My ❤️ belongs to Hoi An

I recently updated my status on Facebook to this “Sometimes your heart isn’t longing for a person, but it’s homesick for places it’s never been… Hello Hoi An. My ❤️ is 🏡.”

Let’s start from the beginning. I took a bus from Mui Ne to NHA Trang, and transferred to another bus that would drive through the night to Hoi An. I’m not entirely sure the whole journeys timeline but it was about 16 hrs. Sleeper buses in Vietnam are pretty comfortable your in like a chair/pod that you lay down in and is separate from everyone, unless your put in the back where it’s like a big bed. I had requested my own and luckily it all worked out. It’s a bit unnerving travelling at night on the highways as I’m mentioned there’s very little rules on the road, or so it seems from my standpoint. Lots of honking seems to be the way vehicles and scooters communicate. But my stomach illness held up without causing problems and I slept surprisingly well through the night. I recommend some good ear plugs when travelling. It can make the difference of a night with no sleep or a restful sleep. I arrived in beautiful Hoi An around 630 am on the 13th. It was my favourite day so far!!!

I checked into the most beautiful homestay called golden bell homestay, that I’m sorry I only booked for one night. The hosts were incredibly gracious and brought me to have breakfast even though my check in wasn’t for hours. After breakfast I relaxed for a bit and updated my journal a bit. Then I took a walk around to explore my surroundings.

You can view then here: http://hoiangoldenbellhomestay.com 

I headed back to check into my room. Take a look: 

   
 
It was gorgeous and included a balcony overlooking homestay with open roof. And their dog Happy is pretty cute!

  
The homestay gives free bikes out to get around as there’s so much to see and do here.

I took a bike and headed to the beach! The day was hot, and the beach was loaded with people but sadly no cows 😉

   
  
I wasn’t in the mood to just lay down so I continued biking along as I wanted to get to the Tra Que Water wheel . I’m so glad I did.

Tra Que Water wheel  is located just outside of Hoi An on the way to the beach. They farm their own herbs and vegetables, offer cooking classes, let you garden with farmers and offer many other hands on activities as well as have a great restaurant. I had one of the best meals I’ve had so far. Do yourself a favor and check out their website and go visit them if you are in Hoi An. http://traquewaterwheel.com/

   
    
Bunh Xeo and Papaya salad with a lemon ginger drink. First meal now that stomachs better and I indulged big time!

   

  
The food and staff were spectacular and I’ll be going again before I leave to partake in some of their activities. 

From there I just enjoyed a bike ride and took in some sights like this 

 

After returning back to homestay I showered and took a nap! It was well deserved. The homestay recommended another place for my next few nights in Hoi An so I biked over there and it looks perfect. The Iris Villa. And it even has a pool!!

Hoi An is famous for their good food, and a special dish called Cao Lau. It’s a pork and noodle dish that you can only get here! I was looking forward to enjoying it. 

They are also famous for tailored clothing, French influenced architecture, and their night market. And my goodness it is spectacular. I had the best evening wandering the market, talking to locals, eating Cao Lau (so good!), and indulging in a coconut donut!

The market here has many desirable things compared to other markets, jewellery,  artwork, clothing, and many trinkets etc. If you go here which I hope you all do, go visit Mr. Thanh at booth 34. He has a “no pressure/no bullshit policy” that was refreshing. Fair prices and fair negotiating. Plus he’s wickedly funny, and happy to speak for a long time. He also told me where the best Cao Lau is at the market! We took a selfie together and he gave me a bracelet when we parted ways telling me to visit him again tomorrow to let him know how I enjoyed my dinner.

The lanterns were spectacular at the market and the lights, and energy surrounding the place made it the most magical evening here.  
 My friend at stall 34!  
  Thao Nguyen you made some delicious Cao Lau

    
    
  Me living the dream. Can’t express what a lovely night I had. 

   
   
   
    
  
  
Get to Hoi An. You’ll be glad you did.

Sending love and light to family and friends back home 💜💙

Xo – Vanessa 

Sea cows and what I did in Mui Ne

I spent two nights in Mui Ne. It’s a cute place with lots of restaurants, shops, resorts and beach access.

