I’m not going to lie, the journey to Vietnam was grueling. It took thirteen hours to fly into Seoul for a connecting flight, and an additional five to fly a midnight red eye into Da Nang. We arrived at our hotel well into the evening, after journeying an additional two hours through pitch black darkness. In the morning heavy rain poured through dark clouds, and it continued to roar like this three days into our trip. As I watched the trees shake violently while puddles began to overflow, I wondered if we would ever see the sun again. But just when I thought seasonal depression had finally kicked in as Adele’s “Hello” played on queue for the nth time in a row, blue skies finally began to emerge through the clouds. Then came the sun. And just like that, the beauty of Vietnam began to unravel. From that moment on, the bleak views became stimulating and stunning. Not a moment went by unappreciated. I’m not sure if I would have noticed the grassy knolls of Hue or slow moving clouds over the mountains with attention had we not been shrouded in darkness the first few days into our trip, but I do know it took a storm to truly appreciate the sunshine.