4) Accept the fact that you’ll often have to ask and rely on help of others.


The girl on the left is Annie, a dear colleague and friend, the kindest and most helpful person who never hesitated to offer her assistance both with work and private matters. Thank you for everything Annie, you are the queen!

I am a type of person who doesn’t have a problem of letting other people take the lead if I think that they’re doing a good job. But most of the time I prefer to do things myself because when someone else does them it rarely turns out the way I imagined it or it takes a lot of time to get it done. Living in Thanh Hoa required a lot of help from local people due to the language barrier. From getting food delivery, or buying and fixing things, to visiting a doctor who doesn’t speak a word of English, there were many small, everyday life things that I needed help with or at least some translations.

But when you ask other people for help, you have to understand that they have their own lives and can’t jump and get things done for you as fast as you would do them yourself. So getting things done here often required a lot of effort and time; things I would usually settle in a few minutes took hours; things I would usually deal with in a few days stretched on for weeks. It is easy to get impatient and frustrated or even angry. But then in those moments when I was getting all these negative feelings, I was also feeling disappointed and ashamed of myself for not being more thankful of the help and support I had, no matter the efficiency. I ended up feeling really bad whenever I had to ask for help with mundane things.


Local guy and friend Harry, who taught me how to ride a bike, comforted me when I was sad, and shared many beers and meals with me. Thanks mate!

But eventually I learned that this is just the way it is. When you live in a foreign country, it is inevitable that you will frequently have to rely on help of others and that things won’t always turn out the way you want them to, or it will at least take a lot of time and patience. I need to relax more and stop feeling the need to control everything, because some things we just can’t control no matter how hard we try and it is better to just go with the flow and take it easy. Getting upset and frustrated won’t change much and it’s not really going to get you anywhere.


Local girl Ivy, who was always kind to me, even when I was upset and unkind to her. She helped me a lot when I got sick and had to visit the doctor every few weeks. This was one of the hardest experiences in Thanh Hoa and Ivy was there for me through it. Thanks girl!

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2 thoughts on “4) Accept the fact that you’ll often have to ask and rely on help of others.

  1. Pingback: Surviving Loneliness in Thanh Hoa – 11 Things I Learned | Chasing Latitudes

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