Commuters traveling from District 7 to central HCMC get stuck in a traffic jam on Nguyen Van Linh Street, August 2023. Photo by VnExpress/Gia Minh
I think my family would have had a more comfortable life if we had stayed in Da Lat and not moved to Saigon.
Twenty years ago, I sold my house with a huge garden in Da Lat to buy two houses in Saigon.
I thought it was a very smart decision.
At the time, I was offered a job in Saigon and my children were going to university. So I thought it made sense to move to a city that was growing and offering a lot of opportunities.
We even had a second house to rent and it seemed perfect.
But now I realize it was one of the biggest mistakes of my life.
Saigon is indeed a land of opportunity and convenience, but there is a price to pay for this: traffic jams, polluted air and flooding.
I live in an area that floods whenever it rains.
Since moving to Saigon, I have become irritable.
Even worse, When I visited relatives in Da Lat, I learned that my old property had changed hands several times and the current owner is doing quite well running a tourism business there.
One of my children says that if we had stayed in Da Lat, we wouldn’t have had to hustle in traffic every morning to get to work.
My other child ran a homestay business in Da Lat with friends.
We could have stayed in Da Lat and made a living running a hotel or restaurant serving large cohorts of visiting tourists during vacations and summers.
Life would have been much easier.
Many people think that owning a house in a big city like Saigon is important for having a stable life, which is true. But we must be willing to sacrifice certain things. Life in such a populated city is not all beautiful.
There are many good places to settle in Vietnam, and in the internet age, we can stay connected and find opportunities everywhere.