Getting stuck

“He’s a stick in the mud.” 

“She’s stuck in a dead end job.”

‘Getting stuck’ usually means being in a situation which we are too apathetic or too afraid to change.

But sometimes, just sometimes, getting stuck is good for the soul.

Such is the case with my arrival to Phu Quoc, a beautiful Vietnamese island situated in the southwest corner of Vietnam. Endless beaches, wonderful ambience, incredibly friendly, gracious hosts, and easy to reach via ferry or direct flights from the mainland.  

My initial intention was to enjoy a few beach days before continuing my exploration of Vietnam, but the tropical breeze and laid back vibe of the island was my undoing. 

Complete and total relaxation.

I have managed to achieve that wondrous balance of living in the present. My days are a series of explorations for restaurants and cafes. I wander the chaotic traffic of the day market to shop for fresh fruits and nuts. 

I’ve become adept at weaving through the throngs of vendors and scooters with some manner of grace, and have circumnavigated the island by bike, searching for hidden beaches and fishing villages. 

My neighbourhood is now full of familiar faces who wish me a cheery, “Hallo Miss Joy” when I’m out on my morning walks.

Massages have become a daily indulgence, although my first visit was quite a test in modesty. Once you pick your chosen style of massage you are shown to a back room. Four beds lie side by side, separated by a small curtain which only blocks the front of the massage table. 

My little masseuse stood patiently in front of me, holding up a sheet. 


You want me to undress here and now? Everything off? 

My initial embarrassment disappeared the moment the massage began. Truly the hands of an angel. Pure unadulterated bliss as the layers of anxiety and tension disappeared with every firm stroke. She worked on muscles I didn’t even know existed. Ears, knee caps, fingers and hands - who knew? 

For my next visit, I was half undressed before I even reached the spa. Modesty begone!

I’ve found my very own Cheers bar. Each day ends with a nightcap (or two) at Rory’s, a fun beachside bar run by an ex-pat Australian. Rory and his family are a friendly bunch, and greet me with a resounding “Joy!” each time I enter. 

It’s fun to have people looking out for you.

My time here is ending soon, and there’s a melancholy gloom penetrating these last few days. I will miss this lovely place and my new friends, but will miss most the woman I am while here. 

My wish is to carry a little bit of Phu Quoc home in my soul, to hold onto this wonderful sense of peace and happy contentment.  

Are you stuck? The trick is knowing when it is exactly the right thing to be.

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About the Author

Joy has long been a believer in the art of travel: the belief that a vacation is something to be anticipated savored and then long remembered as one of life’s great adventures. 
Website: thejoyoftravel.ca

You can contact Joy at [email protected]

The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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