How moving to a foreign country helped my anxiety.

When I first realised I was moving to another country where I didn’t speak the language, know anyone, have a job, have a place to live or any general idea about the country. Yes I think it’s fair to say… I was perhaps the most anxious I’d ever been.

Anxiety : noun

1. a feeling of worry, nervousness, or unease, typically about an imminent event or something with an uncertain outcome.

Worried? Nervous? Uneasy?

CHECK CHECK CHECK.

Oh boy, I thought. Am I about to make a huge mistake?

Well…now here’s a little spoiler alert.

I didn’t.

See, here’s the section where I could ramble on about how I overcame challenges. How I put myself forward, I jumped into a new lifestyle and without realising, all of these little accomplishments shifted my thought pattern. But to summarise that I’ll just say; Day by day, I became a little more comfortable with handling tasks that others find simple.

Living in Vietnam for Over 1 Year I have become familiar to not understanding everything and eventually my shoulders began to relax when I walked amongst new surroundings, faces and smells.

I began to accept that I won’t understand everything and give myself the acceptance and patience to slowly stop being afraid.

My Social Anxiety.

I have had to socialise more than ever. Yes that’s right I say I have HAD to. Not that I don’t want to…because I do, but not ALL the time. However it’s fact here, if you don’t go out, you wont meet many other humans who are over the age of 15 Vietnamese and not students in your day to day life. Having to actively go out and throw myself into new situations has now become easier, and from doing this I have come to find that, I usually give off a first impression that doesn’t reflect my personality at all. *HIGH 5 to all my other resting bitch face owners out there* which is something I obviously want to change.I try harder to let people in and not be so closed off. I’m working on it.

My academic anxiety

I started taking Vietnamese classes, throwing myself into learning a new skill has helped me dramatically. Something about reshaping and adding another language to my brain, refocusing my energy when amongst a group of people who speak a different native language has helped social occasions to feel less intimidating and more like a challenge or test, where I can see how much I do understand or recognise.

My career anxiety.

I gave myself the ability to show how I can handle leadership. Having to be in charge and take responsibility for a team in my current head teaching role, again, has helped my self journey evolve. I can’t shy away from problems or take a back seat. I’m expected to lead the way, and to show others how to perform. This for me has changed my entire outlook on my career anxiety. I am capable. I am powerful. I am allowed to speak up and voice my opinion.

So there we have it.

I hope you can understand how moving to Vietnam has helped my anxiety, Socially, Academically and Career-wise.

I wrote this in hopes that someone out there who is scared about moving may take comfort from my personal experience, and though I cannot guarantee the same, I hope you get the same results and feel comfortable enough to say ‘I’m going to try’

Thanks for reading.

Danielle Jade x

Advertisements

Christmas movies to watch before this Christmas Day 🎄

So now it’s Christmas, well, it’s Christmas month! Though it sometimes doesn’t feel much like Christmas when you’re living in a country that may not necessarily celebrate Christmas and it isn’t drenched in obvious tokens honouring that holiday.

Sooooo what can you do in another country to make it feel like Christmas….

HELLO CHRISTMAS FILMS.

So here’s my favourite Christmas movies for you to watch (if you haven’t already)

1. Miracle on 34th Street : This film makes me feel like the most Christmassy person in the world, there’s something so beautiful about it that I just love.

2. Arthur Christmas : This animated movie is fun for the whole family! Now, I don’t even have children or any kids around me to pretend I’m watching this for, it’s just that good!

3. Home alone (First 3 ONLY) : A young boy left at home for Christmas,laying down traps to fight off burglars, I’m in…. The stunts in this movie make for good old slap-stick comedy and I for one WILL laugh every time. I will not however stand for any “home alones” after the 3rd one.

4. The grinch : Perhaps one of the funniest and most extravagant Christmas movies. The costumes, the rhyme, the sets…it’s such a great movie!

5. Meet me in st Louis : I don’t think I’ll ever get over how wonderful this movie is. I may be slightly biased because I’m such a Judy Garland fan but ‘boy next door’ is such a beautiful song.

