Antonia Glatzel, 20, is a 3rd year International Economics & Finance student at Bocconi. She is currently on exchange to Singapore and she has taken that opportunity to travel around Asia as much as possible. Among her travels was a one-week trip to Vietnam, during which she captured the beautiful moments she shares with us in this short gallery, accompanied by a few words on her experience.
“A warm breeze brushes through my hair. My mind goes blank. I breathe in the foreign smells of summer in Mỹ Tho.
In a different world, away from the comfort zone of big cities, I find myself on a scooter in a small village in Mekong Delta. The sun starts to set and I am heading towards the farm where I will spend the night surrounded by nature. Driving with the sensation of the last warming rays of sun hitting my face feels like a redefinition of freedom; all restrictions seemingly just vanish. I drive by simple homes adorning even simpler streets, cheerful faces, families of four on one motorbike and the elderly watching the happenings. Time seems to be endless and I nearly don’t want to arrive anymore- I just want to remain in this state of letting go.
My thoughts start to wander to the great company I have on my trip and all the good-hearted people I met during these days that welcomed us into their culture. My sense of time becomes blurry as it feels like the memories would be enough to fill a month despite it having been only one week. One week in this beautiful country by the sea. Tastes of Pho Bo, fried rice, fresh spring rolls and mango. Scenery covered in warm shades of green and blue crossed by muddy waters as small boats stir up the earth underneath. Contrasting that, is the image of crowded cities marked by their crazy traffic and polluted air. I pause and think of the kind people who invited me into their home to celebrate the Vietnamese New Year even though we didn’t share any common language, the young family from Mumbai I met on a bus ride who were travelling to visit their relatives, and a little girl with pink hair that just wouldn’t stop fooling around with a bright smile over her face. Serenity fills my chest. The heat seems to get lighter with every mile we drive and the sun eventually disappears behind far away treetops.
A fresh breeze brushes through my hair. My mind goes blank. I breathe in the foreign smells of summer in Mỹ Tho.”
Find more of Antonia’s photographs at @dugluecklicher
PHOTOS & WORDS BY ANTONIA GLATZEL
EDITED BY IRA TASSOULI