When I was first doing research on where I might want to go abroad, I stumbled upon a girl's blog with a post about Sapa -- a beautiful mountain town in northern Vietnam covered in rice terraces. I fell in love with her photos and started to explore the idea of going to Vietnam, a country I knew so little about.
Fast forward about a year, and there I was. Trekking through Sapa myself. Up and down muddy mountainsides, chatting with local tribeswomen, crossing streams, and navigating bamboo forests.
I fell in love with Sapa the way I have so few other places -- the small town of Jeremie in Haiti, the Drakensberg Mountains in South Africa, magical Madrid in New Mexico. (I suppose the common denominator is mountains.) It felt so, so good to get out of the craziness of Hanoi and into the wild countryside.
I could finally breathe. Thank you, Sapa.