A not so Vietnamese girl with burning Vietnamese questions

First I gotta say – Huyen Chip is no one new.

She got famous a few years ago with a book of her traveling around the world “Xach ba lo len ma di” (Pack your bag and go). On 3/5/2010, at the age of 22, Huyen Chip became one of the first Vietnamese crossing continents in 25 countries with only 700 USD in her pocket.

The book covered her courageous journey and stories stretching in different continents. It raised a storm within Vietnamese community, triggering inspiration and jealousy at the same time. The ones who are inspired want to do like her and the ones who get jealous think that they can do like that but somehow haven’t  (or maybe never? ;)). People even had to hold some conferences to prove if she exaggerate some points in the book. But always remember

No one ever kicks a dead dog

(Dale Carnegine)

The point is: she was smart, and courageous. People talk about Huyen Chip because she is worth talking about then, and still now. With media ripple effect coming afterwards, Huyen Chip was granted many opportunities and she is now focusing on her academic pursuit in Stanford University, enjoy the luck she created for herself, probably in a deeper journey.

It was  years ago, but until today do I read her blog. I loved it.  With her being the pioneer of Vietnamese travel bloggers, giving Vietnamese youngsters a cold water bucket, reminding us what we are missing out.

A(nother) new rebellious Vietnamese generation


In this blog post, Huyen Chip claimed that no one (I mean,  guys) in Vietnam is gonna love her. I find this very interesting. She is very unique, and also very typical.

Reading her blog will help you understand a new generation in this country, or maybe in the world, generation of youngsters who are becoming interesting in similar ways. You meet those people on the road who try to get rid of stereotypes by behaving very much the same. Vietnamese who are not so Vietnamese, Japanese who are not so Japanese, and much more. We are becoming a mainstream generation who try to claim we are so unique, seeking identity out of nationalism by blending into a boring chaos. Humans are similar in many ways, and you travel so long and so far to realize that. It is disappointing to realize that though. To understand others, look no further than looking into ourselves.

No one is cool or interesting, they are just like me and you. But before reaching that converging point, we need to break out and be rebellious.


A not so Vietnamese girl with burning Vietnamese questions


huyen chip in Ha Long bay

Huyen Chip pours out her heart-wrenching thoughts in this blog post “Living Selfish”. I was moved reading this.

My Western friends will never raise such a question. They live in a culture where individualism is fostered since they were a child and therefore, pursuing one’s dreams does not clash with family values, for example.

I do not mean Western society is perfect or individualism is something worth seeking. Western society has its own problems, yet it Vietnam, we are facing the opposite questions.

Huyen Chip, in her own journey, found answers she can be content with. She followed her dreams up to a point when it changed people along the way, when the so-called selfishness converges with selflessness. It is predictable, because everything we do bring value in all forms to people around us.

I’m selfish, in a sense that I do everything for myself. When I set out to do something, I never do it because it’s going to save the world or to change somebody’s life. I do it simply because I want to do it. And when I’m on my way to save myself, it’s nice if I can also help some others

Family indebtedness

In the same post, she said

“I can only hope that in a couple of years, I will have achieved something more tangible to show to my mother. I hope that one day not too far in the future, I will be able to take care of my parents the way a good daughter is supposed to do. I owe them that.”

This part, reflects a very deep-rooted Vietnamese thinking, of this family-centered society. What is “tangible”? Is that money? Is that social status? The thought of indebtedness as well as self-projection in families is always a question torturing us.

Why is the “tangible” more important than the “intangible” (time/ memories) for people you love most? And with the people you love most, it does not mean we are in debt of each other. We are here to love each other, not to create a debt to pay.

And nevertheless, that does not mean Vietnamese are trying to deny family values. There is great pure beauty of living in a family-centered society. If Westerners suffer from loneliness, we suffer from attachment. Others suffer a weird blend of both.

We all are suffering and forget that we need each other.


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