I stayed at the very lovely Hung Phuc Mui Ne Hotel. The family that owns the hotel were so kind. One spoke great English and we talked a lot about Canada. The rest of the family always called me by name even if just to say hi. They really appreciated everyone of their guests and the place was immaculately clean and beautiful as well. I’m sorry. Don’t have a picture of the room but it was lovely as well.

    

  
Sadly most of my time in Mui Ne I wasn’t feeling myself with an upset stomach. Because of that I didn’t do any excursions, or check out the fishing village or sand dunes. Next time around😉.

What I did do was walk. I averaged about 15 km a day up and down the town and the beach.  I walked for hours and really enjoyed being in the heat. When I wasn’t walking I was enjoying my book by the beach. I have now finished two books on this trip which isn’t a lot for me but it’s all I packed in my backpack. I’ve been leaving my books behind at the hotels that have a library or for someone else to enjoy signing it ❤️ Vanessa in Canada. I re-read to kill a mockingbird and just finished the cookoo’s calling. Both great reads.

Anyways while relaxing on the beach I met some new friends. Who knew sea cows would come to visit me and a few even came a bit too close for comfort but when I got up from laying on towel I said “no” they went back to eating coconuts on the ground.

   

     

     
 
I also indulged in a foot massage which is a must do in Vietnam especially with all the walking I had accomplished.

   

  

       

From Mui Ne I headed on a very long few bus rides to get me to where I am today in Hoi An.

Patience is a virtue especially when your told to be ready for bus at 12:30 and it doesn’t arrive until 1:40. I’m learning to go with the flow and not to immediately think worse case scenarios. I was on time, early even so I shouldn’t have assumed I missed bus, but when your contact that booked bus for you speaks very little English I was a bit concerned that something might have been lost in translation. Everything worked out just fine!

So My new most favourite place is Hoi An!!!! Stay tuned I’ll be posting about the night bus and the great first day I had in Hoi An in the next while.
Kindness is a universal language. Don’t forget it peeps especially while travelling. I’ve met many who needed my help that I could helpsand many that have gone out of there way to help me and it’s a wonderful thing. Especially when you don’t speak the language.
Xo- Vanessa 

 

I miss my dogs.

there I said it. ❤️🐶😥

I’m so blissfully happy to be travelling but I do miss my girls. There’s dogs around here in Vietnam at every corner and I wish I could rescue or snuggle them all. Roxy and Presley will be getting big hugs when I’m home.

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I have few other posts ready to go and will post soon just having some problems with phone accessing photos…. So for now you get to see the two beauties that own my heart, home and world, as my iPad still has  photos of them.

 Dogs show us everyday unconditional love. Try responding to your loved ones as our dogs do to us.

Life in the Mekong Delta

I decided after HCMC that I needed a break from the hustle bustle so I headed out to Can Tho in the Mekong Delta. I hadn’t decided if the Mekong was a “must see” in Vietnam but I’m so glad I went because it absolutely was and I’ll tell you why.

The Mekong delta from HCMC is about an easy 3-4 hr bus ride. There are countless tours available but looking on trip advisor many seem to be tourist traps. So do what I did. Book a tour with a local tour guide. Not one of the massive companies. Here’s why: 

