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

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Top 5 sights of 2017. Photo edition.

Whilst 2017 was here i had the chance to see some of the most amazing sights i know i will remember forever, here are 5 of my 2017 Highlights.

 

  1. This breath taking view of Halong Bay – Vietnam17800479_10210898603675953_2569654345430785814_n
  2. This amazing view from the top of a mountain over looking Chang Mai – Thailand. 16487030_10210345653172536_6245185521777679810_o
    Looking for the perfect day trip out of Chang Mai including this view point watch my Youtube Video: Day Trip – Thailand
  3. This mesmerising 5am sunrise in Hoi An – Vietnam21272153_10212344435780852_7404308570545343617_n
    Thinking of visiting Hoi An check this out: What to do in Hoi An : Vietnam. 
  4. This wonderful screenshot of the best day of my life, Spending the day with Elephants in Pai – Thailand16473164_10210313210161481_234798686360280960_n
    To see more on my day with elephants follow this link: Spend the day with Elephants in Thailand.
  5. This picturesque view of an old temple in Ninh Binh – Vietnam
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    Find out what to do in Ninh Binh here: Ninh Binh – Vietnam. What to do and where to go! 

    I feel so privileged and honoured to see some of the amazing sights i’ve seen in this world and i cannot wait to see more in 2018!

    What was your favourite photo i took?,Please comment below.
    Thanks for reading,

    Danielle Jade
    x

    PEACEEEEE.

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

A guide to tailor made clothes in Hoi An.

Hoi An is home to perhaps some of the best tailors we have on this planet. Bold statement, i know. BUT TRUE.

Where to find a tailor?
Just wander around the Ancient town and the lantern lit streets are lined with tailors. The whole experience can be some what overwhelming as they all look to be incredible good. In each and every shop, there are more fabrics than you could imagine, more designs than your eyes can focus on and more options than decisions will be made.
Thats why it’s important to go with a plan of what you would like made.
Trust me, leaving it to chance of ‘i’ll decide when i get there’ can only go one of two ways;
A) You leave empty handed, and a stressed (probably) sweaty mess.
b) You leave with more items than you can fit back in your backpack.
Having a plan of what you would like made, will help you stay on task.

Where do i recommend? 
I have now tried a couple of tailors in Hoi An and my favourite so far are Maya Design.
The turn over of their products is literally over-night and the staff are so friendly. They will let you design anything you have a vision of, whilst offering tips and tricks from their side of it and what works well for the fabric you have chosen.
The staff spoke good english, and were more than happy to help!

What is the process?
Within seconds of being in the shop i had already been asked if they could help and what i was looking for. I explained i would like trousers and a playsuit and i was shown fabric choices and styles, a few moments later i had found what i wanted and we began the sketching process.
This is where they will draw up a quick mock of your product and ask if you want any additions such as belt loops, pockets, sleeve lengths etc. Quick Tip: This usually can be helped if you go in with a picture of what you want making and they will essentially copy the image,
The next step was getting measured. One of the best parts of having tailor made clothes is the fact it is custom-made to your exact measurements. PERFECT.
Be aware you will be measured in front of the rest of the shop so do wear clothing that allows this process to be as easy as possible. (I’d give skirts a miss)

How long does it usually take?
The turn around from sketching to final product is a super speedy process, we arrived at 12(ish) and went back at 2:30 the next day for final fittings before getting our products later that night. Be sure to stay in Hoi-An for a couple of days incase of alterations or changes. Of course the bigger the order the more time they may need. You can always ask in the shop too and be sure to tell them when you are leaving so your items are made in time.

What is the price like?
Not only are the clothes made incredibly quick but the price is more than fair compared to other Tailors i have been to. Remember though, as with anything, you par for what you get. I suggest thinking about the occasion the fabric and the purpose of your garment. Also be prepared to pay more for things added like, pockets , belts, lining etc I designed one pair of trousers and one playsuit and payed just over 2million for them both (£66)

 

(Jumpsuits we had made in Hoi An ) 

Thanks for reading! If you have any questions please do leave them in the comments and i’ll see you next time.

What to do in Hoi An : Vietnam. 

