365 days ago I flew out of JFK airport to Sydney, Australia. 365 days ago. It's the oldest cliche there is, but time flies. I can't possible begin to put into words what all of the memories have meant to me this past year. I've made so many new friends, seen so many new places, and experienced so many things I could only read or dream about back in America.
From thousands of miles away I've felt my parents love day in and day out. I've been homesick countless times and can imagine the moment when I'll hug my brother and sister-in-law and hold their baby for the first time. I've been lucky to have so many friends visit me, including my best friends: my parents and my sister. However, I've stayed strong this whole time in no small part due to the sweetest, happiest person I've ever met -- Huyen. Whenever anyone asks me about her I say the same thing, "Every time I see her I smile." It's a good feeling knowing that people love you all over the world. Not a day goes by that I don't realize how lucky I am.
I'd like to thank my loyal readers. As I often say, this blog was created so my mother wouldn't have to worry about me. However, I now have hundreds, if not thousands of people reading about my life on a daily basis. Over the past 365 days I've written 352 blog entries. My fingers are often tired but I push through so I don't have to get emailed by countless people: "Where was today's blog?"
Recently I found out what day I will be returning to the USA...0r actually Canada. On May 14th I need to land in Montreal, Canada to co-throw my best friend Brad's bachelor party. Having a departure date in my head really hits home on how much I love Vietnam. It's going to be very hard to leave here...but we'll save that blog for when I leave.
For now, lets focus on the present and the past. Here's some memories from the last 365 days:
Just a few ahoyhanoi stats for those statisticians out there. Since September 1, 2008:
- I've had over 3,000 absolute unique visitors to my blog. Out of those people 76% have returned to the site.
- I've had over 20,000 page hits
- The average person spends 2 minutes and 39 seconds on my blog
- I've had readers in 73 countries from every continent except Antartica
- I've had readers from 46 out of 50 US states. Screw you Montana, South Dakota, Mississippi and Arkansas
- When googling, people are putting in my site name to find ahoyhanoi. It's not until the 20th most popular google, "Hanoi Sex Massage" that something obviously ridiculous comes up. That's a big change from it being top five a few months ago.