Upon my arrival to Vietnam, the biggest shock was the traffic, even though I read about it and saw the pictures. Still, it was incredibly terrifying to me. I am a nervous driver with almost no experience, so the thought of getting on a motorbike and trying to ride in the crazy, hectic streets here didn’t seem like a good idea to me. The traffic in Thanh Hoa is not as bad as in Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh City, but it is still completely different than back home. People here drive like the street belongs only to them and don’t really follow any reasonable rules.
I quickly got used to and even started enjoying riding on the back of other people’s bikes, but I was too scared to get my own. My hotel wasn’t too far from my school, and the taxi here is incredibly cheap, so I decided to get around on foot and by taxi. It seemed like an acceptable option then. A few months later, I learned how to ride a motorbike, but I had already started thinking about leaving Thanh Hoa, so I didn’t feel like spending money on a motorbike at that point.
But now, eight months later, I see that having my own motorbike to get around and explore the surrounding areas would’ve made my life a helluva lot easier and more interesting. Most important aspect of all – it would’ve given me more independence and freedom to go wherever I wanted and whenever I wanted. Without the bike, I was always depending on other people to get out and have adventures. I allowed my fear to win, and I had made a promise to myself some time ago that I would never let that happen again.
Lesson learned: don’t let the fear take over you, and have a little more faith in your own abilities!