Gratitude. Things I'm Grateful For #11

My first grateful post of the New Year. Boy, am I glad it's 2013. For one, 13 is one of my favorite numbers, and secondly, I have a lot of strong sentiments that this year is going to be fantastic. I'm certainly at a crossroads, but very open to receive from the universe, as well as give all that I can.

I hope that your year is off to a positive start and that you can also realize your potential through gratitude.

1. Reaching The Top. 

On a foggy afternoon in Ninh Binh, Vietnam, we huffed and we puffed to climb the 400 steps to the peak of this mountain. A nearly 360 view of the rice fields, tributary and staggering karsts hung below us. Indeed a highlight moment of our trip. Even the two flat tires - yes, two - that we experienced in the 45 minutes following this ascent, couldn't ruin the day.

Ninh Binh Province.  I love the "pop" of B&W images. It gives you the opportunity to see some shadows or details that you might have missed otherwise. 

2. Being A Witness. 

One of the things that I love must about traveling is people watching. Having an opportunity to admire and observe how others spend their day is a special gift I cherish, as well as having the freedom to do so.

A fisherman inspects his net in the afternoon. Dong Hoi, Vietnam. 

A ship yard in Dong Hoi, Vietnam. 

3. Being Regular. 

I like being regular. Nothing too demanding, nothing requiring additional attention, or professional advice - just normal, regular. And I don't mean the contrary of being famous.

I would advocate that all paranoid travelers could throw away their Pepto-Bismol and Imodium surpluses if they partook daily of the Vietnamese sinh to, an insanely delicious, healthy and motley fruit smoothie. Some 12 fruit ingredients (including avocado) go into making this super shake, and besides from doing a number (no pun intended) on your intestinal system, it's also consumed for the well being and clarity of your skin.

Sinh To fruit shakes in Hoi An, Vietnam. 

The sinh to pre-stir. It's served like this, and then you can swirl away at your heart's desire. Maybe you like to chew on ice? Maybe you prefer to mash until the pieces are small enough for consumption? Either way, a must eat/order in Vietnam. 

4. Working With Your Hands. 

I've spoken about this before, my love for the handmade. Being in Vietnam the last 3 weeks, I've befallen upon so many people who spend their entire day using their hands, engaging themselves with another element; earth, wood, rice, vegetables, metal, rubber, bamboo...quite a sight and a craft. 

My little piggy. Hand-carved in Hoi An, Vietnam. 

This woman is creating a rice cracker, hand-cooking it over an open fire, after she handmade the rice flour batter and dried the round rice paper.

5. Ducks. 

Duck was my first word; correct, even before "mama" or "dada," I was saying duck. I suppose there still lies an affinity towards them, although it took me 29 years to finally pick one up!

Little ducks huddle for warmth and act as down pillows in Hoi An, Vietnam. 

In Vietnam, ducks eat rice shells not corn! 

What are you thankful for in 2013?  


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