Ever since I went back to Vietnam and got to return to my grandparents villages, my Ông Ngoại hasn't stopped talking about taking Matthew and I to Vietnam. He and my Bà Ngoại are getting older and we don't know how much longer we will have them around, so we decided it was time to make it happen.
We faced a couple obstacles:
- Picking a time that would work for everyone
- Convincing my grandma to let someone else run the business while she and my mom were away
1. Everyone knows that the best time of year to visit Vietnam is during the Tết season (at least if you're Vietnamese). The weather is *the best* and there's just a great spirit in the air. Or that's what my mom says at least. Well, and every single Vietnamese person I've ever met. Including all of my various Vietnamese teachers. In my classes, we would spend a month or so just learning about different Tết traditions and festivals. I *CAN'T WAIT* to experience them in person! Tết falls on a different date each year. Sometimes it's in January, sometimes it's in February. In 2016, Tết will be in February. Luckily, Matthew is only taking one seminar that semester, and missing a few classes won't be the end of the world. And thankfully, he understands how important this trip is and is willing to sacrifice several weeks of work so that we can go during this time.
2. Getting my mom and grandma both on the same trip is very difficult, if not impossible. They run a dry cleaning/alterations business together and at least one of them has to be there to manage things. When we originally proposed the idea to my mom and grandma, it was immediately shot down. I was discouraged, but didn't give up. I knew that this would be a once-in-a-lifetime experience for us all (three generations) to go to Vietnam together, so I was determined to find a way. It was actually Matthew who had the brilliant idea of telling Grandma that we already bought the tickets (even though we hadn't). I got my mom on board with the plan and when she told her, Grandma just laughed and asked when we were going. So we knew that she was just being a little stubborn and secretly did want to go. (Note: this method of coercion will not work for all grandmas.)
This trip is especially important to me because it will be:
- Matthew's very first trip to Vietnam
- My first time going to Vietnam with my Ông Ngoại
- Our first time experiencing Tết in Vietnam
I'm SOOOOOOO excited!! I've been dreaming about this trip for a long time. We've got a lot planned for the trip and I can't wait to share our itinerary once we have it finalized!