Also honourable mentions go to: Edward Scossorhands, The Holiday & Love Actually though the list could go on and on and on…in fact, I’m going to go watch more now, and I’ll get back to you later in the month haha!

Leave a comment below with your favourite Christmas film🎄

Thanks for reading,

Danielle Jade

Top 5 dishes you must eat in Hanoi (Vietnam) and where to find them! 

First of all, Hello welcome to Vietnam, or xin chao as we say over here.

Now, I must tell you Vietnam has some of the most delicious food I’ve ever tasted and that’s probably the biggest understatement. With its complete freshness and wonderful diversity the food is not only incredibly cheap but incredibly yummy!
First up;

BUN CHA.

Now for those of you who may be unfamiliar with Bun Cha let me explain what this dish consists of. Bun Cha is essentially Grilled Pork and noodles, but it’s the extra components that really makes this dish so delicious. The fatty pork also known as (Cha) is served with white noodles (Bun) a basket of fresh mixed greens and herbs usually but not limited to coriander, lettuce, mint and a dipping sauce of fish sauce, carrot and papaya.

Now don’t be confused there is only ONE real way to eat bun Cha, you take a small amount of each mix it together in the dipping sauce like a soup and tuck in.


COST?: Bun Cha typically costs around 30,000-45,000VND £1.61
WHERE?: This one is from Quan an Ngon

Next;

BUN BO NAM BO

Bun BO nam BO not only looks but tastes delicious. (Or so I’m told) Now I must say I don’t even eat beef but it’s hard not to feel good envy just looking at this dish. White noodles (Bun) make the base of this dish, mixed with green leaves, beef (BO) crispy shallots and crushed peanuts. This is more than the ordinary beef salad just look at it.


COST? 40,000-50,000VND £1.70
WHERE? 67 Hang Dieu

NEXT;

BAHN MI

Banh Mi is where you really get to see how the French have influenced food here in Hanoi. This baguette though, is more than just another sandwich. Usually given the choice of pork, pate, chicken or egg, you add cucumber coriander carrot and ‘spicy’ sauce to make the ultimate lunch snack. It’s the perfect fusion of Vietnamese and French food in one carbohydrate canoe. My personal favourite is honey chicken!


COST? 20,000VND -25,000VND £0.91

WHERE? 25 Hang Ca Street
Next;

FRESH SPRING ROLLS.

Now, i’d had the usual fried spring rolls way before i arrived in Vietnam, however i’d never had fresh spring rolls. I must admit that i now prefer the un fried version. I first learnt how to make these at my Hidden Hanoi cooking class . It’s a process where you take Rice paper rolls, and fill them with Vermicelli noodles, fresh green leaves, herbs, pineapple, carrot, chilli and crushed peanuts. You can also add in whatever meat/seafood base you prefer. I love this dish as it tastes super fresh and you can make it as adventurous or safe as you feel that day.


COST? 35,000-50,000VND £1.81
WHERE? 147 Nghi Tam Road (Hidden Hanoi)
PHO

Now I don’t think it would be possible to write a post on what to eat in Hanoi and not eat pho, its a must try. The amount of time that goes into this dish is what makes it so perfect. The broth is always left for the right amount of time to make the perfect base. Throw in the noodles, the chilli, the herbs and a squeeze of lime, wait hold that thought i gotta go, time for Pho.


COST? Around 35,000VND £2.00
WHERE? LITERALLY EVERY CORNER IN HANOI

Ok, now there are my top 5 dishes to eat in Vietnam! (Hanoi)

There are so many more I want to share with you so please comment below if that’s something you’d be interested in!

Thanks for reading,  Danielle Jade x

Hanoi (Vietnam) First Impressions. Get to know all about it!

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Hello everyone!
Im back today with another Travel/Lifestyle post, this one’s all about my first impressions of Hanoi Vietnam.

