VIETNAM: Reviving the Senses

It's is certainly true, travel opens you to many new experiences both culturally and visually.

Vietnam was my latest trip, and it didn’t fail to stimulate the senses. It was way more incredible than I could have imagined or expected.

Colour is everywhere you look, from the green of the landscape to the vibrant textiles, the intense hand crafted colour tiles to the woven ink blues, rich reds and greens of garments from the different provinces is a pop of colour. There is nothing subdued here!

As a food lover - and a big fan of Vietnamese, I took time out to learn about all the wonderful fresh ingredients that make up their daily meals. Food is fresh, colourful and beautiful. I couldn’t get enough of the amazing Pho broths full of goodness and made from recipes handed down from generations. Vietnamese home kitchens are humble by our western standards and usually quite large, but totally built for speed and efficiency. They are the heart of the household and are bustling, noisy and busy and yet capable of turning out the most beautiful looking food.  

My favourite thing about travelling is just wandering around exploring and discovering the ‘authentic’ face of a place, away from the homogenised tourist spots. Getting out of your comfort zone means you’ll be more rewarded with a rich cultural experience. I discovered many
amazing food markets this way with isles brimming with fresh food, colour, exotic fragrances and so much hustle and bustle. It was delightful!

Travelling also means you are exposed to centuries of history which can be seen in the local architecture. It was incredible to see how weathering has impacted the natural materials used and to also think of the magnitude of the builds that were completed with minimal technology and just sheer man power. I loved the shapes, the intricate carvings and the fact that the majority of these buildings are still going strong today, retaining that rich cultural heritage.  

Vietnam was a relaxing holiday, a beautiful experience and an inspiring adventure. I met so many happy people. Life is colourful, life is simple and life is about love and good food, friends and family.  Food, cooking and kitchens are an integral part of life for all of us.

I was really inspired. On my return, I started thinking about preservation and responsible renovations, about how we can look at our living spaces and invest in the beauty that we already have, to responsibly consider what should be updated and then how we can bring that all together and retain some personality to what we are to change.