I quit Ho Chi Minh City job to avoid struggle of returning hometown for Tet

By Nga KT   January 25, 2024 | 04:00 pm PT
Unable to secure a ticket home during the Tet Lunar New Year holiday, I decided to leave my job in Ho Chi Minh City and return to my hometown.

Many articles discussing the hardships of returning home for Tet have been published recently. Some mention the misery of spending much money on a bitter trip, and others talk about the reluctance to travel due to not remembering relatives’ names. But from my experience, the true depth of longing to return home for Tet is only understood by those living away from their hometown.

From my perspective, earning money can always wait, while our parents and relatives are irreplaceable and time is precious. That is why I strive to spend as much time as possible with my family, despite potential challenges. Family reunions are the happiest, invaluable, and irreplaceable moments of my life.

Once, while working in HCMC, I could not secure a ticket to my hometown in Central Vietnam, where bus, train, or plane tickets are hard to come by. Consequently, I spent the entire Tet in the city, which felt uncomfortable because of the desolate streets, a stark contrast to its usual bustle, and the unbearably hot weather. Though I met friends who also could not go home, it did not feel as joyful as being with family, as the best part of Tet for me is the atmosphere of gathering with my parents and loved ones.

The thought of my parents preparing for Tet alone, while I could not return and other families gathered together, was deeply painful as well. That six-day holiday felt like six months.

This experience led me to quit my job and return to my hometown for work. After 11 years back home, I have no regrets about this decision. I can now visit my parents and siblings anytime, not just during holidays. For me, this is what life should be about.

I wonder if others have similar experiences. What are your thoughts on this?

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