Hello everyone, today i’m going to tell you about one of my favourite places i have come across whilst being in Vietnam and that is Hoi An.

Hoi An is on Vietnam’s Central Coast and is one of the most charming places i have ever experienced. With the Ancient town, lantern lit streets, canals and beaches it is truly beautiful.

Here are my top tips for visiting Hoi An.

Stroll though the Ancient town.

Here lies the quiet beauty of this little town. The small streets are covered in flowers and lanterns. There are restaurants all along the canal side where you can find delicious sea-food and other local specials. There is such a charm to this area that makes you want to move there indefinitely.

Quick Tip : If you can, be sure to try and go to Hoi An on a lantern festival date to see the canal full of floating lanterns. It is so beautiful.

            Hire a bike and drive around.

Whilst in Hoi An it is a good idea to hire a bike (scooter or push bike) to get around and see some of the outskirts of Hoi An. Try biking to the beach from the old town and spot the rice fields as you go. Compared to the hustle and bustle of other places in Vietnam i quickly came to realise that Hoi An is a lot calmer and more forgiving to drivers who aren’t 100% confident on the roads. 

Go to the beach.

Hoi An has incredible beaches and the further south you go the less populated they get (from my experience) The East Vietnam Sea is incredible and well worth getting up early to go in and watch the sunrise as it’s just beautiful to see the sun come up from behind the mountains. There are loungers on the beach that you can hire for no more than $2 a day and food/drinks are optional too. I’d suggest taking food/drink down with you to avoid having to bring too much cash etc out with you. An bang beach is perhaps my favourite, the sand is beautiful and depending on the time of year the waves can be super fun to play in!

Get clothes tailor made.

I think it is absolutely a must do when you go to Hoi An. There is something so exciting about having clothes made exactly to fit you or to correspond with that idea you have in you mind. It’s such a fun experience and perfect for finally finding items to fit you whilst in Asia.

Eat & Drink.

If there’s one thing Hoi An knows, its how to eat and drink. The super chilled vibe of this place only helps with making you want to eat and drink everything possible. There are plenty of wonderfulstreet good places, Mr Sons has the best wantons ive ever had. There are also a few more places i have come to love here especially The Deckhouse and Soul Kitchen as they sit right on the edge of the beach, they have excellent drinks both alcoholic and non-alcoholic, they stay open late and the Soul Kitchen in particular has a great music scene there. Live acts were playing every night we went. It was the perfect evening sipping Espresso Martini’s under the stars listening to a guy playing the piano.

So there’s a quick 5 things to do in Hoi An

Thanks for reading, Let me know in the comments if you have been to Hoi An and what your favourite activity was.

Danielle Jade

 

Long Journeys? You NEED to check out these podcasts ✈️ 

Ok so, whilst travelling around, i’ve become quite obsessed with Podcasts.

From Long-haul flights to short uber trips to work or even walking down the street.
Here’s a list of my favourite podcasts, that you need to check out:

LIGHT HEARTED FUN ;

  • Not Too Deep With Grace Helbig. (Now if you don’t know who Grace Helbig is, then do you even internet? ) This podcast is full of fun and nonsense. With some incredible guests it’s now hit 100 episodes. So check it out! (Roughly 1hour long)
  • My Dad wrote a porno ; Pretty self explanatory this one. A guys dad wrote a porno and now himself and two of his friends are going to read it out for our entertainment. It’s incredibly funny. (Usually 40 mins an episode)
  • Anna Faris is Unqualified . Now i must start this off by saying im obsessed with Anna Faris’s voice so this is perfect. The guests on this show are so good! Check out the Rachel Bloom and Aubrey Plaza ones for joke after joke. A fun podcast of interviews, story sharing and experience exchanging. Getting to hear from celebrities and questions that are more than ‘who are you wearing’ and without having a promo agenda, to me is so interesting and Anna has the perfect balance of nonsense to getting new and interesting content whilst keeping real AF.  (Roughly 30 mins long)


  • SOMEWHERE IN THE MIDDLE:

    Love and Radio ;
    Disclaimer: Im obsessed with this whole podcast series. They do a lot of interesting 30minute real-life stories and i cannot help but get attached to these peoples lives.

