On the road, every time she looks in the rearview mirror and sees her father quietly driving behind, Ha Trang always feels protected and protected.
In mid-July 2019, when he learned that his daughter “wine” Ha Trang, then 29 years old, was traveling alone from Hanoi to Da Nang, Mr. Ha Tien Bang quickly arranged work in Son La and flew directly to Ho Chi Minh City. Here he borrowed a motorbike from a friend, traveled more than 400 km to Nha Trang city (Khanh Hoa), where he and his daughter arranged to meet to continue the journey.
He and his daughter went through 10 provinces and cities such as Phan Rang – Thap Cham, Phan Thiet, Binh Thuan, Vung Tau, western provinces before coming to Ca Mau. For them, 20 days of companionship have left many happy and sad memories, lessons from the debate, and above all, the understanding between the two generations.
A 29-year-old girl’s journey through Vietnam
Traveling all over Vietnam, admiring the beautiful scenery never seen before, meeting people you have never met is a dream that Ha Trang has cherished since she was a child. After graduating from university in Hanoi, Trang worked in banking and advertising. The nature of the job does not allow her to be free of time. Dreaming of a journey to discover Vietnam and new lands is always motivating, Trang decided to leave her stable job to freelance and do business. Finally, her trip across Vietnam was made.
Starting from Hanoi, Trang followed the Ho Chi Minh trail to Thanh Hoa, Vinh (Nghe An), Ha Tinh, Quang Binh, Thua Thien Hue and Da Nang. Trang said that she hid the trip from her family for fear that her parents would worry and object. Every day on the way, she called home and when she was traveling in Da Nang about the 10th day of her journey, her father found out. Knowing that she could not hide any more, she invited her father to join the trip because she knew this was also his long-standing wish. Receiving an instant nod, two days later she and her father met in Nha Trang. She shared that she was very surprised because her 55-year-old father could go so far on his own.
Trang said that during the journey, her father always let her decide every destination, place to eat, and stay because the two of them had the same “gut” as they like to experience, explore nature, culture, cuisine… Walking along with the palace Vietnam’s coastal road to Cape Ca Mau, the “couple” visited Ninh Van Bay (Khanh Hoa); Vinh Hy bay, Kalan Po Klong Giarai Cham tower (Ninh Thuan); Thoi Son Island (Tien Giang)…
For father and son, the most impressive scene in their journey was when they reached Vinh Hy Bay at midday. The sun shone brightly on the sea like a night sky in the middle of the day. Trang constantly shouted, “Daddy, daddy is so beautiful”. Even now when she remembers it, she still gets goosebumps and gets emotional. “Feeling the beauty through all the senses from listening to the sound of the waves crashing, feeling the coolness and salty smell of the sea breeze next to your loved ones is an unforgettable moment,” she said.
During the trip, Trang also let her father experience different accommodation facilities from bunk beds in dorm rooms for Western guests, to local homestays and international resorts. The father and son, therefore, have the opportunity to learn from many cultures and lifestyles. Through this, she also saw the little-known personality of her father, not the one who always had a dry, fierce appearance as people often commented. Although he does not know a foreign language, he also naturally makes friends with foreigners, is friendly, and gives them small gifts such as cakes and coffee.
“At home, I’m probably the closest person to my father, often joking, pulling gray hair, but only when traveling with me do I know that my father has such lovely moments,” Trang said.
Lessons from the trip
Close, but the generation gap still causes Trang and her father to have disagreements. Sometimes she drove at a higher speed than her father, he was a little angry because it would be dangerous. Along the way, he always noticed, reminded her to be careful, and reached Ca Mau cape, the argument between father and son also reached its climax. When Trang asked his father if he wanted to join the journey to enjoy or just worry about his children, he simply replied that as a parent, you cannot stop worrying about your children. That night, the rain and strong wind from the sea rushed in as if to blow off the roof of the room, father and son both had a restless night.
The next morning, Trang apologized to her father and shared that she was not upset with his concern, but just wanted him to enjoy the trip to the fullest, not having to worry about her like he always did. done for the past 30 years. “I realized that I was wrong when I misunderstood my father. Each generation has different conceptions and priorities for enjoying life. For a parent, children are always the number one priority,” Trang confided. .
From the small argument, the father and son sympathized more and enjoyed the journey to explore all the rivers, floating markets, western gardens, and then drove back to Saigon. Due to busy work, Mr. Bang boarded the plane to return home first, and Trang continued to run back to the Central Highlands for 10 days.
Traveling alone in the Central Highlands, there are moments when Trang misses her father immensely. On the landslide and muddy road of Dak Nong, she wished her father would wade through the mud, push the cart with her to continue the journey. Then, when driving alone on the wide and vast road of rubber from Buon Ma Thuot to Pleiku, Trang sobbed when she looked in the rearview mirror and could no longer see the familiar figure of her father who was always quietly driving behind, Keep a distance of 100 meters to ensure your daughter is always in sight and knows she is safe. In turn, the memory of the times when the car was punctured, ran out of gas along the deserted road, only two sides had Melaleuca forest, the father and son drove the car together for an hour to find a place to repair when it was already dark.
Previously, when working away from home, Trang had little time to spend with her family and did not say thank you and love her father many times. After the trip, she showed it more. “The trip taught me a profound lesson of gratitude. At that time, I was 29 years old, I always thought I was strong but turned out to be small and weak before my father’s love. With my father accompanying me, everything became more difficult. so it’s easier and having dad behind is always a very safe, warm feeling,” she said.
For Mr. Bang, this is a really meaningful trip with his daughter so that he can appreciate and enjoy life more instead of worrying about business and taking care of his family. After that trip, he also learned how to take care of himself and live more simply in the late afternoon.
In his calls with his best friends, they all told them to stay healthy, to go with him through Vietnam once by motorbike. Both he and Ha Trang are very much looking forward to the trip along the South-North of the whole family, with her mother and younger brother after the epidemic is under control.