Sooooo, I finally took the initiative to start fundraising for my new writing project in 2019, the “The twelve months of Europe” project, via Fund My Travel and Go Fund Me, the two largest and most popular crowdfunding platforms at the moment.
In case you missed some updates (or you just basically skipped this page), in 2014 I got a scholarship from the Swedish Institute (SI) and moved to Gothenburg to take my Master degree in Communication. One year later, I met the love of my life. I decided to drop off my studies to settle down in a small town outside Oslo, Norway. Long story short, now I’m a proud mother of two small trolls, a freelancer, a travel blogger, and a book writer.
Travelling and writing have always been my biggest passion. Through travelling, I could push myself to the limit, changed my stereotypes about people and countries, and thus changed the way I perceived the world. And of course, writing is the best way to keep experiences and memories fresh and forever.
During the past five years, travelling has become popular among young Vietnamese. Instead of doing exactly what we have been told to do by our parents, graduating from (should-be-famous) universities, having a stable job (preferably in a governmental organisation), finding a partner, getting married, and so on, we choose to travel.
However, there are only a few travel resources written in Vietnamese. Most of the ones we have are in English or translated from English resources. Sure people can find way more interesting resources from the Internet, but something which is written in our mother tongue, with a Vietnamese point-of-view, by an “insider”, is just unbeatable, or in other words, can trigger people more than any other materials in other languages out there.
But what makes my travel ideas different from others, you may ask.
It’s the way I combine it with local food experience.
Could you be able to read some pieces of advice in any Vietnamese travel forums, will you notice that the most common one is to bring instant noodles and some dried food instead of trying local dishes. And the second most popular one is about how boring and “bland” European food is, compared to ours. How unfair!
Of course, I love “Phở” (in case you don’t know what it is, it’s our national soup. We can eat it for breakfast, lunch, even dinner. All day long. All year round.), but I also like surströmming (Sweden), svíčková (Czech), porchetta (Italy), or lutefisk (Norway). Each of them has more than just a recipe to tell travellers. We learn about a country’s culture and history through its food.
The making of pasta. Photo via Unsplash.
What is “The twelve months of Europe” about?
Currently, I’m putting the finishing touches to my first travel book, “Let’s fika!”, featuring my travel in Europe and also Scandinavian lifestyle: hygge, lagom, fika, and so on. And at the same time, I’m working on the idea for my second travel book, “The twelve months of Europe”, featuring my 5-day-trip each month (starting in Jan. 2019, hopefully) to a European city/country to write travel journals and experience their typical food, by for example taking food tours, cooking classes, or just simply visiting farmers’ markets to embrace the local industry.
Through these trips, and later, the publishing of the book, I’d love to encourage young Vietnamese to travel more, see more, and widen their horizons. I also want to decode rumours about boring European food, influence travellers to support the local travel industry by taking part in tours organised by the locals, and prove that it doesn’t have to be expensive to travel the world by travelling on a well-calculated budget.
A farmers’ market in Como, Italy. Photo via Unsplash.
Where and when I will travel
I truly hope that I can start this project from January 2019, counting all the way to December next year. I already have a plan where and when I should travel to get the best of places I’ll be travelling to. Sure it will not the final plan as things may change, but as I’ve written it down, I will cross my fingers for it! 🤞🤞🤞
More detailed plans will be updated ASAP!
January: Barcelona & Andorra
Obviously, January and February are not the best time to hang around in Northern Europe *cough*.
So a better plan is to go “to the South” as Norwegians say. Also, one reason why I choose Barcelona is that because this city always sounds very cliché and fully packed of activities, I want to discover another Barcelona – the more quiet one during winter. And tapas? I’d rather learn how to make it and the history behind the dish more than any tapas bar hopping.
Also the same reason as Barcelona, winter months are not the best time to hang around in Norway! And taking about Lisbon, well, egg tarts? Bacalao? I’m convinced that Portuguese culinary has more than that!
And you know what, the Vietnamese letters are actually latin alphabet, presented by a Portuguese commissioner coming to Vietnam centuries ago. I have a way too good reason to travel to Portugal!
March: Aarhus & Copenhagen
To the capital of hygge and beyond!
*Spoil alert*: I already have an idea for my 3rd book about hygge (and other similar concepts), through the view of an expat living in a Scandinavian country.
Cheese. Chocolate. Anything else? Of course, this Alps country has more than just freaking expensive watches and delicious fondue to offer, but what are they? I don’t even know.
It sounds like a good start, doesn’t it?
On the 17th May, Norway will celebrate its Constitution Day, or here we call 17. Mai. So when people talk about Norway, they talk about how expensive it is compared to Switzerland! I mean, c’mon dudes!
You don’t feel like you want to try rømmegrøt? Or maybe later in autumn, fårikål? Or maybe even later during Christmas, pinnekjøtt? Ahhh, by the way, have you heard about brunost? I leave those names here 😉
Credits: Tuukka Ervasti/imagebank.sweden.se
The little sister/brother of Stockholm, Sweden’s 2nd largest city, and what do people know about Gothenburg?
… *crickets chirping*
So, how about introducing people to Husaren Café where you can find the biggest kanelbullar in town, or a food truck selling the best stekt surströmming with lingonberries jam and mashed potatoes, or where you can spot the best cafés for a fika with friends?
From July to December: Plans will be updated soon.
“How can I support you with this project?”
As a travel blogger, besides financial support thru Fund My Travel and Go Fund Me (links above), I may have chances to get support in form of accommodations, discount, etc. at places I’ll be visiting. The cost for my travel will thus be reduced, hopefully.
The rest of the donation via these two crowdfunding platforms will be transferred to “Cơm Có Thịt” (Rice with Meat), a non-profit organisation aiming to help children from ethnic minorities in North of Vietnam with food, warm clothes, education, medicines, and so on, on behalf of funders with the highest amount as well as Misa’s Travel Blog.
Thank you for any donation you can make. Your contribution will help me make the first travel & culinary book written by a Vietnamese, for Vietnamese.