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.
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.
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.
So far, some of my favorite things about Hanoi living are
- Vietnamese culture
- the outdoor cafes
- the coconut water
- the food
- the temples