Travel:

Think of the busiest place you know, Westfield shopping centre, being at the front of your favourite festival, leaving the stadium after the match finishes. There, Hanoi. Put all those people on bikes and take away most of the rules when it comes to driving and you can fully understand how it feels to be on a scooter in the middle of the Old Quarter. It is mayhem to a new driver. Everyone needs to get somewhere and an inch of space is the perfect opportunity for someone to sneak by you and disappear up the road. I think the only way i can describe how it feels to be on a bike in the middle of Hanoi is, it’s like being in a real life Crash Bandicoot game, anyone could swerve around and in front of you at any minute, there may be someones cardigan dropped ahead that you need to swerve from and U-turns are a given here, so watch out for those bikes coming towards you down that ‘one way’ street.
That being said, after you get used to the mindset, being a driver in Hanoi is actually quite enjoyable. It’s always fascinating to see new places, as you drive around. There’s a sense of accomplishment too, like YEAH, i CAN do it. I CAN drive here!

Food:

Oh my, now the food here. Hanoi is overwhelmed with smells. Both good and bad but find a good place and the food is just incredible!
We have eaten at so many different places here in Hanoi both traditional and Western. Moving to Hanoi i was originally very nervous about what i would find to eat. This is because i am somewhat  picky with food to start with. I don’t eat red meat, i barely like any spices, i don’t really like dressings or sauces. I’m a foodies worst nightmare. So you can imagine when i see ‘mixed meat’ on the menu i am less than excited to know what they class as mixed meat, however I’m currently trying to live with a ‘well you only live once’ outlook on life, so you know what i ordered? That mixed meat rice. It was delicious. I did only notice tofu and chicken in it (which was lucky) but it was truly yummy. Naomi has taken to eating Pho at any opportunity and for only 30,000vnd a bowl (that’s £1.09) it’s more than incredible value.
One day after work we went to a Vietnamese place with work friends and i suddenly realised i am actually no where neat as adventurous as i first thought. As they brought out Goat, baby birds, stingray and other impressive and petrifying foods. I felt myself coward back to the comfort of my tiger beer and rice paper rolls. I tried some of the sting ray and i must say it was tasty!

Sights:

Hanoi is rich in culture. It’s such a beautiful place to explore. I love our journey to work because we travel about half an hour away from our little Tay Ho bubble and in that journey i notice new sights every trip. If you have a bike take some time to go explore. There’s so many wonderful places to seek out. Including but not limited to the museums. Within our first week in Hanoi we had done three museums, in particular i enjoyed the Women’s Museum. Learning about the history of the Vietnamese housewife, the mother, the dress makers and the women who served in the Army. I felt incredibly emotional come the end of the museum. I really recommend going to this museum when you are in Hanoi.
I must also point out one of my favourite ‘sites’ to enjoy en route to work are other people’s bikes! It’s amazing how much people load onto two wheels.

I wanted to share with you some of my other favourite sights below;

The Districts:

Within Hanoi the city is broken down into smaller chunks, these chunks are known as districts. The most popular two you may know about before arriving at The Old Quarter and Tay Ho. The old quarter is what you want to explore if you’re travelling here. The old quarter is home to Lake Hoan Kiem aka ‘lake of the returned sword’.

Here is where you can sit and watch the traffic zoom around whilst having a beer up on the rooftops. You can wander for hours down the different themed streets that are adjacent to Hoan Kiem. You can watch the  water puppet theatre shows, get your hands on the best kinds of souvenirs and find some incredible places to eat. Perhaps what I love the most about the Old Quarter is the people, Vietnamese run businesses are the only kind here. Very traditional.

Tay ho on the other hand is quite the opposite. It’s known as the bubble here because of the ability to live in Hanoi without leaving Tay Ho. Here is home to most of the expats. It’s full of teachers, i say this as i too a new teacher now live amongst all my colleagues here in the Tay Ho bubble. Around here you are likely to hear more American, English, and South African accents than anything else. Unless you meet our door man, he speaks no english and our conversations are beautiful engagements of us nodding and pretending to understand each other. Tay ho has some amazing bakeries, inspired by the french, there’s a few places i have come to love along To Ngoc Van.

screen-shot-2016-11-17-at-15-38-24

I could honestly go on forever about how i feel living in Hanoi but i will leave you here for now. If you would like to hear more about my life here, do leave a comment and don’t forget to follow me on Youtube! because that’s a thing I’m doing now.

Thanks for reading

Danielle Jade.

How to survive moving to a new place in 5 steps! 

