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INTERESTING CHARACTERS

We can meet some interesting characters when traveling and from these connections come the good, the bad and the downright dangerous experiences which can leave lasting memories that help us move forward.

At worst they can leave a scar that could result in us changing our journey completely but by sharing our travel experiences of the good, the bad and the downright dangerous, fellow travelers would be ever so grateful. I know I certainly would.

Below are a couple of moments that I’ve experienced and should a similar situation arise I hope I’ll remember so it’ll help me then. 😊

HANOI

This was my first time in Hanoi and although I’d been to Vietnam before to Ho Chi Minh, the Capital, Hanoi seemed much more daunting. The last time I was with a group of people so perhaps that made the difference.

When traveling we can meet some interesting characters. The good, the bad and the downright dangerous can leave lasting memories that help us move forward.
The lake seems so peaceful.

Anywho, Hanoi is definitely bigger than Hoi An which is a favorite town of mine as I felt so at ease and because Hanoi is a huge city it has a completely different feel. A no brainer really.

Become separated

It was around lunch time that I’d become separated from my travel buddy so without any thought I wandered through the busy streets, running the gauntlet at pedestrian crossings back to our hotel – The Hanoi Old Centre Hotel. All the while being completely oblivious to my surroundings.

Arriving at reception our lovely host (I highly recommend this hotel) was mortified to see that I was on my own.  She said Hanoi was an unsafe place for a woman on her own even though it was daylight. She advised against it and especially DO NOT go out alone in the evening.

When traveling we can meet some interesting characters. The good, the bad and the downright dangerous can leave lasting memories that help us move forward.
Everywhere everyone is busy.

Notice taken onboard

With this notice taken onboard, I ventured out to the Hoan Kiem Lake on foot and I’d only begun my walk around the lake and was about 50 yards into it when I heard a solitary voice calling out.  Of course, it was in Vietnamese, so I had no idea what was said but my instincts were now fully alert.

The voice seemed strange and out of place from the typical Hanoi din which was just one big hum of noises highlighted by car horns beeping so to hear a clear solitary man’s voice above it all seemed out of place.

Gut feelings

My gut feelings kicked in and I turned to see that the man wasn’t far from me and he was waving his arm and was looking up towards where I was heading. (along the very edge of the lake where there was a narrow path that was lined with trees and bushes that separated it from the main thoroughfare).

Was this an example of what the hotel receptionist was talking about? I had a feeling that I was not in a comfortable place. Looking back; of the good, the bad and the downright dangerous I possibly was putting myself in a dangerous position.

When traveling we can meet some interesting characters. The good, the bad and the downright dangerous can leave lasting memories that help us move forward.
Rickshaws are Unique Asian Modes of Transport.

I recalled seeing some rickshaws where I entered the park and although I was keen to walk around the lake, I quickly reconsidered and with the thought that this would be my one and only chance to take a Rickshaw ride, I headed back towards them.

My heart was racing

The Rickshaws seemed a lot further away than I originally thought, and it felt like I couldn’t walk quick enough but kept up the pace plus I didn’t dare turn and look back. Man! That 50 yards felt like 50 miles – it seemed soo far away and my heart was racing.

As soon as I arrived at the crowd of Rickshaws, I spun around to see the same man who called out and another man were approximately 15 feet away coming towards me and then suddenly they both turned away.

When traveling we can meet some interesting characters. The good, the bad and the downright dangerous can leave lasting memories that help us move forward.
In the safety of a Rickshaw

Whew! Situation averted.

Rickshaw ride

It was such a lovely Rickshaw ride and the driver/rider was very helpful as he took me back to my hotel which was a block away from the lake. He deserved every cent of the huge tip that I gave him.

I was soo lucky that I had thought quick enough and had somewhere to go. Of the good, the bad and the downright dangerous this one goes under ‘Dangerous’.

TIPS & TIDBITS

TIP: Heed the warning of well meaning locals no matter where or what country you’re in.

TIP: This was a stark reminder to keep your wits about you and don’t become complacent and listen to your gut feelings.     

Just looking at Sunflowers brighten the day.up

SUNFLOWERS

Of the travel stories I have, this one seems so basic and yet the exhilaration it created was magnificent! So, I think you’ll agree with me in the choices of the good, the bad and the downright dangerous it goes into the category of ‘The Good’.

Like quite a few people, I thought sunflowers are just, well, sunflowers. They are big but they’re still just another flower.

It’s not like a rose which has a gorgeous perfume and the petals are soft to touch plus it rates rather high in the hierarchy of flowers. Especially around mid-February for Valentine’s Day.

Lavender

What about the Lavender and how/where does the sunflower rank with them?

Bees are drawn to the blue of Lavender.

Both humans and bees have an immediate attraction to Lavender.(Apparently it’s the blue color.) And there’s the scent of Lavender which assists with easing stress, so it’s clear that lavender is a popular flower.

So, what does the Sunflower have that makes it so special that even grown men drawn to it?

