I'm back / by Bree von Bradsky

Hello. It’s been a long time since I’ve written on this blog, and for that I apologize.

I moved abroad in November of 2016 with the intent of traveling alone for however long I could financially and emotionally support myself. I wanted to emphasize and share with others that women can and do travel to the far ends of the earth. Despite my lack of posting, I want everyone reading this to know that the former statement is a capital t Truth. Over the past year or so I have made tremendous friendships with incredible women from all over the world, each with their own inspiring story.  

When I arrived in Hanoi, Vietnam on December 4th, 2016, I did not think I’d still be here come the 26th of March 2018. The fact is, is that I still remain in this beautifully chaotic cultural hub and it overjoys me. Last year during Tet Holiday, I went on vacation to Laos with my best friend and housemate, Alyssa. At this point in my travels I had been away from home for three months and I wasn’t sure if I should stay in Hanoi for a bit longer, move on to another country, or even, go home. I really did not know what to do; I wasn’t happy, a lot people weren’t. Trump had just been inaugurated, I wasn’t able to attend any women’s march, and I had been waking up each morning to the news alerts reporting on the egregious events that happened during his first week in office. In a lot of people’s lives this was a tough time. I didn’t know where my place was in the protest if I couldn’t physically be in the US to march for the cause (s). In a conversation with an old college professor of mine, she told me it was important to be abroad; to share with others that Americans can be good. Since then I’ve changed my method of protest to that, well that and writing postcards to my legislatures every once in a while, to tell them what’s up.   

Looking back to my journal I kept in Laos, my internal struggle and I wrote a new list every day: things I need to accomplish before going home, pros of leaving, cons of leaving, places to travel, food to eat, this list of lists could go on. In the end my lists did not bring me any closer to an answer, what did, was spending two weeks in Laos getting reacquainted with the travel bug. This two-week, plan as we went, trip ultimately led me to realize my time abroad was not over. Living in Hanoi is what you make of it, and I came back with a refreshed sense of adventure ready to take on life abroad and I’m so happy I did. Two weeks later I met my, now, partner who allowed me to experience Hanoi again with fresh eyes and so I stayed.

Well, here I am, one year, two months, and twenty-two days later, sitting on the couch of the apartment I share with Coly (my partner), inspired to write again. Not necessarily about the nomadic solo life abroad I originally made this blog about, but about finding a home in a place so far away from my roots, observing the world around me, the projects I'm working on, and of course, the wonderful people I meet.  

Stay tuned for my next update on what I’ve been doing and working on this past year. xx