Knowmads Hanoi Team 5

The journey of the 5th team of Knowmads Hanoi has started on 5th March, 2016. And we are going to be together in our HOME here until 24th April, 2016.


 Check out Flickr photos

Opening Ceremony | Weekend 1 | Weekend 2 | Weekend 3 | Weekend 4 | Weekend 5 | Weekend 6

Read Team 5’s Blog


Meet the participants

Xuan Nguyen |Vietnam

I’m Xuan but friends call me XuAn (pronounce like swan) as it sounds more entertaining. Like most vietnamese girls, I was living in a comfortable zone for the past 21 years, foolishly believing that I had enough of everything I needed, until I quit college.

Everything became challenging and I found out that I didn’t even know what I was good at, or what I was aching for. But I did believed that everyone does have something to offer to the world. So I started working on myself little by little. Hopefully someday, I’ll work out what I can do best for myself and others.

Before getting the full definition of Knowmads, I was lucky enough to have chances of talking and working with some beautiful people from Knowmads. It’s quite interesting as I didn’t meet them all at once but unintentionally at different times and circumstances. And I was fully inspired by all of them, yes not one but ALL. So I thought: ” hmm.. I couldn’t have run into wonderful people randomly like that. Maybe Life is giving me the indications of where I am meant to be”. Without a second thought, I decided to do what my heart went for.

And here I am today writing an introduction of myself to all my companions at Knowmads team 5. Feeling extremely excited to prepare myself for this new journey with my mind and my heart wide open to give and to learn!

Phuong Vo | Vietnam

I am Phuong and I am happy to be a single lady. I am an introvert person so it is very important to me to keep myself in my own comfort zone. Therefore I always try to find safe place to stay, safe job to work, “safe people” to make friends. It is very very difficult for me to make a change. That’s the reason why I still keep my dream as a dream, letting what I want to do still be an idea.

And I know, it’s time for me to push myself out of the comfort zone, then I found Knowmads. I had opportunities to join your workshops, meet the members from team 1 to team 4, then I know what I am finding is here. With all of you, it’s not right or wrong, just sharing, happy, be myself, creating, and especially be crazy =))


Thuy Vu | Vietnam

Im Thuy Vu (28) and come from Vietnam. Well, talking about myself seems like one of the hardest things for me to do. I prefer to meet up people and let them know or judge me on the way they want it to be.

Spontaneity may be the most suitable word to describe me. However, if I’m allowed to judge myself, I do believe that I am a fully responsible employee at my job and good at teamwork. I’m a banker btw.

I don’t like travelling but love and am addicted to it. To me, moments, memories and experiences cannot be bought anywhere else except traveling. Being grown up and understanding the meaning of life as well as living motivation only can be found via traveling. 

Languages and meeting new people are also in my interests list.
I speak a bit of German and plan to learn a new language (an Asian language maybe) in the near future.

Linh Pham  | Vietnam

I’m Linh and I was born and raised in Vietnam. Some people say I’m very mature and wise for my age. Those people don’t know that I watch Cartoon Network (Adventure Time) or that I have a secret identity (It’s Batman!). I believe life would be extremely dull if you can’t laugh at yourself! 

Mark Twain once said “The two most important days in your life are the day you were born, and the day you find out why.” That is why I want to join Knowmads, to figure out my place in this world. I have read so many inspiring stories already, about both the teachers and participants. I have so much to learn from everyone. Here’s to the great weeks to come! Looking forward to finally meeting you guys!


Khanh Nguyen | Vietnam

Khanh Kieu Thi NguyenMy name is Khanh and I’m from Vietnam. I am not only easy-going, social and trustworthy but also an absent-minded, unpredictable and sensitive girl. Oh it is not enough, I am also so complicated, personally. Sometimes we get stuck with what we don’t know about and my life sucks when I don’t know what to do. And then something wonderful happens.

I knew Knowmads from several stories of my friends and website. I loved it in the first sight. Reason? Because of its inspiration and creativity.

I believe “When you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.” (The Alchemist, Paulo Coelho). It was when I desired discovering myself and to enjoy this life more and more, that Knowmads Hanoi appeared with Team 5 recruitment. I wondered and considered for 2 months, I was indecisive and thought a lot. Finally, I made the decision: “I have to do that, it is my right choice right now! If I don’t do, I will regret in the future.” and I did it :))

Vanessa Adao | Brazil

Vanessa Adao (34) is an art director originally from Brazil. The U.S. has been her home for the past 11 years and during her career she had the privilege of working with brands such as Paul Mitchell, Bounty, P&G, Ulta, Tarina Tarantino, Sephora, Barbie and Puffs. 