Ok hello again everyone!

I’ve just recently moved to Hanoi and don’t get me wrong as amazing as it feels now…adjusting was harder than I imagined it was going to be. 

That’s why I’m here to give you all an insight to how I’ve dealt with moving and share some tips on how to make it easier for all of you with my 5 little hints! 

  1. Don’t hide your emotions. Now is not the time to put on a brave face. Being emotional does not make you vulnerable, being emotional makes you a person. You have to be prepared to not find everything easy right now. Moving to a new place is going to send your emotions crazy, and be prepared these emotions will hit you very easily every, day, hour,minute and if you’re like me…second.You are taking yourself away from your natural habitat, stripping yourself of your comforts and jumping into a whole new lifestyle so if you want to go ahead and cry. CRY.  Let it out- it’s justified.
  2. Take it one day at a time. STOP, thinking about 6 months from now because i will guarantee your immediate emotions and feelings to your new surroundings are going to change six months down the line. As humans we can instantly pick up and focus on the negatives so you know what, go ahead list all the things you don’t like about this new place! It smells weird, say it. It sounds different, say it. You don’t speak the language, say it. Get it out. Now think, what did you expect?. Moving to a new place is going to bring different smells,sounds & sights. Now look around, what do you like? What has made you smile, what has made you curious, what has made you feel comfortable? Hold on to those thoughts! Keep them. These are your new comforts.
  3. Explore. Go out, go look around. Go and say hello to some people, go and indulge in the culture, go and walk around where the locals are. Find areas you like, parks, lakes, rivers, museums, bars, restaurants. Explore different locations, different areas at different times of the day. Find a place that you feel comfortable in, and settle there for a while. This will instantly put you at ease, setting up at a hostel, hotel or apartment you can see yourself enjoying will make a world of difference. This is where you will retreat to. This is your sanctuary so make sure you’re comfortable.
  4. Language. If you’re moving to a new county then you should try and learn some of the basic phrases used there. You’re going to feel incredibly small landing in a country that is speaking a different language, so learn thank-you, learn hello, learn phrases that show gratitude. This will make you look polite and also like you are at least attempting to fit in in your new place. Something that will be highly respected by the locals. The last thing you want is to look like you have moved to a new country with an idea that the world owes you something. Universally, manners cost nothing. 
  5. Travel. Now immediately stop stressing because google maps has got us all sorted here. So the age old, i don’t know where i’m going, is a thing of the past. You can literally get from A-B with ease now, it’s all right there. Another incredible app (but limited to certain places) is Citymapper, now i even used to use this in my home country, from bus times, to tube times, to walking directions, ordering an uber and fin be out in real time how long it takes to get from place to place city mapper has you covered. Uber again is a key app to have downloaded! It really does work globally! Here in Vietnam you can get uber bike, you will literally be on the back of someone’s motorbike. 

I hope this helps you all! I think it has really helped me in the long run.
Stay beautiful, 

Danielle Jade x 

3 Powerful films you need to see!

So we all have them, some old some new, we all have those films that after you watch them this wave of emotion comes over you and your whole body is filled with what has colloquially been named ‘all the feels’. I love theatre, i love cinema and i love tv. I sometimes however find it hard to connect to what i see on screen. I feel because of my actor training and performing upbringing i find i place myself in either the actor or directors shoes and 99% of the time i can guess the ending before it has happened. That brings me onto these three films. I pretty much knew what to expect with the films below yet i couldn’t  help but surrender to the emotional reactions they caused. That’s what i believe makes these films – special.

First up;

Suffragette

giphy (21)

If you have seen this film I’m sure you are not surprised to see this on my list. Like any other woman, I am proud to say I am a feminist, and even knowing (because it’s right there in our history) what’s going to happen with this film, I think the acting, the cinematography and the angle they attacked this story created such an outstanding film from all perspectives.

