I am sitting in the lobby of the beautiful hotel in Nha Trang I've called home for the three days waiting for my overnight train. The staff here has been so sweet and helpful…I've been really friendly with them and it shines right back to me. This is such a great metaphor for life in general and something for me to focus on while traveling. The primary clientele at the hotel and in this resort town are Russians and while I'm sure they are very nice people, they are not very friendly and never seem to smile. So when the local Vietnamese here see me smiling and my friendly disposition, they seem pleasantly surprised and their warmth comes out….so nice to be friendly!
I went on a dive trip out to some islands off the coast a few miles today. It was really chill and while I only snorkeled, I was able to see some really nice reef and colorful fish. I was tempted to do a 'discover scuba' dive, but I decided to wait to get certified in Thailand or Bali. Looks really fun but I'm a bit concerned about my ears and equalizing.
Yesterday I rented a scooter and toured the area. Found a chill waterfront cafe/bar and they let me take out a stand up paddleboard. Then I visited a nice restored ruin from the Champa empire, then onto a nice pagoda and giant Buddha. I sat for about twenty minutes in front of the Buddha and also went inside to another shrine. I was feeling so blessed out and peaceful- like I really felt a sense of bigness…then I in clipped my camera case (which I had carelessly put upside down on my shoulder) and my new camera dropped about four feet to the ground. The lens wouldn't close and I figured it was broken….I got back to the hotel and after some fiddling everything's working fine. I guess there's a lesson there, perhaps the giant Buddha was teaching me to slow down, to focus on humility and not let my ego take control. So much to learn, so open to the teaching.