Dear Eating off The Map


Oh my, where shall I begin?

First of all, sorry for being MIA for sooo long.

Second, how do you do it? Keeping up with the virtual world of so many beautiful and touching stories, so many inspirations that thrill you to do the same, places to go, those pennies you gotta save, self-pondering, work – life balancing, somehow even writing down my thoughts have become so hard for me recently… I am sitting behind my desk and writing to you from this whirlwind circle of madness that is my life right now: work, exercises, family commitments, friends, fun, tiredness, stress, worries, everything, all pictured in a rush mode. And I have totally been neglecting my Eating off The Map. I feel like there is not enough time.

Sometimes I’ve felt like I’ve lost it! –Tell me, people! How do you do it?


Dear Eating off The Map,

Today you’re turning 1 year and a month old and I just wanted you to know that I am grateful you exist. You are something I cannot grab and hold, but always feel like keeping close. You are my platform of expression, you are my memory, my documentary even though I failed at keeping you up and running regularly.

You’re something in me! And I’m sorry I’ve taken you for granted lately…

I remember how you were born, I was so passionate. I remember writing my first post from a nice cozy guest house in Goa, India, sitting in their backyard in an early morning, the house dog lying next to my chair, sun was shining, everything was still sleepy, fresh and quiet, I saw rays of light running through arches of leaves, and I was so passionate…

It was two months ago when I realized the closest you get to being lonely, really just all by yourself, not wanting anything and letting go, the more you ultimately felt like you want to stay in the connectedness of things. Throw me that robe, grab my hands, pull me up!

There you realized there are so many things you want to hold on to, these people in your life, this blue sky you only see during fall seasons in Hanoi, these flowers, these leaves falling and the romantic vibe of Autumn, the smell of fresh mornings, everything! These text messages. This fun picture your friend sent to cheer up on you. These kids who make you smile. Mom’s foods. Friends’ hugs. Sweet notes. Travels. Love of foods. This blog! Everything! Being nice to people. Being aware to smile with strangers in the elevator. Being positive and trying to bring good energy to a room. Smiling. Being present. Dressing up. Pampering yourself. Being thankful.

Getting to this point of my sentimental note to you, oh boy, how I wanna hug you! (I am hugging my computer screen instead!)

Happy belated birthday, thank you for being mine and promise I’m holding on tight this year!

And it would not be completed if I don’t mention Erik. We created this together and you have always been the one who was doing all the hard work. Thank you for always putting me first in any decision we’ve made blog-wise, for being supportive and encouraging to me, tolerating sometimes, being silly with me (except you’re more silly, of course :p), and getting me a real elephant Jasiri. I’ll be a better blog buddy this year!

Cheers to a fun ride!




*Photo taken this time last year in Goa, India*


One thought on “Dear Eating off The Map

  1. Hang,

    My phone wants to autocorrect your name to Bang but I will not let it (BAD PHONE). This blog never would have existed without you as you have been my inspiration to keep on posting (something I have been slacking on my self). I know you said I put all the hard work in but the heart and soul of this blog has come from you.

    You have a way with words that far surpasses my own (not to mention your spelling is much better) and you learned English as a second language while it is about the only one I know.

    I know I have missed reading your posts and I think our readers have also missed you.


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