The first word I think about when I hear “Vietnam” is alive. I remember how the cities move, no matter what the clock says or where the sun is in the sky. In the early morning the park is full of people doing exercise, and on the streets are hundreds seated on stools close to the ground eating pho for breakfast. There is constant honking all around, with movement from motorcycles, bikes and pedestrians.

For someone coming from New York City, this commotion shouldn’t seem extraordinary or anything but commonplace. Yet in Vietnam there is a different kind of activity, a different city sound, a different smell around every corner. More importantly: everything is new to me. I often wonder why some of us are so enamored by travel, why we are so in love with discovering new places. Maybe it is the appeal of learning about a new culture firsthand, and living a different way of life. But the essential notion is that we are more curious, more aware, and more attentive when we are exposed to a new environment. Our senses are heightened, which makes us notice things we otherwise wouldn’t. If only we could exercise these feelings all the time, and thus fill our day-to-day lives with more awe, excitement and inquisitiveness.

The truth, however, is that nothing beats the real thing. There is nothing like biking through dirt trails in the Cambodian jungle. There is no comparison to visiting the temples in Angkor and breathing the same air as those who built them a thousand years ago. You can see Halong Bay in photographs or film, but it will never be the same as waking up before the sun and watching the first rays hit the water with your own eyes. To be grateful every day for what the trees, the ground, the sun and the Earth has to offer, that is what I am learning. That is what travel has given me: the ability to find beauty in the quotidian, the admiration for sights not only seen for the first time, but repeatedly, bringing a different kind of wonder with each viewing.




Victoria Campa grew up between Madrid, Spain and New York City. Her bicultural family engrained in her a love for travel and an appreciation for the unknown. She enjoys a good book, the light of Madrid, and time well spent with friends and family. You can see more of her latest work here:

Victoria Campa 成長於西班牙和紐約。她對旅行的熱愛和對未知事物的欣賞根植於她的二元文化家庭。她享受於閱讀一本好書、馬德裏的光、以及與朋友和家庭友好相處的時光。你可以在這裏看到她最新的作品: