Vo My Linh

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Heaven and Hell

I sometimes wish that I were caught by IS, I had been on the plane that crashed in Sinai killing all 224 people on board or I got cancer. Do you want the reasons? Because if I were caught by IS, people all over the world would pray for me, if I had been on the plane that crashed in Sinai, people all over the world would be in mourning for me. And if I got cancer, I could do anything without judgment from others because people will sympathize and say that “She is going to die. Let her do anything she wants!”
Many times I have asked myself why people only allow you to do anything you want when you are going to die. If you were a 26-year-old woman like me, strong, and you do not care about getting married, having children, or making money, I am pretty sure that people will ask you tons of questions “Why? Why? Why?…” because they want you to do the same things as them.10432491_10153531031433041_3754541073250906186_n
During my trip to Hanoi, I had a chance to meet a friend. He invited me to work with him to run a coffee chain because he knew that I am famous and it might help his business. I refused because his idea was not interesting enough. Also, I told him that I want to travel around the world.
He looked at me and said, “Hey, Linh, you are 26 years old now. Stop traveling and think of making money. You are talented and I believe that you can make a lot of money!”
– “Why do you think we should make a lot of money?” I asked in response.
“Because with that money, you and I can do anything we want, even travel around the world.”
“If you can travel with a limited budget or even with no money, why not travel when we are still young?” I asked.
“How come?”, he wondered.
“You can ask someone to stay for free, you can work on the way to make money for food and tickets. You can hitchhike if you dare. Everything is connected through the internet now.”
“Do you think that I will sleep in a stinking dorm or on the street, I will sit on a smelly truck, I will work as a waiter to make money to keep going, I will eat something like a beggar eats? No, I do not like that. That is hell in my eyes. I want to live in heaven.”
“Yep. But staying here and wasting my youth to do things I do not like is hell in my eyes, man!
– ….
If you thought that my story would end here, I would say “No!”. The last sentence is this: “If you think that travel is a way to relax, you can be like my friend, work hard to make a lot of money until you get old then use that money to travel with a cane. If you think that travel is a way to learn new things around the world, to make your brain creative, to find out exactly what you want and who you are, please go travel when you are still young and do not wait to get rich to see the world.”
There are no hells; there are no heavens, either. Those are just your feelings when you are happy or unhappy with what you are doing.
01.25.2016/Vo My Linh

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