They say the first traveling experience abroad should make you feel scared, but oddly enough, as I was looking out of the taxi window carrying us from Da Nang to Hoi An in Viet Nam, I didn’t feel scared, or excited, or anything at all, really. Oddly enough, it felt calming.
The weather was mildly pleasant. I was 21 and I was alone in another country for the first time in my life. Just like any other 21 year-olds, I was lost, stranded at the crossroad of destiny, pulled by different, often contradicting passions of life with absolutely no clue on what I should choose.
Walking through the small ancient town that was made up of a dozen intersecting blocks brought a nostalgic feeling of the past. There were the familiar French buildings, with its peeled yellow paints, and flowery parlor over looking the small, crooked streets. Amidst these buildings, one could also spot creeping Japanese, and Chinese influences in the form of small squared residences with curved, mossy stone roofs. Then there were the mutants, houses with signature French yellow columns, a Vietnamese interior garden, but adorned with Chinese inscriptions. Drunk in the beauty of these mismatched styles, I inhaled the scents of fresh pink flowers peeping on the sidewalk, enchanted by the bustling murmurs of tourists around me. And at that moment, I felt okay. Maybe being pulled by so many different passions was not a bad thing. Maybe it was the very ingredient that would make my life unique. Maybe I was just a Hoi An town in construction. If Hoi An could end up being this beautiful with its mismatched, un-uniformed architecture, then maybe so could I.