I’ve recently discovered a new love for creative writing and have been lucky to join two writing groups here in Vietnam where I can exercise my writing skills in new ways. One of our most recent prompts was simply ‘I Remember’.

Based on the cult classic of the same name by Joe Brainard, this is a simple trip down memory lane recorded on paper. It is such a joy to dig deep in your memory and discover moments you thought you’d forgotten and it encouraged me to create a travel edition.

Follow me through 7 years of travel…

I remember sitting on a metal fence and watching a distant storm flash across the sky, lighting up the pale lotus pond below

I remember seeing the first steps of a newborn llama and feeling closer to nature than ever before

I remember the infinite stars in dusty towns whose names escape me

I remember my first bowl of pho

I remember the ache of my calves after days on the Great Wall

I remember the shitty hotel we were in when Ben gave us all leg massages

I remember us escaping paranoia and laughing uncontrollably as we walked arm in arm down the cobbled streets back to a hotel with locked gates

I remember the moonrise over the Amazon

I remember the rain coming down

I remember the sparkling snow and the buds of new leaves

I remember the shower I took at a stranger’s home after I crashed my scooter in Thailand

I remember the warmth of a greasy rolex pancake in my hand after a night of drinking and dancing

I remember the unimaginable blue of the ocean

I remember playing a game with myself in the Forbidden City, trying hard to take photos without a soul in sight

I remember kissing under a bridge

I remember pictures with strangers

I remember the chanting of the monks in the ashram in Kagbeni

I remember the salty taste of oily olives stuffed with garlic and drinking a bottle of 5 euro red wine every night beside our bright red tent

I remember the rolling ocean after the Typhoon in The Philippines

I remember the raw beauty of an island ravaged by storm

I remember soju hangovers

I remember staying in bed for a whole day and reading as rain poured for 12 hours straight

I remember the freedom of doing nothing at all

I remember the wildflowers on rolling hills in the centre of China and fluttering prayer flags on top of mountains where men rode horses

I remember the dark of the forest beyond the homestay, where we sat and stared into each other’s eyes, hypnotised by something we did not quite understand

I remember the kind headmaster we met on the boat trip from Somaemuldo who was overjoyed that we were travelling and told us to ‘enjoy our young life’

I remember the countless times I’ve danced in a circle, holding the hands of new friends; a movement that seems to transcend cultures and time

I remember the time I almost fell into a full and stinking latrine in Ethiopia when a floorboard gave way beneath me

I remember too many cases of traveller’s diarrhea

I remember the pink tinge of sunrise on the top of snowy peaks

I remember bathing in a lake for 2 weeks straight and the time you swam between the islands

I remember stacking tiny paper cups, empty of milky sweet chai, and watching the land rush by the open window

I remember the tears that formed in the corner of the old man’s eyes, his hands clasped together as he squatted before us, listening so intently to the music you played

I remember a night with rastafarians in Shashamane

I remember learning to eat with my hands and the specific way that you roll and push your thumb to place a messy curry into your mouth

I remember how your hands were always covered in food

I remember the colourful saris of India

I remember ordering litre tubs of ice-cream to our hostel in Argentina, just because we could

I remember white water rafting on a hangover and being pulled from the river by a strong European man

I remember the tightness of my chest and the fog in my head as we moved about 5,000m, and feet moving slowly, one in front of the other

I remember the sweet burn of apple brandy on a stormy day

I remember crying with confusion as we sat on the plane home, 8 months after leaving

I remember donkeys in the alleyways and learning to play Bao

I remember the feeling of discovery as we moved from room to room, moving dust and disturbing shadows in the empty palace

I remember so many tiny moments that I thought had disappeared, growing larger and more vivid in my mind as I take the path down memory lane.

What tiny, magical moments do you remember?

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