It’s been a while since I posted. We had just come out of lockdown in Hanoi a few days before. I was preparing to start back at work, teaching in my classroom for the first time since January. I was relieved to be gaining some normality and looking forward to socialising again.
But a lot has happened since then and my mental health has been up and down. The global climate has been getting to me: the Black Lives Matter movement, the climate crisis, the pandemic and more. I needed some time away from social media and blogging not to hide from all this, but to reflect, learn and reevaluate a few things in my own life.
Personally, there are a lot of things I’m figuring out with help from others. I’m trying to focus on worrying only about things I can change. I’m reading and listening to podcasts to learn more about the wider world and to learn more about myself. I’ve been thinking and feeling and observing and noticing and that’s felt more important to me than other things lately.
I have, of course, been doing other things too. Twilights spent at rooftop bars with a drink in one hand and my camera in the other. Evenings enjoyed at my favourite restaurants laughing with friends over baos and pizza. Cuddles with my friends’ babies. A classroom full of children who are eager to be back at school. Night times with my boyfriend, out and about because now we can, or embracing those evenings in that we’ve grown to love.
I’ve been working on an external article too, which I’m excited to share in the next couple of months. It’s forced me out and about during 40 degree heat, when I probably would have preferred to stay indoors with the AC. But actually, these days of walking round the city (which for several weeks, we weren’t allowed to do) have reminded me of what I do love about Hanoi.
Now, term has finished and the summer holidays have begun. I can’t go home the UK, as planned, which has been something to get used to in itself. We’re making the best of it though and are fortunate that we can travel freely around Vietnam, even if we can’t leave the country. Hopefully I’ll have lots of travel related bits to share over the next few weeks.
I hope, if you’re reading this, that you’re well. That the sun is shining and – whether you can go out or not – there are plenty of things to make you smile.