Bidding farewell to the place my father called home.
An hour flight later, we arrived to Phú Quốc, an island off the coast of Cambodia in the Gulf of Thailand. On the way to our resort, Novotel Phú Quốc Resort, we were able to take a glimpse of simple life that the Vietnamese people led on the island. It made me appreciate the things in life that we tend to look past due to the hustle and the bustle from large cities. As a concrete-jungle born, New York City bred girl, I was never drawn to the island life or beaches in general. My perspective has changed completely after this trip and made me lustful to see more of the sun and sand; this goes beyond my vitamin D deficiency.
There are over fifty gardeners taking care of the vast gardens throughout the resort on a daily basis.
The calm before the storm.
I was able to do more than planned in Vietnam and it was hugely thanks to a great friend Michael who simultaneously joined the trip last minute and helped me carry my crutches whenever we decided to hop on the back of a motorbike. Everywhere we went, people went above and beyond to accommodate us and compliment our efforts to wear thoughtfully complimenting outfits. The food scene was exceptional (just don’t drink the water) and the biggest dilemma you’ll have traveling here is what you should eat. It was nearly impossible to choose between the local street vendors who cooked fresh home-y food and the thoughtful, savory courses from the restaurants. Between the food, the people, the city co-existing with the nature that was ever present around us, I can’t wait to visit my motherland once more to create more memories with all of those who we met during our trip.
Aside from this being my first visit to the motherland, this was a very personal trip for me. 2016 was a tough year. People say that looking back helps you move forward. I wanted to feel completely at peace with myself as an individual and eliminate toxic feelings, elements, and energies from my life. Being in Vietnam and being surrounded by nothing but good vibes and company allowed me to begin nurturing a space that will sustain personal growth and I am blessed to have such great people to share this experience with.
A huge thanks to Justine and the rest of our friends at Novotel Phú Quốc for accommodating us and showing us around the area and an unforgettable trip.
photos taken by Michael Anthony