous mom? What if I had fully embraced Da Nang from the beginning?