  1. Many of the big tours just go for the day.. That’s 6 hours driving for a quick floating market tour at the busiest time of day. Then you go to a candy factory and maybe one other stop, then back to HCMC. You barely see life on the Mekong and your with a big group.
  2. Book a tour that includes an overnight homestay. This will include lunch on arrival date, dinner and breakfast the next day at the market. The food will be some of the best you’ll enjoy in Vietnam.
  3. I went on a tour with Susan of  Can Tho touring with Susan. Find her on Facebook or trip advisor. Or reach out to me and I’ll give you her information. Everyone loves the experience they have. She lives in Can Tho, speaks fluent English and knows all the best places that you don’t get to see on other tours.  You go to the largest floating market in the Mekong Delta called Cai Rang and experience more by doing the private tour. For example we went on a boat cruise through the canals, went to local market to buy ingredients so we could make dinner at our homestay, went to a Cambodian Buddhist temple that was beautiful and away from tourists, got to get a coconut out of tree to drink at our homestay , went to a rice noodle factory, and visited a fruit orchard. There were many more things we saw and did that Susan throws in so its not just your typical tour.
  4. We got an inside look at life in the Mekong. Saw kids playing, and swimming in the river canals, men fishing, and a good background on life there. As Susan said. Most people there make just enough money to survive and look after their families and they work hard. But they’re happier then the average person. They live by the water and have endless supplies of the best fruit, vegetables and fish. It’s a simple life but it’s fulfilling. There’s something to be said about being happy with what you have and being grateful!
  5. The homestay! I stayed at Lang Viet homestay in Dong Binh village. The food was incredible. The hosts gracious and friendly, and the place was beautiful. Coconut trees, comfortable beds and hammocks to relax in. 
  6. Susan and Hanah the guides that showed us around were wonderful, friendly and knowledgable. My tour included me and two other girls. It was more personal and was a relaxing beautiful time in the Mekong Delta and an absolute must do in the south of Vietnam. 
  7. Your supporting locals. 

The Mekong turned out to be such a great experience.  So many different types of fruit are grown there, and the food is heavenly. The homestay was gorgeous and just what I needed after a busy time in HCMC. 

Thank you to Susan for the awesome tour. I’m so glad I went! Enjoy the pictures below of tour.

   Susan had us picked up at bus stop to take us to homestay.

  
 My homestay  
  

   

  

 My favourite place to relax.
   

Shopping at market for dinner! We made eggplant, hot and sour soup with catfish, and a pork “pancake” one of the best meals of trip so far and we were all so hungry we forgot to take photos !
  

 
  Rice noodle factory :  
   
Cai rang floating market:  Hanah gave us this part of tour and is a wonderful guide who working with Susan.   
    
  (Bread for breakfast AKA floating subway. LOL!)

Susan, Sarah and I    

 Buddhist temple:  
    
    
Floating down the canal.


Susan is also awesome at taking selfies 😊

   

 I loved every moment of the Mekong delta. 

A little something about HCMC

Car horns are honking. All hours of day and night. This is a busy city that I don’t think ever takes a moment to sleep. I arrived after 3 long flights and my fair share of movies, food and books. I am in Vietnam and overwhelmed knowing that I’ve finally arrived. The heat at 1130 in the evening is only matched by the amount of traffic. It’s Saturday night and everyone plus there dog is out. The amount of scooters sharing the roads with taxis and other vehicles is even more then I imagined. And I just saw a man driving his scooter with his dog holding onto the the handlebars. Anything goes around here.

I’ve high fived my taxi driver as we didn’t understand one another but he got me here safely and was happy to escort me across the bustling road, checked in to my hotel and now it’s after midnight and I’m wide awake. Because it’s somewhere near 11 am back home and I feel slightly turned around. After very little sleep and being very thankful for earplugs I decide it’s time to take on the day. The carhorns haven’t stopped and I’m ready to see what this city has to offer in the daylight. 

After a nice breakfast at the hotel  I’m ready to go. Have I mentioned the coffee here is extraordinary ? So good I had two cups. For anyone that knows me I’ve only started enjoying coffee in the last 6 months or so, and I usually stick to one or two cups a week.. But then I’ve never had coffee like this. Smooth and chocolate-y and beyond description.

I head out the door ready to explore with my only plan to exchange some USD for the Vietnamese dong and get a Vietnamese SIM for my phone. Shouldn’t be too hard, and after wandering I find a few places to grab a SIM. For a few dollars I now have a Vietnamese phone number for the next month. How technology has allowed us to stay in touch with back home is amazing. Wander some more and I realize it’s Sunday. Banks aren’t open. I left on a Friday morning and arrived here on a Saturday just before midnight. Where did those days go? Oh well.. There’s a few other choices for exchanging money and after accomplishing that I continue to wander.

Has anyone ever attempted to cross the streets in Ho Chi Minh city? Well it’s an art form and a science. Hesitate and you might not make it, hurry to fast or slow down and you won’t make it. Instead you just walk. The traffic moves around you. Nothing like countless scooters flowing on every side of you. My advice. Follow the locals the first few times until you understand the art too it. It’s not for the weak at heart. 

