How Travel Changed My View Of The World

How Travel Changed My View Of The World

We should come home from adventures, and perils, and discoveries every day with new experience and character” – Henry David Thoreau

The world news catches my attention in a way it has not before I started traveling.
Meeting someone from another country changes you. You gain entirely new perspectives on the world from the conversations you have and the meals you share. You realize what you see in the news is not reality and friendships can be formed in all corners of the globe.

I learned very quickly that humans aren’t so different. We have a family we love and jobs to go to during the day. People are generally good to each other no matter their backgrounds. We all want to be safe, happy, work, do what we love and be loved. While we go about it differently, we are all after the same things in life. Negative stereotypes disappear when people are exposed to new cultures and places.

I have learned that relative wealth—the wealth we have in the West in the form of opportunities and a government that generally provides basic services and support—does not isolate us from similar common human experiences. Though I have never gone hungry or wondered about my next meal, I do understand loss.

Even amidst poverty, I always feel a commonality of shared experiences—a desire within a person to better themselves, or perhaps a parent working day and night in the hope of a better life for their child. The circumstances of people I have met while traveling are often so seemingly different from mine, but yet underneath, deep within the travel experience were common themes. I found common hopes and common fears within each person’s story. Witnessing this, hearing the stories and feeling the kindness all over the world, has broadened my sense of self, and my understanding of the threads of connection that bind us all.

Fly safe,

JAZ

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Art In Hanoi – Thanh Chuong Viet Palace, Viet Nam

Art In Hanoi – Thanh Chuong Viet Palace, Viet Nam

“Every day we are engaged in a miracle which we don’t even recognize: a blue sky, white clouds, green leaves, the black, curious eyes of a child — our own two eyes. All is a miracle.”

 Thich Nhat Hahn

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There is no right way to experience an art museum or gallery .

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As a traveler who knows a little something about art, I always have a list of art work that I have to see in a country which I can check off in my brain.

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But at the Thanh Chuong Viet Palace in Hanoi, I did not know the artist or his collection.

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I did not know which was considered a masterpiece and which was not so I slowed down and looked at what I liked – what interested me and what touched me.

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It is easier to make a connection with the art that way – when you don’t know what it is that you are “supposed to see.

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It is a different experience when you choose what resonates with you instead of what is famous.

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The palace houses Vietnamese artist Thanh Chuong’s vast collections of Vietnamese spiritual and folk art along with his modern paintings. (artist)

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It is located forty kilometers from the center of Hanoi and covers over 10,000 square meters. There are thousands of cultural and historical artifacts from different Vietnamese dynasties which the artist spent his life collecting and storing.

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It includes all kinds of architectural elements, different houses antique and replicated, furniture from all periods, statues, a theatre for water puppetry and a beautiful restaurant.

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Thanh Chuong comes from a talented and literary family. There is an altar to his father the writer Kim Lan and a room displaying his work.

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The palace is not without its critics. The “House of Auspicious Clouds’ has been called an artistic theme park, and “an ostentatious display of wealth and social status.

It attracts local and foreign visitors who are interested in understanding Vietnam’s artistic and spiritual culture.

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I loved walking around in this beautiful and very feng shui environment and finding all the old and new pieces together.

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The lotus ponds, bamboo beds, mud cottages made you think of Viet Nam’s history. I liked his modern paintings, sculptures  and the creative way he juxtaposed the old and the new.

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When you spend time looking at something, you actually begin to see it.

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A very special thank you to my guide in Hanoi Mr. Do Sy Quy. He was my first guide on this trip and set the tone for an amazing experience. “Buffalo Joe” is kind, friendly, funny, intuitive and very knowledgeable about Hanoi and Viet Nam history. I connected with him immediately and feel like I have a friend in Hanoi.

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Di du lịch một cách an toàn,

JAZ