Yes, they’re big and yellow and they produce seeds that Cockatoos absolutely larv to eat but it’s just another flower. Right?

Sunflower season

In Sunflower season the hundreds of acres create views like a sea of golden yellow. And this is when you could lose yourself as people just flock to them. In places it’s possible to walk through them as each single stalk can stand as high as as a human.

When traveling we can meet some interesting characters. The good, the bad and the downright dangerous can leave lasting memories that help us move forward.
The Sunflowers stood higher than 5 feet.

Luckily for me, I can experience this as often as I wish because there’s a small market farm that’s open to the public only 40 minutes away from home.

Alice in Wonderland

While the field wasn’t as large as some of the mass plantings that were a 4-hour drive away, the sunflowers were just as brilliant sitting in the small football field size paddocks.

A small donation was all the was required to enter the farm where we (the public) had free rein to wander through the sunflowers and take photos for as long as we wanted.

Having a height of 5’2” I felt a bit like Alice in Wonderland looking up at the individual flowers and looking directly ahead of me was a forest green stalks.

When traveling we can meet some interesting characters. The good, the bad and the downright dangerous can leave lasting memories that help us move forward.
Fields of Golden Yellow.

It was simply wonderful!!

Spirits lifted

As soon as I saw the big bright big yellow flowers my spirits lifted, and I was in photo snappy happy heaven!

My previous personal year had been one of the lowest, but those Sunflowers seem to have some sort of magical power (Serotonin apparently) about them because it certainly was a positive boost to my inner feelings.

Giggling and chatting

I was like a kid in a candy shop!! Giggling and chatting plus I’d taken about 100 or so photos as I couldn’t get enough of the yellow faces and being one with nature and the bees.

When traveling we can meet some interesting characters. The good, the bad and the downright dangerous can leave lasting memories that help us move forward.
The bees were busy collecting pollen.

This was the perfect remedy and whenever I see those photos it brings back the smiles that came back that day.

Definitely one of ‘the good’ of the good, the bad and the downright dangerous.

TIPS AND TIDBITS

TIP: Sometimes the most inexpensive days out can be the most valuable.

TIP: The KISS principal once again is a winner. (a simple trip to a beautiful place)

SOMEONE HAS TO DO IT

As a Travel Consultant we regularly took trips somewhere around the world (someone has to do it 😊) and my first trip was to China. Yay!

A view from and of The Great Wall of China.

It was an escorted trip by Scenic Tours so thank you for the first-time experiences and knowledge of China which incorporated an itinerary of three places. Shanghai, Xian and Beijing were going to be invaded by approximately 20 Travel Consultants.

And although it was a ‘gaggle’ 😊 of Travel Consultants unfortunately it doesn’t necessarily mean you are immuned from marauders as the following story will show.

I’ve listed this story is an example of the ‘bad’ of the good, the bad and the downright dangerous.

Soldiers

When traveling we can meet some interesting characters. The good, the bad and the downright dangerous can leave lasting memories that help us move forward.
Terracotta Soldiers being carefully uncovered.

This experience was in Xian which is the base for those wanting to see the world renown Terracotta Soldiers. I was soo excited but before that adventure we were taken to the city wall that was built to protect Xian from invaders. Oh, and by the way, it was huge!

Once we were at the top of this massive structure, we wandered freely so with my backpack fully loaded and balanced on my back I went off on my own.

I ended up in a building that housed a group of small stalls that sold trinkety things and this was where I was succumbed by a stall worker. She chatted to me and tried to sell something for quite a long period of time. She just maintained my attention by being fixated on me to prevent me from moving.

When traveling we can meet some interesting characters. The good, the bad and the downright dangerous can leave lasting memories that help us move forward.
Looking across a section of the Wall in Xian.

Walked away

Anywho, I didn’t end up buying anything and walked away besides, we were due to all meet up to continue our tour.

I didn’t remove my backpack until we boarded the bus and noticed that the zipper was open about 6 inches. I quickly began looking for my purse and felt the blood drain from my face.

Whew; it was there! Saved by a brown paper lunch bag. My purse was at the bottom of the backpack, below a packed lunch but normally it’s at the top. Plus I always had the two zipper heads meeting at the top for easy access but now I have changed ways of how I travel with my backpack.

When traveling we can meet some interesting characters. The good, the bad and the downright dangerous can leave lasting memories that help us move forward.
Looking along the top of the Xian wall.

TIPS AND TIDBITS

TIP: If you must carry a purse as opposed to wearing one, always have the wallet or purse at the bottom of the bag.

TIP: Close the backpack with the zipper heads left to one side because it’s difficult for someone to access it while your arm is constantly moving.    


I believe we would enhance our experiences and lessen those negative opportunities if we help each other whenever we can and based on this I would larv you to feel free to contribute with travel encounters or just offering Tips and Tidbits.

It can be as a guest blogger/writer or just email me with your encounters.

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