Sophie has two children, works 10 hours a day in the office and 24 hours at home with her kids and tries to maintain a healthy relationship with her beautiful husband. She never expected her life to be so beautiful in the eyes of others, yet, in her own world, she can hardly keep up. She feels guilty everyday, sometimes wishing she had a different life – not a better life – but just wondering where she would be if she had followed her passion in her career. She wonders what it would feel like if it was up to her to decide what time of the day to wake up, and when to practice yoga (something that she continually misses due to the schedule of her kids and her new life). No two days are the same for Sophie, but yet, the feelings she has day in and day out, are constant.
One day, an idea came to Sophie. What if she were to go away? It didn’t matter where, just somewhere that she could go to be with herself, by herself and for herself. She immediately started to think about the people she loved first. What would her family do? Then she started to think about the people around her, she was afraid of criticism – what would they say about her leaving her kids and husband to do the one thing she needed to do…put herself first for once and simply nurture herself?
She started to worry about all of the things a mother of 2 worries about, about all of the things a dutiful employee in a demanding job worries about (an employee so dedicated she only took 4 days off from work in 3 years to simply take care of herself).
Then, something happened.
She dismissed it all and found courage. She recognized that when an idea comes to mind, you have to respect it, otherwise, it will jump into the opportunity of another distressed soul and leave you. So, she grabbed onto it, because if not, she would have found a million and one excuses why it would have been a bad idea to go. She did the one thing that would bring her back to life.
She booked a beach front villa suite at Six Senses Nihn Van Bay in Vietnam, where she always dreamed of going, on a 5 day program of Yoga, massages, detox diet, beach, sleep and most of all quiet time with herself and a good book.
I’m going to tell you a story about a man I met there, who lived in captivity inside his own self not realizing his potential to do wonderful things.
Huan is a banker and has been working in a dead-end job for many years. He works 15 hours a day and always found it difficult to get out of bed in the morning. His social life was struggling severely at 33 and his love life was being questioned…By himself mostly. He likes to believe he is an introvert and is very comfortable with being by himself.
Huan has a big heart and a passion for the travel industry like no one I have ever met before. He has hopes and dreams of building an empire of his own one day. He had that spark in him when he talked to me. For now, he answers to his bosses and earns a pay cheque that satisfies his numbers. But his mind is elsewhere. He believes deep down, that something is guiding him in his life, pushing him toward what he was born to do – but he hasn’t quite realized his true potential. I guess when I think about it now, Huan was a afraid of disappointment… afraid of failure. His work consumed his thoughts, dictated his personality and he admitted that it even changed his behavior towards others but was always a quiet person.
Unlike Sophie, Huan has no responsibilities. He has lots of friends and girlfriends. His social life depends on his mood and on how tired he feels after logging in so many hours of work each day, even on weekends. He was a kept guy, loving his own space and is comfortable around himself by himself. He trains every day before or after work, it doesn’t matter when, it’s up to him to decide when it suits him. But you see, Huan never realized how free he was. Just like Sophie, he never invested in himself. Until the day he decided to face his fears and uncover a courage he never thought he had. He decided to book a trip to Vietnam by himself, take time off work and maybe perhaps leave his job to pursue his passion.
He booked into a hilltop suite at Six Senses Nihn Van Bay in Vietnam.
Every morning, Sophie rises at 6am, looks around her and forces herself back to sleep till 8am. (It doesn’t take much forcing though…) Her yoga practice starts around the time she is ready. At the Yoga pavilion, Deepak, the yoga practitioner who guided her throughout her visit, starts her off with sun salutations and ends with a guided meditation session for 50 minutes. She had tried meditating for so many years without a practice, but it was only natural to her during her practice. So this is new to her. Her guide helps her become aware of her surroundings in order to get into deep stillness.
Now, to get there, all she needs to do is remember that moment where the sound of the wind was loud enough that it drowned her thoughts and left her in peace.
After her practice, she has breakfast overlooking the bay. She practices her hellos and thank yous in Vietnamese. ‘Xin Chào ’ she repeats to herself and ‘Cam on’, attempting to do the perfect ‘ang’ sound while people stare at her as she secretly talks herself. That first day she checks in on her kids every minute.
Then, she stops.
She practices feeling less guilty and finds a way to live the remaining 4 days for herself with no judgement. The best thing she did was allowing herself and her family to be strong on their own. She had faith in them and learned that being a mother is also an attitude.
Her best advice to me is… stop whatever you are doing for 5 minutes every single day for the rest of your life, and look around you. It works. It helps. It makes you smile.
She then went on her own way, cycling back to her suite where she said she would order infinite numbers of coconut, room service and just lay down by her pool facing the beach.
Huan finally reaches Cam Ranh at 4pm. He flew 9 hours to get there. His pick up was waiting for him at the airport. He saw a little sign on the back seat of the car hanging saying ‘Free wifi’ with a password. He quickly connected and caught up on work. After the 1 hour drive, his head came up and off the phone and looked around him only to find himself already at the jetty.
He realized he had missed the point all along.
Since then, he switched off his phone and finally, became unreachable. “It’s all a matter of paying attention, being awake in the present moment” he says to me. Huan spends his days by the beach at experience. Snorkeling, kayaking even parasailing. One day, it rained but the sun was out and he realized that he has mistaken his life with reality. This, right now, is reality.
He hiked at 7am with a guide and met lovely people along the way up. He might have been wearing the wrong shoes, but he still made it to the top. So it didn’t really matter. His destination was the journey in acquiring courage for himself. His phone was kept off. He had no responsibilities but his own. He is free and he freed himself. He was not afraid anymore. He even talked about starting his own business finally. It was something along the line of a travel website.
We are all a Sophie or a Huan. At some point, we are both.
Like Sophie and Huan, I also found courage at Six Senses. The courage to hit the reset button, to unplug, to experience the journey and most importantly to nurture myself and finally take a huge step in my career.
That, was the hard part for me.
How to get there
Fly into Ho Chi Minh City and take a 1 hour Vietnam Airlines to Nha Trang Cam Ranh and a 20 minute boat ride to the resort.
Couples celebrating, Solo traveler, Women traveling alone, Yoga and wellness retreat, a children’s club is also available at the resort.
Season for Travel
There are many excellent times and opportunities to visit, Ninh Van Bay, depending on what you would like to see and experience. If you are a passionate scuba diver the best time is between February and October when the visibility is the best. March to November is ideal for sailing and hiking due to good weather conditions.
They have 3 programs of 3 nights, 5 nights, 7 nights, 10 nights and 14 nights. The programs are 1) Yoga Detox 2) Discover Yoga 3) Yogic Sleep. Each with separate inclusions from Wellness consultations, Yoga, Holistic massages, Reiki, Detox massages, meditation and Yogic intestinal Cleanse. Starting price per person is $275 for starting packages. My suggestion is that you email the resort directly and have them send you the price list. | E-mail: [email protected]
Things to do
Hiking, Kayaking, Yoga, City Excursion, Boat Charters, Tai Chi, Tennis, Scuba Diving, Cai River, Mud Bath, Water Sports, Award Winning Spa
Ninh Van Bay,
Ninh Hoa, Khanh Hoa,
T +84 58 3524 268
E-mail: [email protected]