Seeking out quiet places

My partner copes with a hearing loss. It’s been a creeping presence in our lives for some time, its insidious presence in our lives progressing steadily over many years.

Its an invisible condition, and while such privacy is welcome, it also means that he often has to put in real effort to communicate effectively. Hearing aids help, but they are not the complete answer. The science is improving, but they are essentially indiscriminate amplifiers.

So, there are times when a withdrawal from the visual /audible clutter and relentless busy-ness of cities was needed. A chance to recalibrate so to speak. The prospect of a retreat to quiet and stillness became more and more alluring as we continued to travel. Crowds were wearing us down.

Sometimes you need a break from the overstimulation..

So, it was a wonderful surprise to find the Reaching Out Tea House, in Hoi An, Vietnam. Staffed by hearing impaired folk, and run to assist people with disabilities, ordering is done by ticking your choices off on a paper menu. Tea is served with great ceremony, presented beautifully in handmade tea ware and we savoured it in the serenity of the garden courtyard.

Patrons are encouraged to respect the atmosphere, keeping conversation muted and refrain from speaking on the phone.

A truly enjoyable experience, and one where your holiday dollar enriches the community, it was absolutely therapeutic. We emerged, in much the same way (I imagine) as post-meditation… energised and invigorated.

Couldn’t we all do with a little more tranquility in our lives?

Don’t be a stranger, I’d love you to like this, or better yet, follow me. No spam, no selling, just pretty great stories from a couple of ordinary travellers.

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Is it too late to have a gap year in your late 50s? To take back some time from our day to day working life to travel - unplanned, unescorted, unfettered? To take that leap? It was a defining year - liberating, challenging, humbling, scary. It was many things, but it wasn't a holiday.

5 thoughts on “Seeking out quiet places

  1. My zumba/pilates teacher takes herself off a couple of times a year to a place where complete silence is required for around five days. She says she has to be in the right frame of mind – one time she gave up after one day – but usually she loves it and finds the effect stays with her for quite a while afterwards.
    Perhaps tellingly, I have no idea what it’s called or where it is.
    Your little tea house, on the other hand, sounds like the perfect place to spend a couple of stress free hours.


  2. My father suffered from a hearing loss and as a family we found our way of making it work, we learned the sign language and we learned to appreciate each other more. That little tea house looks like an amazing place to unwind, thanks for sharing


  3. What a great cafe.. I’d love to spend a few hours there enjoying the peace. You’re so right about the value of silence and how much damage the constant noise and bustle of cities can really do.


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