She has a solid background in branding, packaging, editorial and surface design and she is now applying her expertise to web and mobile apps creating wireframes, prototyping and user interface.

On her free time she paints, writes, runs and is an avid yogi (kundalini, bikram and vinyasa). She is soon to publish her first book and is already working on the second one.

After attending Burning Man event last year something profound clicked, and she felt the calling to make the world a better place and to make her life mean something. 

Ever since she has been looking for a way to answer that calling, so as soon as she heard about Knowmads she knew it would be the perfect course to support her quest.

Tuan Tran (Eddie)  | Vietnam

My name is Tuan, but you can call me Eddie. That’s my internationally commercial name. I was born in Hanoi, Vietnam. Regarding my personality, I believe that there are 2 different guys live inside me. The first guy is talkative and outgoing, while the other is somehow quiet and deeply inward. These guys have their conflicts sometimes, in which I become the confused victim.

I’m currently spending most of my time at home, working on my personal development project. I want to call it “The Master Plan” to make it sound important. After nearly 2 years working on several full-time jobs in Tourism & Marketing, I realize that self-development is the only thing that I want to focus on at the moment. Why? Because for me and also everyone else – I believe – it’s the only way to have a happy life without having to dream about it everyday. Thus, my highest priority now is managing myself strictly with daily schedule of good habits. They include working out, reading books, meditation and some self-employed projects.

I’m living in the most hectic time in my life ever. In the middle of that, Knowmads has come to me naturally. With Knowmads, I’m eager to get surrounded by like-minded people, to get supported and to get on my self-development journey.

Nicolas Houdry  | France

“I feel like the last months have made me an absolute new born so my biography is rather short. I was born in August 2015. I had a happy childhood reading stuff about psychology and personal development while cuddling my cat.

Then teenage hood came and am still there I guess. I am exploring things without setting any standards, rules or principles. It is a big mess sometimes, but overall it is super cool. Oh and I can take you rock climb if you’d like to try!

Why do I want to be part of Knowmads?
After roughly ten years of exploring the world, I felt the lasting feeling that I was stuck in some patterns, reproducing the same thing over and over again. I thought “Nico, let’s face it, if you keep using the same ingredients again, can you really expect to get a different dish on the table?”

And after ten years of thinking yes, I finally thought that it was the time to visit the main country not visited so far: Myself, and get some good new ingredients on the table.

So there I am, doing Yoga while being the stiffest man on earth; learning saxophone while I never played anything and…joining Knowmads.

How often in a lifetime do we get to spend several weekends with positive individuals, exploring ourselves, challenging our perceptions and allowing ourselves to dare, to feel and express in a peaceful and supportive environment? Joining Knowmads is a life gift I am making to myself.

Nhat Anh  | Vietnam

Hello the world! Even though I’m not sure at all what this is about, I will just tell you something about myself.

Supposedly, I’m now 20. But it will take me some other months to be officially 20. So, I’m still a teenager.

I know nothing about my future except another trip to Germany and become a teacher. I mean, those two things are now my determination. 

I don’t like to plan so this writing might be unorganized for some people. Actually it has no point. Mainly blabbing to give you guys a sense about myself. 

Joining Knowmads, I want to put two things together: Working with a team of people which hopefully might become “My Team” and Spending time questioning myself about my education-related ideas.

Hailey Chang  | Taiwan

Hailey Chang (30), citizen of Taiwan, the US, Hong Kong and Macau, has lived in 5 countries. After obtaining her Masters Degree in Translation and Interpretation at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey, she started working as a medical interpreter at Stanford Hospital in California, only to discover that she felt more compelled to ‘interpret’ for those whose voice can’t be heard – the animals. 

She then started working as an animal activist, raising awareness for animals on factory farms, fur farms, in zoos and circuses, and laboratories. She does everything from celebrity campaign coordination, media coordination, social media management, outreach coordination, to writing, editing and researching. 

She is now joining Knowmads to recharge and explore more ways she can make positive contributions to the world, which desperately needs dialog and compassion.

Phuong Mai Nguyen  | Vietnam

To be updated






Nhi Nguyen  | Vietnam

I chose Knowmads because I was lost and it’s the best choice in my whole life. I find my family, here.






Van Hoang  | Vietnam

My name is Van (27), I am married. I don’t know how to describe about my characteristic. Maybe this story would help me.

