I’ve been extremely busy over the past weeks. But in the midst of all the happening, I’ve got to meet again twice this beautiful friend of mine after years of a global pandemic.
Back in 2016, Thanh Nguyen Nygaard (also known as Jada) was a client of mine, she worked as the Center Manager who was responsible for the opening of the CEO Suite in Hanoi. I was a Hotel Sales Manager at Sofitel Plaza Hanoi then, and we signed a deal to provide catering services on the Grand Opening of CEO Suite Hanoi. She became a friend of mine not long after, there was some chemistry found between us. We simply adore each other in many aspects.
A few months later, Thanh moved to Norway to start her new life, as a new wife, a new mom, and a new Asian face in Oslo, Norway.
I went to her wedding and we had our regular catch-ups every time she comes back to Vietnam for a visit. We even had one startup together and it failed, but I’m glad our relationship remains unchanged.
Reasons I love this woman?
I thought life is already tough but she tends to make it tougher on herself. This is the type of self-made woman who would never give up on things that she once sets her eyes on, in a way that she would do whatever it takes to win, but not at the expense of her values or her loved ones.
I will speak the language that my son speaksThanh Nguyen Nygaard
Being married to a Norwegian and with herself being allocated in Norway, Thanh, a proud Vietnamese woman who is fluent in English, decided to set a goal that no matter what happens she will speak the mother language that her son speaks. I wouldn’t be so sure if I would be able to do the same if I were her, but she said it and she did it. After a year of learning Norwegian as her third language, not only did she knows how to speak the language, but she was also able to study for her Master’s degree in Norwegian. It wasn’t easy but she did it anyway. Now that she’s working as a Senior Consultant in one of the largest tech firms in Europe and she uses Norwegian as her main language to communicate with her colleagues and her family, regardless of all the differences and difficulties that she has faced in the Norwegian society, I guess action does speak much louder than words in this case.
Beating the odds
You may be born an ordinary and average person, but it’s your choice whether or not you want to live an ordinary life. Thanh was never, for once, an ordinary woman, she’s never afraid to speak for what she believes is right and she knows that a strong woman is also the type of person who is not afraid to show her vulnerability. Here’s a genuine moment of hers that I’ve captured:
I have a bad cold. I slept for 5 hours the night before, for many weeks. I am wearing homewear that people usually don’t want to be seen in. I am a mess, physically and psychologically.
But I genuinely LOVE this picture. For simple reasons.
“My young son captured a moment of brightness in my tired days. We could sit outdoor without warm clothes for the first time since Spring has finally come to Oslo. Also, mother and son could enjoy playtime on the balcony of our new home for the first time”.Thanh Nguyen Nygaard
Sailing the big sea
She once described herself as someone who has ‘small feet’ trying to capture the best of this big world. Thanh is now sailing the big sea and I doubt that there will ever be a limit to what she wants to achieve or who she wants to become.
If I have made you a new fan of Thanh, follow her on LinkedIn to see how far this woman will go.