Whilst I obviously enjoyed the performances of the extremely talented cast, it’s the raw elements of the film that got my emotions running wild. The simplicity of it being a film outlining our history, our struggle and our progression with getting women the right to vote paired with it’s truth outlining the extreme lengths that were taken just to have a voice as a woman that left me speechless. This film proved to me that there really is a difference between reading and watching something, for myself it was arguably much easier to feel connected to this film rather than the cold facts i read in a history class as a teenager. I say this as reading about the suffragettes when I was younger, I read it, I accepted it in our history and I was outraged about it, but I moved away from that. Is this selfish of me? No I’d say it’s not, as I have grown up I have become more of a woman and have learnt more about the world and obtained my own voice, I’m more aware an appreciate of the uphill battle women have progressively fought. When it came to the films climax scenes and more specifically the Derby, there was that striking, almost heart beat rhythm that scored under the race and as she held the flag up to the cameras, my whole body came over cold. I knew what was going to happen but something over took my emotions. I think it was a combination of fear, dread, sympathy, anger but most of all hurt. I couldn’t speak after the film ended. It was a film based on our history but i have never thought about my reality more. My friends and I sat around each other in silence for quite some time before we could even begin to talk about what we had just watched.

Next;

Spotlight.

giphy (23)

When I heard about spotlight I immediately wanted to see it, how is this going to be portrayed I wonder? The answer to that…perfectly. Again credit must immediately go to the wonderful team of actors who immerse themselves in their roles of reporters at The Boston Globe newspaper. The movie which is again based on true stories and actual facts, is one that will make you feel sadness in the pit of your stomach. How did the churches get away with this for so long? What I admired about this film was that it felt long, that’s right. This film felt like it went on for a lot longer than it did, because it had so much intricate  detail in it. They left no corners unturned, every single piece of the story you could have wanted, every twist, every turn, every presumption and every question you asked yourself throughout the duration of this film was covered. All whilst maintaining this hope of how they would shut down this despicable cycle hidden amongst the churches. The film has segments where they talk to survivors of the abuse, personal experiences and stories are explored and some scenes are a little hard to watch. This is entirely because of the sensitivity of the topic they are covering. The core sadness of this film is rooted in the question of how much sooner could this have been recognised, acknowledged and stopped?. These three actions paired with the incredibly long list of places where epic counts of child molesting by the church has been accounted for makes one of the hardest to watch but most appreciated by myself films I have seen, period.

Finally ;

Still Alice.

giphy (22)

First let me set one thing straight, I’m not a crier. What I mean by that is until this film I have only ever cried at two maybe three other films; Titanic, Beaches and The Lost Valentine, however I have never cried at a film like I did with Still Alice. There is no one else who could have played this role, Julianne Moore exceeded all possible expectations I had set. She captured the essence, the stability, the strength, the weakness the highs and the lows of this woman’s life with ease. She built a woman, Alice, with such a charming nature that created one of the best character portrayals I’ve seen in a movie. Bold statement? Probably, but undeniably true. The story itself is heartbreakingly sad and without giving too much away the deterioration of Alice’s life with Alzheimer’s really does tug at the heart strings. Watching her slowly fade into someone she doesn’t even recognise, pulled emotions out of myself I didn’t even know I had. I sobbed. Really sobbed. I couldn’t form words, perhaps because there isn’t too much separating this film to personal issues but also because it’s just a situation I dread. I was moved by Julianne Moore’s performance so much I found myself asking, what if I was her? What would I do? I put myself into her fragile shoes and that’s when the weeping began. The cinematography of this film is fuelled by the delicate and fragile nature of Alice, the lonely mirror shots, the fading blurred memories, the stillness and the silence create atmosphere and depth of which i couldn’t begin to comprehend. I think what i really took away from this film was that we are all capable of being torn down, even those who appear to be the strongest of us all are able to succumb to greater weaknesses.

I hope you enjoyed reading this post, i hope i didn’t give too many spoilers away. (Though most of you will already know what’s going to happen, because it’s right their in our history) These are just my opinions on the films and how they made me feel.

Let me know in the comments if you have seen these movies and what you thought about them.

Thanks for reading,

Danielle Jade.

The Bloggers Hangout – LFW- Event. What caught my eye?! 

Hello beautiful people, todays post is a look back on my day at the Bloggers Hangout event i recently attended.