So I’ve been wandering taking in the culture, the noise and the views. I’ve been offered several rides on the scooters to take me where I’m heading (aimlessly wandering) plenty of fruit and flowers, and food. I’ve declined politely as I have no agenda. I’m just walking. 

After going through a market, stopping for another coffee and finding some peace in a gorgeous park in the middle of the hustle I know I’m lost. Not sure what district I’m in, and not worried in the least. I’ve been walking for hours. And the heat is near unbareable. But I love it. I’ve never felt so happy to be lost. Wander some more and I see a few similar faces and storefronts. It’s now early Sunday afternoon and the locals have been sitting on the sidewalks for hours enjoying their beer and playing games with friends. Some sidewalks you squeeze through dozens of scooters parked, and street food carts, and people sitting anywhere that fits for them. “Here miss” and “hello lady” and ” you want” are repeated too me as merchants try to sell me their art, food or a ride to where I’m going… I’ve never quite seen anything like this, there’s an energy to this city and at the same time a calm watching so many locals just relaxing, eating and drinking with no plans of leaving the sidewalks anytime soon.

I enjoy the water out of a coconut and some food at the market that I passed through earlier. Pointing at a picture on the menu of something I want to eat. Banh xeo. A Vietnamese pancake filled with shrimp and bean sprouts, eaten with greens and dipped in chilli flakes and fish sauce. I’ve enjoyed this before back in Calgary and enjoyed here as well. The food here is unreal and I’m looking forward to taking it all in. Arriving back at my hotel I decide to freshen up and nap. The shower feels amazing but the nap doesn’t happen. Back home it’s the middle of the night, but three coffees in and having been in the sun all day, I’m tired but wide awake. I relax and read for a bit and then wander about some more. I’ve been lucky staying at a great hotel the Asian ruby central hotel. The rooms are clean and the air conditioning wonderful. I’m sure it’s a luxury I won’t have everywhere this trip. 

The evening comes and I meet up with a girl named Stephanie.  I’ve been talking with her online for the last few months. Another traveller set to explore Vietnam without an agenda. We wandered the night markets and enjoy some food. Tonight it’s pho for me, with a few beer. My new friend doesn’t usually enjoy beer, but it’s readily available at every corner, and market, and costing roughly 49 cents American.. She gives it another try. It might take her a few days to see what others enjoy about beer. But I’m enjoying them. Not all the beer is ice cold as we enjoy back home. It’s served with ice here, or 1/2 warm… I don’t mind. It’s part of this busy hubs charm. 

Vietnam I’m here, and thankful for my first full day. I was lost but enjoyed the feeling that I had nowhere else to be, so why not take in the moment  of being exactly where I am meant to be.

Pictures are from my first and second day in  HCMC.   
    
    
   
The beer is good, the foods great and kindness is the only language understood.
Be kind- Vanessa ❤️❤️

Ramen and Asahi 

  I’m in Tokyo after a long day of travelling and one more flight to go. I’ve been careful not to have caffeine and to drink plenty of water but the idea of an ice cold beer with some spicy ramen won in Tokyo. And it was a great decision. 😍😍😍🍜🍺
The day has been long but things have gone smoothly so far. So thankful for that!

I will be in touch .. I’ve posted enough for the day and week probably lol, but you’ll hear from me again soon.

Hoping to get some sleep on my flight taking me to Ho Chi Minh city… What a great adventure it’s been so far!

Sleep well my friends/family back home… It’s about 5 pm here and somewhere around 2 am there… I’ve now been up for about 22 hrs… Ah well! It’s been an exciting day!

-Vanessa 

Heart wide fucking open

Hi. Here we go . I said I’d be open and vulnerable…. But can I do it? The words are exploding in my mind and it’s time to start talking.

It’s my blog and I’m going to say things, and laugh, and swear and probably cry. And maybe even make you uncomfortable being so honest. But I’m pretty open, so it shouldn’t surprise you because anyone that knows me… knows that’s who I am.

There will be two posts shared today. I wrote a post over 2 weeks ago, but between blogging issues and deciding to be ok with being so open it didn’t get posted.

