Well, five months in to living in Vietnam, and I've been experiencing a few more downs than ups lately. I suppose you can say my "honeymoon phase" has started to fade. It's all a part of life in general, of course. There are bound to be issues and things that happen. It just seems like
when it rains, it pours! To start off, after the abundant photo jobs I had in the beginning of April, things started to slow down drastically in terms of work. I found myself scrambling to find photo jobs and had to start getting much more aggressive with my social media posts to find new clientele. As much as I love the kinds of photo jobs I do, a downside to them is they tend to be one-offs: maternity shoots, anniversary photos, etc. It's harder to turn those clients into repeat ones. So I am constantly on the hunt for new people to work with.
The pro bono trip to Cambodia I did was fulfilling, but exhausting and ended up costing me a bit instead of being a free trip. Then rainy season started in Vietnam, which meant being stuck indoors for days at a time as the intense rain and flooding restricted access to the roads.
Then, I fell. While walking. Ay yi yi! This would not normally be a big deal, but my entire left leg ended up getting inflamed and irritated with dermatitis. That was over three weeks ago, and it sill hasn't healed completely.
Then, I caught a stomach bug. And not just a 24-hour one, oh no. A Vietnamese torture bug that lasted for days and prohibited me from eating anything other than rice for quite some time.
And finally, as my stomach started to return to normal and my leg was on the mend, I either was bit or got infected by a spider. I ended up going to the hospital for that one because it was seriously disgusting looking. Whatever it was had spread toxins into my body. So antibiotics and steroids it was!
Bonus: I could cross off visiting a hospital from my list! It was an international hospital that I was able to make an appointment at, and the entire staff was really easy to work with and communicate with.
To say that the past month was not the most enjoyable is an understatement. Hence why you haven't heard as many posts from me.
But I wanted to write about these downs because I think they're important to show what life is really like. Rainy season is known for causing more than just flooding, it's the time of year when more people tend to get sick from amoebas or parasites and when insect bites are on the rise. I am of many who had some kind of stomach issue or irritation.
So this is life! I've had to take it easy and to practice patience with healing and not being able to work as much as I'd like. It's been a learning opportunity if nothing else. But I am ready to get back to normal, for sure!
Note: I did manage to sneak in a few photo mini-sessions even with my ailments. Check out some photos from that below!
Danielle Desnoyers is a traveling freelance photographer with a focus on humanitarian, travel, and family photography. She currently splits her time between the United States and Vietnam with travels to other countries as well.