Out of the Nest


It’s hot. No really, I mean it’s HOT in Vientiane. Six weeks ago when I arrived, walking the city streets was easy and enjoyable as long as I had a little bottle of water with me. I could walk for hours, popping in and out of shops and markets to see as much as possible.

The heat will continue for a while. This morning I was asked via a text from home what season we are in. “Dry” was my response. “So, it’s summer?” the reply. I laughed a little to myself because I would have asked this same question before. We have two “seasons” if you can call them that. It’s going to be dry and hot and then it will be wet and hot.

The temperature hovers around 100 degrees every afternoon. When I leave the air conditioned bliss of the apartment, I’m sweating through my shirt within the first half hour.  I can carry water with me but the extreme sweltering takes it’s toll and I head home sooner than usual.

Staying close to home for so many days left me feeling as though my world had gotten very small. I’d started to forget the magnitude of where I live and what it means to me. Yesterday we were able to hire a Tuk Tuk for a ride up to a distant shop and back home. The ride was a vital reminder of the scope of Vientiane. I’m living in a world far far from anything resembling America. I was thrilled to return home with ground cinnamon. Who knew I would ever spend an entire afternoon for the luxury of cinnamon in my morning coffee.

Expanding my perspective with this long bumpy ride around the city was exactly what I needed as a bit of a reset button. I have to push myself out of the nest daily or risk regressing.

The only way I’ll learn to fly, is to continue jumping (or being shoved) out of my nest.


  1. The heat (especially when coupled with humidity) was the hardest part of working in Asia. Thailand was the worst as I had to dress up in a suit for work and walk from my hotel to work nearby. A few steps from the front door and you are wilted! China was a close second with the monsoons. I purchased quite a bit of linen to wear for breathability. So, that left me rumpled looking and wilted!

    Glad you got out and away for a bit. Sometimes the bit of breeze on the Tuk Tuk is a welcome relief in itself, as are the sights and sounds of the locals.

    🙏🏼 don’t know if your locals greet you with this, but in Thailand it is the standard greeting mid-chest along with a bow, so I thought I’d include.

    • You definitely know how it feels! Linen can be the saving grace of fabrics. It’s funny how comfort starts to win out over looking put together when it’s so hot. How long did you live in Asia? In Laos, it’s very rare to see anyone use the “nop” (hands together with slight bow). It’s a very relaxed country regarding many customs that are still strong in the neighboring countries. I’ll be sure to see more of it in my extended travels! Thank you:)

  2. Thought one: Heat and moisture are vital to verdant growth…
    Thought two: Have you been able to get out and explore a bit at night? Or is that either not safe or just not effective (nothing to visit at night)…?
    At any rate, I wholly support the idea of frequent outings away from your ‘nest’ Not only to aclimate to the heat/humidity but to have a more immersive and enriching experience.

    santiphab kabthan…
    ສັນຕິພາບກັບທ່ານ …


    • I don’t go out at night on my own, not that there’s much to do other than going to cafes, restaurants or walk the night market. When we do go out, it’s still a bit warmer than is comfortable but at least the sun isn’t blazing!

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