It deals with a lot of the same that’s posted below. Some of the words will be similar. Maybe you didn’t read my last one. I posted it just before I posted this one…  About me, my dogs, and a boy. But two weeks have passed, and I still had troubles letting go… So it continued until again I had to understand when it was to be let go, that yes indeed it was time for me to listen. So today I begin actually posting topics that belong in my lifestyle blog. Life lessons I don’t even always want to learn. So here it is…

I’ve said it before. I’m not awesome at letting go. Even if there’s nothing left to hold onto.

There you were. The perfect blend of I shouldn’t go there and I’m captivated by you. 

But lets start further back in 2013 and 2015….

I  had a heartbreak in 2013 that surprised many. I announced my separation that became my divorce.  It had been a long time coming, even if the marriage wasn’t long. It was years of slowly feeling my heart-break piece by piece. I had become a shell of who I was, and I didn’t feel right. It was time for me to become healthier and love myself again.  I found help from therapists, and admitted I was in over my head. Friends and professionals helped me make a tough decision. But in that I had to fully recognize that a relationship, a marriage was over, and gained the strength to say I wouldn’t stay any longer for someone who wasn’t willing to contribute. I won’t get into all the ins and outs on why my marriage failed. I’ll just say this. It wasn’t a quick decision but it was one that allowed me what I needed. It was the right decision.

So then the year 2015 came. A year I feel for a lot of people was full of trials and hard times.  I went through a heartbreak in 2015 that shook me and broke me and left me wondering how the hell that all happened. My heart was completely devastated and shattered. A different heartbreak then I had felt before. I hadn’t quite accepted just how wounded this relationship had left me, and was in denial of it ending.  I again, gave too much of myself, and put in all the effort and never wanted to walk away when I should have. Realizing I’ve given more than I’d gotten and ended up depleted. I stayed in a cycle of extreme highs and lows. Unhealthy moments that should never have been allowed…. When it was over and I was in the middle of this heartache, I woke up and came alive. Somewhere in that unhealthy space when things were ending, I found strength and beauty within myself. My heart shattered open. I realized the strength I have and that I was done with unhealthy relationships that left me wondering who I am.

I became balanced. Happy. And ready for more in life. More love. More gratitude. More living. And when I allowed myself to be so open you arrived. And I was ready for you, which surprised the hell out of me. I was enjoying my own company and wasn’t looking for someone to fill a void, because I didn’t feel empty. But I surprised myself when I wanted to get to know you. I was intrigued.  And you were the one that showed me kindness, and reminded me what a relationship should be.  It woke me the hell up to how badly I allowed myself to be treated previously. That’s a blog post for another day.

You filled me with joy and made me want to dance. But there were problems. You weren’t open to the things I was. And you said it. You told me that you weren’t good at this… But I didn’t listen to just your words… I listen to your actions, how you treated me, how you acted around me….. Your actions were into what we started. You wanted to be around. You said one thing but you left the door open. A part of you wanted us… And as I so eloquently put it to my friend… You hulk-smashed my heart. But I allowed it. I knew it was coming again and again when you’d speak your words, and back away. You were meant in my life to teach me kindness and after that we needed to walk away. But I stayed. And you let me. We both have fault in that. It should have ended romantically after a few weeks when I got the cliché lines from you…. I should have known my worth and laughed it off and just been your friend… Because it was just the beginning of us hanging out and it was still good.

People are meant to be in your life. Just not always forever. So we need to learn to let go when we’re told too. I can’t blame just you… I listened only to my heart that felt love. And I followed that against your warnings. But you left that door open. And that hurt.

I’m leaving for a month and it’s the truth; we weren’t meant at this time or maybe at all.  And it needed to end now. You were right about that. So I can go away centered and balanced and loving myself, and being brave. Brave enough to take this risk travelling alone. Brave enough to know I need it. And to be brave enough to know I’m meant for so much more. It takes two to be capable in a relationship. I am. You aren’t. And this… Whatever it was, wasn’t so profound for you, and that’s ok. You weren’t at my level, because you didn’t want to be. You weren’t willing to be. You were more closed down than anyone I have ever met. And I told you. I’m not there to fix you.

