Eighteen Flights, Three Continents, Five Countries, Six Months

From Korea to India to Canada to Portugal and back to Canada, I am happy to say that I have finally made a little nest in the land of pho: Vietnam. Three weeks ago, Kyle and I repacked our bags, hopped on another plane and made the move to Vietnam to start another year of teaching ESL.

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A view of the Ganga in Riskikesh (2017)

2017 has been a busy year. For the past six months, I have been living out of a bag and on the move. Upon  completion of my teaching contract in Korea, I made my way to India for my 200hr Yoga Teacher Training and to spend some time in the Himalayas. From there, I went back home to Barrie to visit my family before heading off to British Columbia to plant more trees. Then it was time to hit up Portugal for my best friend’s wedding. Then back home to Barrie. And finally to Hanoi, Vietnam!

It is no secret that I love living out of a bag.  I have worked to built a life around being able to do so. But boy, am I ever happy to be settled into a little apartment in Hanoi. A place for me to call home for more than a month.

Vietnam has been good to me thus far. Before having started work, Kyle and I took a rip up to Ninh Binh to visit the karst mountains. Although it was not my first time visiting these areas, it felt as though it was. What a gorgeous nook of the world it is, offering plenty for the eye’s indulgence. Life runs at a slower pace here. Locals sit along the winding rivers fishing for their evening meal. Kids wander the dirt roads barefoot playing badminton. Cows and sheep graze along the roadsides accompanied by a snoozing shepherd. In the night, it is silent. And at 5 am, every morning, without fail… the roosters crow.

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Ninh Binh Vietnam (2017)
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Bich Dong Pagoda, Ninh Binh (2017)

As for work life, coming from Korea I am used to a more fast paced, busy and strict work environment. So far, Vietnam has been more on the chill side. I live a 20 minute motorbike ride away from my workplace. The commute is an adventure to say the least. Anyone that has driven in Vietnam knows that there are essentially no road rules making it somewhat of a gong show. Between the families piled onto a single motorbike, the weaving around the traffic and the constant honking, this drive is anything but relaxing. This being said, already in three weeks I feel myself surrendering to the flow of it.

Because it is so hot outside during the day, I have done most of my exploring during the evening. The roads are quiet(er) and the lakeside is lined with sleepy ladies selling coconuts. The only noise to be heard is the occasional motorbike driving by, a karaoke house or the local Bia Hoi. Bia Hoi is a popular Vietnamese chain that specializes in cheap beer and greasy noodles.

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Ta Hien Street or “Beer Street”, Hanoi
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Daily trash burning, Hanoi

So far, some of my favorite things about Hanoi living are

  • Vietnamese culture 
  • the outdoor cafes
  • the coconut water
  • the food
  • the temples
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Adventure buddy in hand (2017)
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Traffic was pretty bad in Ninh Binh (2017)
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So have a good time, the sun won’t shine every day (2017)

3 comments

  1. Pretty amazing that we can watch your travels and read it through your own words. Love and miss you more than you can imagine but always looking forward to the next post, and the next photo of your life on the road!
    xoxox Heather

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  2. Kaitlyn, aka Bossy Boots, not only is this beyond remarkable, but it’s brought a tear to my eye (I still remember that chubby little girl). We’re all so proud of you and what you’ve accomplished. We’re also all living the dream through your years of travels, pictures, and posts. Stay safe, keep doing what you’re doing, the world is out there for everyone but few have done it. Love ya xoxo

    Like

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