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The biggest frustration of being fluent in different languages is that some words just won’t translate. My favourite untranslatable French word is: Dépaysée.

According to the dictionary it means ‘the feeling that comes from not being in one’s home country’. It’s so much more than that though. It means feeling out of your comfort zone, but in an excited and curious way, a bit confused but mostly dazed about all the unfamiliar things you are immersed in. Got it?

This was the feeling I was craving after 4 incredible, but still very familiar, RY months in Europe, this was my highest hope for Asia, and I wasn’t let down.

Our first Asian month was in Hanoi, Vietnam. And despite the fact that I literally almost collapsed a couple of times because of the heat, I couldn’t have asked for a more “dépaysant” experience!

May it be rain or sweat I don’t think I have ever been so wet for a month straight in my whole life. No escape, you walk for more than 3 minutes, you look like a dump, suck it up! 

No, not literally! eek!



Crossing the street. This might have been the most stressful experience for most of my friends. I LOVED IT.

It felt like being back in my Roma, but on steroids. I found it so fascinating how the total mess and lack of rules actually works, it’s like a miracle every time you cross! But being fearless and having trust that they will actually try to avoid you works, well, most of times…! 

©Steve G Fox

That mixed feeling of accomplishment and bliss of being alive quickly became my daily adrenaline addiction!

Rats, Mice, Roaches, you name them. 

When I was 10 years old we went with my big family at my uncle’s country house in Basilicata ❤. Because we were more than 30, us kids slept in what used to be the horses’ mangers. (Yes, I am the one with the iron face, thanks mum!). I was so afraid of mice that I obliged my cousin Luciana to sleep next to me, in a total of 20cm (8 inches) space, because in my little brain that would have prevented them from crawling on me (little did I know that they can pass through a hole the size of a Bic pen, thanks Paris for the life lesson!). This is how much I like them. 

Well, I got so used to having to jump over them when running around the lake, or crossing the street when going home at night, that I almost only screamed when the office mouse would pass next me every time I was there past 1am, a.k.a. often. It’s still progress, right? #growthzone



Now I feel I should start talking about everything I purely loved about Vietnam, but it’s getting late and, after all, there is nothing of the above that I don’t miss too.

Ok, I’ll give you a clue in the meantime: FOOD!!!… but not only, the list is long!

Tam Biêt.


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