You are  beautiful in your ways. In ways you are deserving of more than you allow yourself, I hope one day you’ll see it. But my dear friend in other ways, this wasn’t all roses lets just put it that way. And you do have some responsibility in this situation we found ourselves in. Even if you say you were always honest with your words.  We both stayed too long in this suto-relationship. And in doing that, there was the stuff that hurt me. The parts that were real, that you wouldn’t acknowledge. You had to let me go based on our differences, and you didn’t want to hold me back, you also just didn’t want to be apart of what I had to offer… And I had to finally listen…

The difference this time  between what you and I had and those other relationships?? I stayed who I was. I didn’t change for you. I was goofy. I was me. I sang too loud in the car, and danced around feeling joy all around me. I learned  to not lose myself in you. I’m proud of myself, because I understand that this is growth. I didn’t allow you to shatter me. Yes my heart was smashed, and I feel this heartache, but I wasn’t completely undone. Not because it wasn’t real, but through it all, I saw what I want and what I need… and in truth, you can’t give me all of that. You don’t want too.  And at some point I could no longer deny that. My heart and my brain were not in agreement when it came to you.

So.. Letting go. I’m learning. And my heart broke but it also broke open even more. I didn’t close down and get bitter, which in all of these trials I’ve been through I never have. I learned. About me. About my worth. About letting go. About being so fucking grateful for all that I do have. About what I crave in a relationship and what I need… And what I won’t allow in the future. So there were many gifts in what we had.  And I showed myself I came along way from where I’ve been.

I spoke to friends and sought out advice on how to let go. And I’m so thankful to you all. Some knew about all of these heartaches and spoke your mind even when I wasn’t ready. But I heard you. I just had to get there in my own time. Even if the words were straight to the point. I heard you. And I loved you all for it. But I find my way in my own time. Between potential and caring to much I held on to tight, every time.

But you, the one that many never knew about, I have to let you go. As you have let me go. The timing is right. The universe again has said its time to allow for the healing and releasing what this was, and what it wasn’t. And it feels good to be authentic to myself again. I wouldn’t consider myself unlucky in love. I’ve felt and had great love. I’ve also had great loss. I’ve also had some lessons that hurt, and made me think twice about what I would ever allow.  But in that I’ve found myself. There will be days I hear a song and feel something that hurts, and reminds me of you…  but I’m going to save those moments for a rainy day, as Kenny Chesney put it.

(Side note: those who didn’t know about this most recent relationship… It’s not because you aren’t important in my life, and it certainly wasn’t because he was not important to me. He was.. He and I from the beginning were pretty much over… I wanted more. He wasn’t ready . And then it was over. And then it was over again….).

I’ve got so much coming my way.. I’ll be okay. Actually I am okay. I’m learning and that feels so damn good. There’s a reason people write songs about heartbreak. It’s excruciating and devastating. A pain I’ve become familiar with. But somewhere in there it’s life changing and beautiful to be so vulnerable to feel it all. I’m not afraid of my feelings. I was unapologetically all in, and willing to be open to love and see where it went.  The heartache has it’s purpose. It’s brought my creativity back. It’s reminded me of exactly what I want. It’ll be another blog post. What VANESSA Wants… I’ll write it all down, because it’s going to come true for me, and how cool will it be to see it all unfold. Believe it. I know my worth. Because I’m fucking awesome. And so are every one of you reading this.

I have to thank my friend Anita. She helps me to open my heart and feel gratitude and love even amongst the pain. She helps me to stay grounded and be authentic and know my truth. Through her work in body talk she’s gotten me through some dark days. She helps me when it’s time to let go. My tears are accepted and they flow freely. But she’d say I’ve done the work, she’s just the messenger. I’m able to feel creative and open and spiritual and blessed by the work we’ve done together. If you don’t know about body talk it’s time to seek it out. Message me for more information. If you’re in Calgary, and your ready to find your balance, or if your feeling stuck I highly recommend her.  Our bodies are incredible and when we actually tune in and listen… We realize we know our own truth all along. Ask me about her gift, and her passion. I will get you in touch with her.

