A Map Of Life

When I was filing all the pieces of paper souvenirs I got from my recent Vietnam trip in my journal, I found myself stuck looking at the map that served as my life raft there. It didn’t look much now (it looked like something that you can wipe your ass with) but it looked pretty presentable when it was first handed to me.

While looking at it, I couldn’t help remembering how many times I got lost, how many kilometers I walked just to get to my destination (most of the time, not even arriving there), how many people I met along the way, and how many instances I muttered out loud that the darn map was wretchedly making my life miserable. Of course, I was just exaggerating. My trip was far from miserable, in fact, it was insightful because I brought home many things unheard of.

FxCam_1380986768000 Y Nhi Guest House is located in Pham Ngu Lao, the backpacking district which gives you access to everything you need!

The experience of being given a map of Saigon (or any other city for that matter) is like being handed out with your life’s plan. You hold a guide to destinations where you are expected to acquaint yourself with and these options are yours to take but you have to get there at your own inclination.  At first glance, you would probably think that getting there will be a piece of cake. The map will make it look that way but soon you will realize that getting to that particular destination was not as easy as you thought it would be. Along the way, you’ll end up confusing north with south and turning your map in circles just to make sense of it again. Sometimes, you’ll see flustering streets and alleys that were not identified in the map which will unhinge the certainty that you were supposedly promised with. In other instances, the phrase ‘lost in translation’ puts its foot down. In worst cases, you will encounter people who will point you to the wrong direction and you’ll end up dazed running back and forth, going no where close to where you want to be.


It’s almost like how life is and just like life, you will walk miles and miles of that road. You will get tired. You will stop and take a breather. With sheer determination, you will continue. You will meet people. You will stumble. You will marvel on beautiful and unexpected berths. You will laugh. You will cry. You will be disappointed. You will fail and lose faith. You will lose your way. You will get back on track. You will have realizations. You will discover your reasons and fight. You might just fall in love. You will be thrown off balance. You will find what you were looking for. You will learn your lessons. You will change. You will be thankful. In the end, you will go home.

lifePhoto credit: frandomazing.blogspot.com

My Saigon stint reminded me of these lessons.

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