How Lucky Am I… (Pt. II)

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Cheering on the U23 Soccer team to a loss against South Korea in Ninh Binh

They say friends are the family you choose, and if that’s the case then I have the best extended family in the world.

Without a doubt in my mind the thing I am most proud of in my life is the friends I’ve made. The most valuable possession I have is the relationships with those who mean the most to me. How I convinced any of them to ever hangout with me is still a mystery.

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Bun Cha Huyền Linh, The best Bun Cha in Hanoi (and therefore, the world)

In late August, for a little over a week, friends from many facets of life joined me in Hanoi and adventured around Vietnam. Adam Kalina, Jack Barry, Jack Rekucki, Aubrey Carter, my older brother Nathan, Jimmy Ferrare, and Margot Palandjian made for the best squad to ever do Vietnam. We tore up Hanoi and traveled to the beautiful destinations of Cat Ba and Ninh Binh outside the city. I was lucky enough to have Margot stick around for a couple weeks to help me delight in and truly experience the magic of Hanoi along with take a couple more trips out to the countryside, then we topped it off this weekend with the cherriest of all cherries at the Singapore Formula 1 Grand Prix.

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Stilt Pagoda in Ba Dinh, Hanoi

A full blog post and hopefully a photo montage set to sappy music will come later this week, as all visitors have now left and I will have some time to organize my thoughts and document our incredible adventures.

I want to say thank you to all the visitors this past month. You were all incredible and made me fall in love with Vietnam all over again. The adventures we went on and good times we shared are memories I will cherish for the rest of my life. I’d also like to thank all my friends around the world for being so dope. At the end of the day as long as your rich in friends that’s all that really matters, and I feel like a billionaire.

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Panoramic of Ngu Lam Peak in Cat Ba National Park (pano cred: Margot)

Sure I’m feeling a little sappy as I fly to Hanoi for the final time and will have to readjust to being solo out here, but through the visitors I strengthened existing friendships in Hanoi. Friendship begets friendship. I’m also excited to get a good nights sleep for the first time since mid August.

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Squad Deep in front of Ho Chi Minh’s Mausoleum

My head is spinning, but my heart is full and I feel at peace. I am looking forward to appreciating each day I have remaining in Hanoi, and then going on another unforgettable adventure around Asia before returning to the US on Christmas Eve. I can’t wait to see all of my friends back home. More friends will join in Hanoi and during my final journey, and I’m infinitely grateful to have so many incredible people who have decided to make the trek all the way across the world to visit. I’m overwhelmed. I’m blessed beyond measure. I don’t know how else to put it. There’s really no other way I can put it.

Winnie the Pooh, take it away… 

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