So away I go. Full of love and life and passion. I’m learning to find my passions and live them. My dreams are coming true. What an incredible statement. I’m trusting that I’m on the right path. And being open to feeling all of what I’m going through as it help shapes me. I’m allowing myself to be in the moment and I’m able to move forward without fear. And I’m beyond excited for what’s to come.
Be kind. Be kind and gentle to yourself. Because although life is beautiful, it isn’t always easy.

Be full of passion for this life. Love life. All the moments. Because each moment has beauty in it. And… Let go when it no longer serves you. Be brave enough to do that.

Xo Vanessa

A prick, quills and my dog 

This post was originally written just after valentines. Things are better now but it should have been posted earlier. I was trying to get my blog to post under “travel” and “lifestyle” but haven’t quite figured it out yet..  It keep me from updating the blog on this subject so I’m posting it now. Like I said its a travel and life blog.. So if you only want to follow the travelling skip this and next post 🙂

I was on my flight today listening to Florence and the machines ” what kind of man” and it hit me really hard. It’s a great song and the lyrics rang true to quite a few of my past relationships.. Not being all in, but leaving the door open. 

Anyways.. The post is below:

So it’s no secret that my two dogs (or my girls as I often call them) were my valentines this year. And really.. They give unconditional love, and are always happy to see me… So I’d say I’m a pretty lucky girl.❤️
But I had kind of been seeing a guy for awhile,…. Yeah and didn’t tell most people as I knew it wasn’t going to last… Not my choice I thought he was pretty great… But anyways… it ended awhile ago and I didn’t walk away as soon as I should have… Could have saved me stress, heartache and all that… Well… What can I say… I’m a sucker for punishment and am still learning. When someone says they’re not good in relationships.. THEY MEAN IT. Okay okay. He was honest about it… But we both have to own up where we went wrong. He shouldn’t have been open to dating me if he was going to shut right down, and I should have walked away the second he said that he doesn’t “do relationships”

Life lesson: people come into your life at exactly the right time, for exactly the right reason. This guy healed parts of me that were broken and after I’d done so much work on fixing myself and the hurt I had… He came along and helped me further.  I had worked on myself enough that I was willing and ready for something more. He offered kindness which had been missing in previous relationships. However…. Just because someone comes along at the right time and helps you grow…. Doesn’t mean they’re meant to stay.  It was meant to be over soon after it started… I’m not good at letting go. I’ll get into that in another post at another time.. This post is about my dog, and I’m getting there…

I’ve been stressed, between this guy and me being over (had been awhile but we still were hanging) and he offended me the last time I saw him. I thought he was better than that… But I think he had his back up. Afraid.. Yeah I think so, but not here to diagnose what he has going on…

Lol. … You see what I did with the title of this post? Funny right?   But,  I wouldn’t call him that really. It’s just catchy. And I appreciate him for what he is, and probably all he ever should have been… A friend.. Oh well. My heart wanted more.. 😪

So between this guy and my upcoming trip with so much to still do… I was feeling emotional and stressed.

I met one of my closest friends for a walk. We did over 5 km and were  enjoying our day completely. She allowed me to vent about my stresses, and she talked about hers. It was incredibly windy but a warm day for what is supposed to be winter in Alberta. On our way back to the vehicle…. Things went wrong. My girls caught scent of something and before I could control them they were pulling me down an icy hill. I tried to get my balance and hold them on leash better and somehow one got away. Oh Roxy. My girl who stays by my side always…. Was gone after who knows what… Turns out she met a porcupine that wasn’t so happy to meet her.

My heart was hurting for her. She got away pretty lucky all considering. Too me it was awful and horrible… And she certainly wasn’t happy, but they weren’t all over her body and down her throat. It could have been worse. She seemed to only have quills in her nose. But still there was enough. Off to the vet we went.

Side note. Find a friend who loves you unconditionally like I have because I’m beyond grateful for her. Her support is solid, and her kindness is contagious. When shit goes wrong she has my back… I hit the jackpot with the friends I have in my life, and she is no exception.

My girls are my life and my loves and my family. Seeing one or both in pain is not ok. It hurts me. But man did it put things in perspective. Who cares that this guy I liked hadn’t texted in days, didn’t apologize for hurting my feelings. It doesn’t matter one bit when my girl Roxy was needing surgery to get the quills out.  The best part is the tiny reply I did get back  from him… 5 words… None of which were taking responsibility for what upset me, or apologizing… Just went to show me… Not everyone is willing to own their own shit... All that stress for no good reason. I was warned about boys like that. Emotional roller coaster I was allowing myself to be on… For someone who’s not capable of being accountable, or at least meeting somewhere in the middle. I’ll talk about that another time. But in times of stress, you realize quickly that anxiety and stressing over someone …. Well what can I say. Life happens and things get put into perspective…

So now I can just focus my stress on financial woes from my vet bill and planning my trip.

And Roxy ? She’s no worse for wear now. That girls got spirit. And hopefully has learnt that you don’t make friends with porcupines….  And I shouldn’t have tried so hard with someone who has their quills out too…

2015

GOOD MORNING VIETNAM!!!!!!

😃 lol well almost… 29 hours to go and I’ll be there.  So I’ve successfully gotten up on time, grabbed all my gear and got a ride from my amazing  friend to the airport. I’m thankful for people like her who think waking up at 430 on a Friday is a good idea.

  
If I’m going to get up this early it better be to good music ! Although lets face it I was wide awake by 330.

  
I got through security and customs within 1/2 hr and have lots of time to spend relaxing. It’s a good thing I like airports. Had a nice visit with my customs agent. He didn’t believe me at first that I was going alone, as I have almost no stamps in my passport (I’m going to make sure that changes shortly!!!!) I guess I shouldn’t have been so smiley and happy at 530. He told me that they make movies about people like me. I laughed said I don’t watch those kind of movies, and he said I probably should have. lol. I told him he’d see me come back in a month just fine…

I get too scared at horror movies, but travelling alone… So far. I feel pretty fearless and excited. I’m excited and thankful for this trip. The women at security check almost brought me to tears when she saw my three boarding passes. She said this would be a day I’ll never forget. And to sleep when I can. It was so genuine and just a nice moment between two strangers. There hasn’t been a second that I haven’t felt completely overwhelmed with gratitude for what I’m doing. And so far the kindness I’ve received has blown my mind. 

So first stop… San Fran! A place I’ve always wanted to visit. This time will only be the airport but I promise to visit again soon.

I’ve got half hr before boarding.. For now I’ll enjoy a jugo juice and relax knowing that I’m on my way!
💜❤️💙💜❤️

Feeling grateful and beyond excited for what’s to come!!!

Kindness is contagious so spread it around. And wish me luck! 
– Vanessa 
Ps . I have a few lifestyle posts I haven’t put up yet. Trying to have categories for this blog hasn’t worked so far… So it’s just all been travel etc. I’m going to post them here and once I figure out the ins and outs of blogging I’ll move to correct spot. So skip next two posts if your not interested in things that aren’t about my travels.

Tomorrow!!!!

So tomorrow’s the big day! I’m off to Vietnam… Can’t believe it’s already here.
Yesterday my work brought me to tears being so kind to throw a going away party.. Maybe they  can’t wait to get rid of me for a month, although it’s more likely I’m surrounded by an incredible team of friends that love and support me and really know just how important this trip is for me… 

Thank you to all who pulled off such a meaningful surprise for me. The journal will be well used and you all truly made my day.   
   

I’m all packed and ready to go… Got everything accomplished for the most part… And the rest can wait til I’m back. But my house feels empty. 😪

I dropped my girls off at the kennel today. I’ve never left them for so long before and it is not easy for me to do. Luckily they had a great walk before and had so much fun… I don’t even think they’ll miss me… lol

Here’s some pics of our fun day at the kennel… Because I have the cutest dogs ever and I feel like sharing how awesome they are with you! Plus I already miss them.  

  

    
   

 The quote from Winnie the Pooh fits well here. I’ll miss my friends, family, co-workers and my dogs, but I’m off for an incredible adventure and I couldn’t be any more excited!!

 

Now go hug your dog (or cat or a loved one).
Be kind,
❤️ Vanessa