When my husband and I had the first meet. He said to our mutual friend that “She is delicious!”. I was abit angry and replied to him “I am not delicious. I am just sweet, sour, spicy and a little bitter”. Since then, he decided to be with me ^^, and gave me a gift that had snickers, vinegar, chilly sources and orange jam on the official date :D

I studied finance at university but I don’t like it. After graduation, I had some different jobs but none of them attracted me. I feel like I have wasted my time. I decided to join Knowmads because I hope it will lead me to doing things I really love, connecting to myself more, and that I can inspire people to do the same things.

Linh Thuy Nguyen  | Vietnam

I am 30 year old girl working in tax advisory field for 8 years at KPMG Vietnam. I am committed, a strong heart with little fear but foolish. When I was small the greatest desire in me is Math, I did math at any free time and it helped me to be back to presence. Since being graduated from high school, I have been looking for something that brings me desire, passion, and being fully in presence as Math but I guess I have yet succeeded.

The year 2016 is expected to remark a big change in my life when I have the opportunity to work for 3 months in Germany, and prior to that long trip, I have planned to go to Thailand and Japan. For a person who only traveled to Thailand and Singapore twice during 30 years, it is such a big change in life. To prepare for the change in personality and experience in 2016, I would love to learn more about myself/my values and get connected to the world. That’s why I have chosen Knowmads course to take a journey to be back to basics. So wish me luck >_*!

Anh Quoc Tran  | Vietnam

To be updated






Mai Nguyen  | Vietnam

My name is Mai but close friends all call me Apple (just because I love Apple fruit). I’m quite easy-going, optimistic & trustfully.

I really care about all the issues of the society from environment, human rights…to education system. I believe that the world could be changed by the kindness of human beings. So, I always try to become a good person who has changed myself day by day to be better & better as well as has tried to contribute more to the world starting from the little things like saving the energy power, keeping the living environment clean…That is also the reason why I decided to join Knowmads as I want to find out more ways to contribute to the world.


Minh Tran  | Vietnam

My name is Binh Minh, most of my friends, including Knowmads people – my family, call me Bim as a nick name. I love traveling, talking to people, drawing, free writing and music. 

About myself, I believe there are two girls inside me. The first one is a 5-year-old child who is curious and always wants to play around, explore the world from different corners and ask question, while the other girl is quiet, loves to step back and observe life, understands people by talking to them, wants to be alone sometimes but she still needs people around. They used to fight against each other but now I just let them both show their characteristics at the same time. It is confusing sometimes for others to know me but growing up doesn’t mean that we can not be childlike anymore.

I believe that inside each person there is a child and she/he knows what is the real happiness to us. What that child trying to tell you is in some way very important, that is why I want to start my project – SENSES Garden – an easy learning environment for adult to activate all the senses through experiences to go deep down in our own mind and step by step understand it. When I was small I have chance to discover the world around me and now, it is time to start the journey to go discover ourself.

I met Knowmads on a beautiful day and this community is a big fire and each of us bring our own unique fire to contribute, make change and keep passing it to others. We love and hug, unlearn and learn. I am glad that I decided to come back home.

Anh Duc Nguyen  | Vietnam

To be updated






Hoang Manh Nguyen | Vietnam

My name is Hoang, a 32-year-old kid who stumbled upon Knowmads by total coincidence. With one day left to apply and in the middle of a two-day workshop, I had to spend 3 painful hours to fill in the form. I knew this was right for me, as I have spent the last 10-15 years lost and looking for what I really wanted to do with my life. I define myself the most with NGOs and charity work, though I have also experienced corporate life. I cannot imagine life without good food, books, sports or music.

I treasure kindness and knowledge, and hope to start a project to help children understand and appreciate life more by experiencing it first hand.


Chi Mai Trinh  | Vietnam

My name is Mai Chi and I’m a twelfth-grader at the Foreign Language Specialized School. I’m majoring in German because besides English, I want to study another language in order to have chance to explore more about a country and a culture. In general, I’ve always been interested in languages as well as cultures, which is the reason why I plan to take up Chinese right after I overcome the frightening university-entrance exam (my nightmare!!!). I’ve been an introvert for as long as I can remember and my life so far has been a tranquil and uncomplicated one.

Nonetheless, I usually feel empty and disoriented. That’s the reason why I came to Knowmads – to discover and understand more about myself, my passion as well as to learn how to connect with and positively contribute to the world.



Knowmads Hanoi