Everyone can enjoy their youth in their lifetime. How to spend this period optimally is a matter of concern of many. The following is a story of a young woman who has cycled throughout the country to sightsee the best landscapes and help others.
Born in Binh Dinh Province, Pham The Chung, 24, is now living in HCMC. The young, slender accountant completed her trans-Vietnam cycling trip in August this year. Talking about the trip, she says, “I wanted to join the ‘Trans-Vietnam Cycling – Love Connecting Journey’ program upon my university graduation.”
Dreamy journey of the youth
“Trans-Vietnam Cycling – Love Connecting Journey” is aimed to connect young Vietnamese people and create a playground for them. The journey also gives participants a cheap chance to enjoy beautiful scenes of Vietnam.
The trip departs in Hanoi and completes in HCMC. On the way, cyclists will do charitable activities such as granting scholarships, visiting martyrs’ cemeteries and President Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, queuing and singing national anthem at the birthplace of late General Vo Nguyen Giap, to name but a few. Therefore, participants may both study Vietnam’s history and geography, and discover the beauty of the nature and people of the country.
After her graduation, Chung could not pursue her passion for cycling right away because she was blocked by her parents. However, she was more determined this year as she quit her job to realize her dream, which departed on July 17 and ended on August 15. To be qualified for the trip, participants must have good health. Chung says she did not have to practice so much since she plays sport regularly.
Chung still remembers the scholarships for students of Ky Lien Elementary School in Ky Anh District, Ha Tinh Province, where she and other cyclists also held a variety show for the students. “I love charitable activities, especially when it relates to education,” Chung says. “I believe in the value of education, which can change people’s life.”
Her most memorable moment happened when she traveled from Thanh Hoa Province to Quang Binh Province, which is 142km. Although departing at 4 a.m. and arriving at 8 p.m., she never thought of giving up the challenging trip. “Like a flock of flying birds, we tried to help each other,” she recalls. “Sometimes I was so tired but I was encouraged by others cycling behind me. This enabled me to continue my trip.”
Chung says discipline is necessary to finish the journey. “We cycled from one province to another every day,” she says. “Getting up in one locality and going to bed in another. We often got up at 5 a.m. and went to bed early, 10:30 p.m. was our ‘curfew.’”
The participation in the program was unforgettable to Chung, as the 80 teammates shared the same enthusiasm, which inspired her to keep on cycling and discovering the country’s best spots and people.
Instead of ending the journey in HCMC, because of the sympathy and love of each other, all members decided to cycle to Ca Mau, Vietnam’s southernmost province. They intended to cycle from Da Lat City to Dong Nai Province, HCMC, and then Ca Mau. Unfortunately, due to the recurrence of Covid-19, they had to end their journey in Da Lat.
A life-changing trip
As the youngest daughter in her family, Chung has won the trust of her parents, who are confident that she can overcome difficulties and can make right decision for her life. She hopes that one day her parents can cycle around to watch and learn everything like her.
After the trip, Chung still continues her physical activities, cycling, swimming and playing volleyball and badminton. Every day, she gets up early to play badminton. In the evening, she cycles around Saigon on her road bike.
Chung says that the cycling journey has changed her so much. She loves herself and life more than before. She is now more open to everybody and wishes to travel more to explore the country and the world, and to contribute more to helping others.
Recently, Chung has registered for organ donation. On the card issued by Cho Ray Hospital, aside from her personal information, there is a phrase that reads “Save people, maintain life forever.” In her opinion, this is also a way of contribution to life.
By Thien Nhien