It was late in the evening, when a friend of mine texted to me about the application of Action Synergy, regarding the CulTY project in Vietnam. Firstly, I said to myself there is no way for me to be selected, the chances are not in favor of me. In the end, actually, I got selected and I feel grateful about the unforgettable experience I lived in Vietnam.

Living in Athens, which is a city full of tourists during the whole year and tourism for the whole country is one of the most profitable sector of greek economy. Having worked in a community based cultural project, taking place in a special neighborhood of Athens, interacting with many foreigners during our events, I consider this project as the best opportunity of expanding my skills in alternative cultural tourism and learning more things about this type of tourism in a beautiful, full of culture, country as Vietnam. Except the fact that I would have characterised the whole experience as a life changing experience for my personal evolution, because it was the first time for me having travelled out of the european continent, at the same time I am really satisfied by the knowledge we shared in this particular field of tourism and the professionalism of the CSDS vietnamese team! My expectations were extremely fulfilled, as we travelled across the country and as we experienced two totally different models of tourism: the “Thai-Hai Village” and the more touristic destination of Ha Long Bay. Both of those places offered to us useful tips for the rest of our lives.
Furthermore, I should mention that our well organised trip was a good combination of balanced alternation between learning and having fun. What I have learnt is about interacting with young people from different countries, exchanging successfully our cultural secrets and traditions, benefiting from each other differences and learning how to broaden the limits of our tolerance to the unknown and respect the different cutural background of every participant. And of course, I will never forget the food that I have tasted there and I must confess that vietnamese cuisine is one of the best for me. I would have liked to have more time to spend in the streets of the colourful city of Hanoi and to visit more museums, but our 5-day-long stay there was literally more than enough to acquire a full flavor of this amazing country.
The memories and the knowledge we took back to our countries will keep us connected and I hope we will meet each other again somehow, somewhere in the near future. Everyone’s contribution was unique and nothing would have been the same without the blend of your amazing special personalities. And, last but not least, as I always like saying to my friends from all over the world: “What we have in common is more than we have in difference, we are citizens of the world”.
Jenny Mazi for Action Synergy (January 2017)

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