The Slump [Vietnam]

So, I think I hit my slump.

That moment that I’ve heard about from all of those wise Digital Nomads out there, that time where the thought comes into you head that maybe, just maybe, home is better.

Last week was Thanksgiving.

I didn’t fully realize how much I would miss my favorite holiday of one of my home-lands.

Seeing the insta-feeds of pumpkin pie, friendsgivings, my family coming together was almost too much for me to bear. Then IT SNOWED IN ENGLAND [and DC].


That combined with the fact that I know I wont be home for Christmas as well left me feeling lost in a sea of non-festive motorbikes, smog and noise.

You may have guessed by now that Hanoi quickly lost its charm for me.

This week was made slightly harder by many of the tribe being off in beautiful Sapa while I made the [stupid] grown-up decision to stay in the city to make sure that I got more work done and to stick to budget.

So here are some lessons I’ve learned this week:

Lesson 1: if you’re not happy and rested then you’re not getting any work done. If you miss your tribe, you’re going to think about that more than how to best serve your clients.


I sat with a couple of others who had decided to stay as the grayness of the city swam around us and regretted my decision not to join in with the week’s festivities.

Lesson 2: if you feel unhealthy where you are you should make a change.

I am still not in a great sleep pattern. Although walking is a good way to get around Hanoi the heightened levels of anxiety from the constant near-death experiences on the non-pavements can’t be that good for heart health. I think I’m addicted to adrenaline now.

The food has been a challenge for me here too. Some of it’s supremely good, some of it’s terrible.

I should have gotten out of the city for a reprieve, I would have felt healthier for the change and would have probably been more productive than I was.

[Most important] Lesson 3: if you forget to be grateful you end up ungrateful and miserable.

This one seems obvious but I was definitely being a bit whiny this week [can you tell?!].

I forgot to remember the opportunities that I have been granted. I was focusing on the fact that I didn’t have EXACTLY what I wanted, instead of focusing on the freedom I’ve been given.

I had to catch myself as I cried at one of my friends that I wanted to go home.

He was very patient, but I suddenly realized that here I was moaning that “I had to stay in SE Asia for Christmas”…”that I had to say goodbye to my tribe”…”that I wasn’t at home for Thanksgiving”…

Instead, I realize that, I should have changed my thought processes to: “I get to be in SE Asia for Christmas, how lucky am I that I was able to start on this journey, how lucky I am that I can continue this journey”…”I have an amazing tribe that I have been privileged enough to grow with, learn from and love and I can look forward to the next time we’ll be together”…”That I have a home[s] to miss for Thanksgiving [and Christmas]”

After this little mind and heart shift I definitely felt better.

The slump didn’t seem so slumpy any more.

Now, as the tribe arrive home from Sapa I feel like I can go into our final weeks together with a renewed perspective and a concentration on the things that are important. I’m super thankful for that.