  • Episode – Deep Stealth Mode. The story of how a 3 year old boy asked to go back into his mommy’s tummy and come out a girl. Inspiring, brave and an honest outlook from the parent and 3 year old. This one ‘gave me all the feels. (30 Mins Long)
  • Episode – The living room. A story of how a woman’s neighbors who never closed their curtains make their way into her life. Well, kind of. It’s a very one sided yet very intimate relationship. As she observes this new young couple she becomes attached to their life without them even knowing. (25mins long)

A LITTLE INTENSE ;
Serial ; 

  • This podcast though guys… The whole series tells us about how a girl in high-school disappears, and her ex-boyfriend is convicted for her murder. He says he is innocent. Or he claims to remember that he is unsure of where he was during the incident of her death. We follow this case with the now podcast/investigator as they chat to him inside the prison and try to find new evidence on a case that seems anything but simple. (S1 30-45mins long an episode)

Ted Talks ; 

  • I’ll end with this one. I can’t pick my favourites and actually i don’t think TED TALKS are the kind of podcasts you need to choose a favourite. They alter based on my mood of the day and also, what i find exciting may not be the same. Yet, i encourage you to go onto the TED TALKS section of Podcasts. Find a topic you ARE interested in and educate yourself, open your mind and Listen. I promise you’ll not regret it. (Vary from 10 – 40 minutes long)Anyway, i hope you enjoy these podcasts!
    Please let me know your favourites in the comment so i can expand my current collection.

  • Thanks for reading, Danielle x

What to do in Ho Chi Minh – Saigon.

Hello everyone i’m here to tell you about what to do during short weekend in Ho Chi Minh.

Ok what to do:

Bitexco Financial tower. Go to the observation sky deck. It’s an incredible view. I loved being up there and seeing all of the city. You have 360degree view out over Saigon and you can even look through telescopes to zoom in different areas you want to explore.

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Get yourself a hotel with a pool to catch that early morning sun. We went to the rooftop of out hotel Sunland every morning to set ourselves up for the day. It can get pretty hot in Ho Chi Minh so having a place to dip in and cool off was perfect.

Go to the War remnants museum. Though this can get a little tough at points the war museum is a good way to get to know what the Vietnamese have been though. It’s all obviously very biased and full of propaganda but, it does give you an insight.

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Marvel at the Saigon Notre-Dame , it’s hard to believe this is in Vietnam really, the Notre Dame is bigger than i expected and equally as beautiful. Well worth a stroll to see. I recommend getting an ice-cream from the shop on the corner before hand too.

Visit the Post Office, which by the way is HUGE! Just over the road from the Notre Dame, the central post office is more than your regular old post office. Look up high to see the fantastic murals.

Walk around the markets, Ben Thanh market in particular really shows off Ho Chi Minh as a city. The front is full of stalls, beautiful fabrics, intricate trinkets, handmade items as far as the eye can see, from models of boats, to great big fans and rip-off designer clothing. It is a bustling room of everything you could every hoard. At the back there is a small food section also, probably not the most clean of areas to eat in, we gave it a miss but it smelt delicious.

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Visit Tao Dan park, this park is incredibly picturesque. Spend time strolling around here. It’s the perfect spot to take a packed lunch to also. Sit amongst the flowers, cactus, pagodas and lakes for an easy afternoon.

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Head to the Jazz Cafe in the evening, the music is incredible. Be aware though they add a cover fee of 100,000vnd PER PERSON to the bill for the artists and a further 15% tip. So you need to be loaded to enjoy more than one drink here. We had one drink each and between three of us it was around 900,000vnd.

What/Where to eat?
Bun Cha – Just north of the Tao Dan park there is an amazing Bun Cha place you cant miss it
Pizza 4ps – There are two in HCM and it’s the best pizza in Vietnam
Cuba La Casa Del Mojito – Tapas and incredible cocktails paired with a free salsa lesson. Dance and drink you night away!
Sancho Cantina – Mexican . Need i say anymore.

Anyway, there’s my quick easy summary of my highlights.

Thanks for reading

Danielle
X