“For what it’s worth, never did I imagine I would be traveling to Vietnam this early in my life. After everything I was told…this is certainly going to be a journey.”
And just like that, a door that was locked and forgotten for years finally found its missing key companion.
My name is Justin Nguyen, an aspiring world traveler with an unquenchable appetite for knowledge and authentic food. Being that I am extremely geeky has led me to be genuinely intrigued about learning any secrets and mysteries hidden in countries around the world. Rather than reading conspiracy theories on the web in the comfort of my room, traveling to them instead sounds much more exciting. Not to mention, I am a huge foodie so this is paradise for me. It will be no surprise if I am caught indulging in anything edible that catches my eye during my travels.
Yet not everything is fun and games; this trip to Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam is also a two week study abroad program offered by my university to learn about Vietnam’s approach to business development. Given my educational pursuits, this should be very insightful and nonetheless interesting to see how businesses operate in foreign countries—specifically Vietnam in this case—in comparison to the US.
So why did I choose Vietnam as my study abroad location? Well truthfully, It has always had a special place in my heart. My parents fled Vietnam after the Vietnam War at a young age and became refugees as they made their way to the US. Ever since then, they’ve been reluctant to go back since the beloved country they once knew is no longer. But I feel that there’s some sort of duty for me to go back—with or without my parents—and learn more about my origin and their past. Thus, this trip will additionally serve as a spiritual one as I seek answers that I’ve had for years.
Little details about me for the curious ones: I am currently a freshman at the University of Pittsburgh College of Business Administration majoring in Finance, minoring in Computer Science, and pursuing a Certificate in International Business. With that said, I am actually from McLean in Northern Virginia. But just to make things easier since not everyone knows where this is, I basically reside in the Washington D.C. Metro Area. Though I am a bit far from home, traveling to Vietnam will be the farthest I’ve been yet.
As for a fun fact: I am currently taking Vietnamese as a language course here at Pitt. I plan to enhance my learning of Vietnamese through this trip but also keep it under wraps since it may serve me well when the time comes.
In all, venturing towards Vietnam as my first trip abroad seems like the first step in the right direction.
Until next time friends