The Year of Countless “First Times”


View of Granada from Alhambra Palace (Spain). Photo by Cherie Orwoll.

As this year is slowly coming to its end, I can’t help but look back to everything I have accomplished during this time. 2015 has indeed been my year. It has been the year of many “first times” – the year that gave me so many moments of bliss, moments that will make my heart smile as long as I live. Continue reading


City as a Lover

Two flights, three airports, and 28 hours later, I landed in Vietnam, at the Ho Chi Minh City airport. I proceeded to the Landing Visa Office to show my visa papers and get the stamp in my passport. Paper forms, visa pictures, and a waiting line at the desk. The whole procedure lasted for about an hour. I picked up my luggage and headed towards the airport exit.

As I set my foot outside the door, the hot humid air surrounded me completely. I was dragging all my stuff around, overdressed in a sweater, long sleeve shirt, and even an under-shirt. I could almost feel my pores drinking the humidity of the heavy air as I spoke on the phone to my Vietnamese recruiter Rachel (not her real name), trying to locate her in the crowd. Finally she recognized me, we shook, hands, the manager helped me with the suitcase and we hopped into his car. They were nice and friendly, offering me food and drinks. We got out on the road, and this is when the reality started to settle somewhere inside my gut. I instantly became strongly aware of the moment. Continue reading