Travel exhaustion is worth it for a Tet reunion

By Quang Tran   February 8, 2024 | 03:00 pm PT
Travel exhaustion is worth it for a Tet reunion
Passengers wait for the trip home at Mien Tay Bus Station, which connects HCMC with Mekong Delta provinces, on Feb. 7, 2024, three days until Tet. Photo by VnExpress/Gia Minh
Congestion and exhaustion during Tet journeys home are unavoidable, but I find it completely worth it.

I don't travel on big holidays. But the Lunar New Year holiday is exceptionally sacred to me. I always know that I have to go home, simply to reunite with my family. I know my mother back home also really wants that.

Not only me, but millions of other Vietnamese people must also be looking forward to returning to be with their families after a year of separation, so it is easy to understand that we will join a big crowd on the journeys home.

In the past, the scene of crammed passenger buses was common. People often had to sit in the aisle, bending their knees to get a seat on the bus. But now, there are many means of transport, especially planes, so people can travel easier.

Of course, during this time, long check-in lines and flight delays are hard to avoid. If anyone can afford it, they can fly business class to check in faster and sit in a more comfortable waiting room and be taken to the plane by private bus.

As for people like me who own cars, they can proactively plan their travel, but they certainly can't escape traffic jams or avoid the risk of accidents.

Once it took me 18 hours to travel more than 600 km, one and a half times more than on a normal day. Feeling tired was inevitable, but the most important thing is that I finally returned home and reunited with my loved ones.

Money, or more precisely the lack of it, would not stop me from enjoying Tet either.

Ten years ago I failed in business and had no money. I had to help sell goods at a fair to earn VND1 million (US$41), and borrowed VND500,000 from a friend to have enough to catch a bus home for Tet.

When I got home, I had exactly VND250,000 left in my pocket. However, I still celebrated Tet and was still happy with my family.

Coming home to celebrate Tet has only one purpose: to reunite with my family and have meals with my 71-year-old mother, whose eyesight and hearing are now poor.

I am excited to return to my mother every Tet holiday.

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