The event was at 1pm and by that point i think i had spent enough time applying every highlighter i just purchased before putting on my new favourite all black Noisey May dress and requesting my Uber. The theme was all black chic which is perfect for my 99% black wardrobe.

Once my Uber dropped me off i was immediately lost! Perfect, well done Danielle. Luckily a fellow blogger was there to endure the hunt for the venue with me and we did eventually make it, even if we did think we were walking into someones back garden at one point.

The venue was smaller than i imagined but i do think that added to the atmosphere. It created the hustle and  bustle of an almost indoor market feel whilst maintaining the peace and ambience  any compact and well organised event would.

There were so many fabulous brands within the building and i loved chatting to everyone. All the tasters i tried were truly delicious, it would be so hard to pinpoint a favourite!

 
I did come away with some items, that i just have to share with you all though, as some of these really did catch my eye.

First up,

Cranes. This company is set up by twin brothers that put the focus of their ciders into the hands of tiny little cranberries. They have three very distinct yet very different flavours; original cranberry, strawberry and kiwi and my favourite raspberry and pomegranate.

 

 Not only do these ciders taste, crisp, clean and ultimately delicious, they are only 99 calories a bottle! Perfect for those of us who want to cut down on sugar.
The gift box of three retails at £8 which i think is perfect pricing, less than £3 per bottle for this unique cranberry cider.

Next up is a brand called get buzzing. You may have heard of these guys before, they are making delicious flapjacks with no nuts at all in the product. With 100% natural ingredients these snack bars are perfect for people on the go. They are also vegetarian which is an added bonus.

 
I took away the peanut butter flapjack as I didn’t understand how this could taste anything like peanut butter if it contained no actual peanuts.The flapjack tasted mainly plain at first but the more of the bar you eat, you get a sense into the fact that there is some peanut butter flavour incorporated.Now if I was to be super picky I’d say more peanut butter flavour please, but the point of this product isn’t for it to taste 100% like peanut butter it’s to create a taste illusion for people who may be allergic to nuts and that is brilliant.

Onto the next bar that truly fascinated me, the crobar.

 
Watching people’s faces as we are told this product contains cricket flour was one of my personal highlights within the whole event. There’s the immediate, ew. Followed by the temptation to try it, the questions of why!? Then the actual taste.
Fascinated I opted for the peanut flavour in hopes it would have a weaker taste than raw cocoa and I was correct.

 
I actually enjoyed the taste of this bar but not the texture. This product won’t crumble is an almost wet dough like texture that squished together. For me that texture is what I couldn’t get my head around more than the fact it had cricket flour in.

Next up, another favourite of mine. Bluebird tea co gave me two samples to take away. Immediately I loved the packaging. I drink tea nearly everyday. Peppermint tea has become my hangover remedy.

 
The Mojitea, is delicious! Peppermint and lime are two of my favourite flavours and I let this brew until it was quite strong to really keep in those flavours. I wouldn’t say it tastes exactly like a mojito but it is as close as a tea can get.

The morning kick tea, I wish I hadn’t brewed it for as long. Ginger can be quite a hit or miss flavour for myself and I think had I taken the tea bag out sooner I would have enjoyed this more. The smell of this tea however is incredible! It really does make me feel ready for the day.
Finally I started with a drink so I’ll end with a drink. (Well jelly)

 
From cocktail mania, Jelly shots. I’m sure on the day these girls had a mission to get everyone drunk, I obviously happily obliged. How could I say no?

 
Alcohol and colours that look like they came straight out of Willy Wonkas  factory. I’m in. The flavours were delicious. I would like all the flavours at every future party I host please!

Other brands I didn’t bring away testers from but highly adored include Co-Yo and the protein drinks co and Ross and Ross.

 
These brands certainly caught my eye, I found their products were fascinating and the brand representatives very informative and relatable. I wish I could post more about them however I’m afraid I didn’t take away products to fully review for you all now.

 
I had so much fun at the event, I think I’m starting to get the hang of these now, and going on my own isn’t half as scary as I think it’s going to be.

Thank you to the team over at Bloggers Hangout for inviting me. I cannot wait to see what else you have in store!

Thanks for reading Danielle Jade

(I better go eat now, I’m super hungry after this)