I’ve been in Vietnam for two months now, which seems unbelievable to me; it feels like far longer, in the best way possible. The first week here was incredibly hard, but I was surprised at how quickly I settled in after that. At the end of the first fortnight, being in Vietnam just felt… normal. Of course, I still have moments- usually when I’m riding on the back of a motorbike across the city- when I realise how cool this all is, but a lot of the time I have to actively remind myself that my life here is so drastically different from the life back home that I’ve always known.
The reason it’s been so long since my last post is simply that I didn’t know what to say; it’s difficult to know how to present everything in a non-rambling way. The first month was essentially just doing my TEFL course and lots of drinking (I’m fully converted to beer, proving that I truly am my father’s daughter…). Then, once that was over, a bunch of us decided to treat ourselves to a (probably not very) well-earned holiday on Phu Quoc island. After the craziness of Ho Chi Minh City, it was amazing to visit a place where you can’t hear motorbike horns beeping at all hours of the day and can cross the road without almost being run over three times. Without the life-threatening traffic, I finally plucked up the courage to drive a bike which, since I can barely ride a push bike, is one of my proudest achievements so far. The beaches on the island were also incredibly beautiful, particularly Paradiso, and we spent more than one night in the sea until 3am. Sadly, we had to return to reality and so came home to look for jobs. Last week, I finally landed one and, although I’ve only worked two days so far, I can tentatively say that it’s going well.
Everyone told me that I’d be so different when I came back from travelling, and I think I’m starting to realise they’re right. For one thing, I think I initially saw this as just something I had to get out the way before returning to my comfortable life back home. Two months on, I feel very differently. I don’t see why I need to limit travelling and living abroad to a year. Why return home to a 9-5 and live for the weekend when I could live out here with so much more freedom and variety? Why not continue having adventures? Of course, I’ve got a while to go until a year’s up and I might feel differently. Then again, I might not. Nothing’s definite here, which once seemed scary to me. Now, it’s simply exciting.
Of course, nothing is ever perfect. Up until now I’ve been lucky that the people I’ve become closest to are the ones who’ve stuck around Ho Chi Minh, but one of my best friends here is leaving in a few days, which has suddenly opened my eyes to the reality of travel: people come and go. That is something I think I’ll struggle with, but at the same time, I know that there are many more people left for me to meet. It’s just the nature of the beast, and it’s most definitely worth it.