Turning a year older // travelling alone

Man this journal is becoming a complete and wholesome travel journal day by day. And I'm not so sure about that.. Eventhough I did change the title to 'Travel with Me', I'm not sure I want to completely disconnect my honest thoughts away from this space and focus completely on my travels. (which are honest account of them also anyway) *emoticon thinking face*

Anyway, I turned a year older last week and in true Jacqkie fashion, I hopped onto the plane to go somewhere new, somewhere foreign, and made some new friends :) And yes, I flew to Hanoi, Vietnam for my birthday. By myself.

I didn't had the time to update everyone about it (except for mum, sister and bro) and a handful of girlfriends, plus the moment I arrived Hanoi, I was so overwhelmed by the traffic that after a day of out in the streets of Hanoi, I was so beat I can't even form proper updates on Insta...

I have decided that this trip is purely.. FOODCATION. 

Yup, you saw it right. As if I haven't had enough food in my life right? *pinches my chubby cheeks* NO. I LOVE FOOD. I LOVE GOOD FOOD. I LOVE GOOD FOOD WITH GOOD COMPANY. Life is too short for one type of food. Life is too short for the same food. And a good meal, delicious freshly made food is what gets me going!

Okay enough food and caps in one place.

So I did as I promised to myself. There was nothing else in my itinerary except for.. street food. And I mean, by STREET FOOD. Road side, by the pavements delicious street food. I didn't step into any one restaurant or "proper shop" at all, I was just grabbing things as I see from the street and from the street vendors with the help of my instinct, crowd indicator and with the advise and help from my lovely new Hanoi friends!

I roamed freely around the streets of Hanoi (like I always do), and felt the happiest and at ease at everything. I really feel at peace travelling alone these days. It wasn't always like that though I must admit. When I first travelled alone back in 2010, I FELT SO LONELY. Being in the airport terminal alone was still okay, because I can plug into music, finally feel that I could settle my mind at ease after crazy days at work. But upon reaching my destination, seeing interesting things and eating alone - WAH THAT WAS THE TOUGHEST. I mean, look at this beautiful painting? Who to tell? Can you feel this amazing material? Anyone else want to feel this material?? And this delicious food? Anyone wants to share with me? No one??? No one?? No one?!! Okay no one then...

(don't get me started about meeting people while travelling alone, that's a new discussion itself)

It started as boredom, to lonely, to accepting it, to embracing it, to enjoying it! 

^Hanoi beer with fermented fried pork at the Old Quarter

As I get older, as I slowly embrace solitary discoveries I begin to truly, genuinely enjoy travelling by myself. Waking up at any time I want, and being okay with missing all the tourist attractions, yes I travelled all the way to this part of the world to CHILL, so yes we missed a few places, is anyone gonna die? Or what about eating what I want? Do you know how tricky it is to be so diplomatic about eating together sometimes? What do you want to eat? Anything la. I'm okay one. You? Anything lah. (okay, maybe I will be forever alone T_T) Sleeping alone? How is that a problem again...?! You mean I get to starfish and roll around however I want to? *pun may-be intended* The point is, the beauty in being with yourself is limitless if only you choose to see it.

Back to Hanoi, I took the time to eye on things to eat and taste, and experience. With the exception of two afternoons where I spent the loveliest time with Har from HanoiKids roaming around the streets of Hanoi going through history and colours.


My point is: life has been great. It feels great to be older, not sure about wiser, but I have started to learn to think for myself first. This "another coming of age realisation" is refreshing I must say. I am learning to manage my self esteem, this is work in progress. Self esteem is a magical thing. You can look a million bucks but if you constantly feel the need of approval by people, then there's something amiss. You can have a million bucks, but if you constantly feel that things are not enough then you will always feel not enough. When will we ever feel enough? You can look like me (which is terrible in most days) but if you feel content good to go through the day, you would feel just as positive. As I get older, I begin to differentiate between what really matters to me, and what doesn't. I have no time for terrible people in my life. Now I surround myself with the love of my family, my handful of best friends, spending quality time to unwind and talking to God. Yeah, really, like just stare at my walls and speak to him/her about my worries and troubles. I really feel the weight take off from my shoulders when I do that.

Who exactly are we waiting to fix help us? But us? 

Last but not least, thank you everyone for your wishes and for your kind thoughts. I can feel them. I can truly feel them buzzing around me like the warmth of a hot chocolate does to you. I have made some pretty awesome friends throughout the year, and true real friends over the past few years :)

Okay gtg, ttyl back to living life!
More posts about Hanoi coming soon!

Jacqueline Rowena @ Jacqkie.


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