Art Model, Que ©2020 Terrell Neasley
“He who is not everyday conquering some fear has not learned the secret of life.”
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

I’ve got my visa for Vietnam in hand, now. Next is to book the flight, which will be within the next 10 days. I gotta tell ya. I’m just a little bit fearful! This will be a totally new experience for me. I do not understand Vietnamese at all. I cannot even say “Thank you” or “Good Morning”, yet. Nonetheless, I have a 3-month visa and I don’t know what to expect at all. This will be an absolute different experience for me than going through Central or South America.

[Update: Got the ticket the next day. Now just need to find a place to stay!]

But this is what this whole experience is about. NEW THINGS! New faces.Take wings to new places. My life has been about doing what I was afraid to do since I was in elementary school. At least, that’s where it started. Fighting back bullies. After a while, it became habit, because the realization soon hit me. Most of the things I feared were jokes to begin with so what does that make me? I’m not saying you gotta be stupid. Neither do I want you to check your common sense at the door. But how many times have you feared the dark only to later turn on the light and see your fear disappear. You realize you have been scared over nothing. How many opportunities have been lost because you didn’t take the job out of town; ask that girl out on a date; or taken that trail less traveled.

Art Model, Que ©2020 Terrell Neasley

So yeah, I’m scared to go. It’s human. It’s natural. And there is nothing inherently bad about being afraid. What you do about that fear is the determinant. So I’m going. I have my visa. But it’s always been said to me, “It’s not real until you buy that ticket.” And then just as well, “Pics, or it didn’t happen.” I’ll have my ticket soon. I’m pricing flights, checking flight times, seating, etc. I gotta have good seats flying that long. I’m looking at 26-hour flights. Not all in the air, at once, but I saw some 15-hour non-stop stretches on the itinerary. NOT looking forward to that. That’s the main reason I won’t be back so often as I was backpacking Central or South America. No matter where I was down south, I don’t think I had a single flight that had a stretch longer than 6 hours.

“I must be a mermaid. 
I have no fear of depths, but a great fear of shallow living.” 
~ Anais Nin

So what will I do in Vietnam? Short answer… I do not know. More thorough answer. I’m not sure, BUT I will get to Hanoi and spend the first month in Northern Vietnam (not in Hanoi) and just sit for a month, reading, writing, and taking in my surroundings. After that, I’ll explore more of Northern Vietnam for a while and begin making my way south. Along the way, I’ll look for opportunities to check into Laos. I have a multiple entry visa for Vietnam so I will be able to leave the country and come back as long as I want within the 3 month time I have there. I am not certain just yet if I qualify to extend should I so desire. Beyond that, I’d like to do the same thing in Southern Vietnam around Ho Chi Minh City and get some shots around the Mekong Delta.

Art Model, Que ©2020 Terrell Neasley

Nothing about any of that is written in stone. It’s all tentative. After Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, and of course, Thailand. I have to hop down into Indonesia at some point, make my way over to Papua New Guinea and then, the Solomon Islands. Who knows after that. Shall I try the South Pacific again? Australia, New Zealand? Or head back up into India? You can’t hold me to any of this. I expect it to take a while. Quite a while before I get back stateside again after leaving this time. But that’s okay. I have my passport renewed and I got the 52-page book this time.

I’m not upgrading the cameras. I can’t get the Sony a7R4 without upgrading to the Sony a6600 as well. I refuse to pack different batteries. So I’ll continue to run with my a7r2 and the a6500 for now. I wish I could handle the weight and do a drone, but another reason I don’t are international laws that regulate flying them. Vietnam says it’s legal, BUT… and there’s always seems to be a BUT someplace… you have to submit a 14-day notice to the regulating authorities. So you can do it, but you have to plan it 2 weeks in advance. Otherwise, you are in violation of Vietnamese law. I don’t need to be in violation of Vietnamese law.

Art Model, Que ©2020 Terrell Neasley

I’ll keep you abreast of my situation when I leave, but I’m looking to be gone within the next 10 days or so. And thanks for being supportive of my blog. I appreciate the readership and am grateful that you’ve found my stories worth your time. I plan to do even better. Stay tuned!