We had our first visitors last month! My sister Brittany and her fiance Chad decided to take the plunge and hop on a 16 hour flight to visit us in Thailand! It was their first time to Asia and they only had a week so we were really cranking it the entire time, but it was a lot of fun and I hope they come back soon. I also hope it will be the start of more people coming out to see us!
We parted ways with them at Krabi Airport, them heading back to Bangkok to take their long flight home and us to Chiang Mai to continue our travels to Northern Thailand.
I don’t want to get into that too much because Chiang Mai and Pai each deserve their own posts, but I will say that the north is amazing and I’m happy we decided to spend two weeks up there. I also had possibly the best fried chicken in my entire life, and if you know me well enough you’ll know I’m a self proclaimed fried chicken snob. Talk about a watershed moment.
We’re now in Hoi An, Vietnam for the next two months or so, settling into more of a routine and less on-the-go type travel. We came here during our motorbike trip in June and fell in love with the town. We got jobs at our go-to bar, Backpackers Bar. The job is pretty much handing out flyers, promoting the bar, and making sure people are having a good time. Though it sucks getting rejected 100 times a night, I have a great time and I get to meet and talk to some really awesome while doing it.
The job puts a little money in our pockets, we get free drinks, and our boss was nice enough to let us use his motorbike for free while we’re in town. The best part about being here though has to be that we got to go to our bosses wedding!! It was our first, but hopefully not last, Vietnamese wedding! More on that later.
So far our time here has been great, aside from the onslaught of rain and flood waters bombarding the central coast. Mother Nature just doesn’t want to give up this year.
Hoi An is an amazing town and we’re happy to get to know it a little more in depth during our stay. For a small town there is a sizable expat population and we hope to network ourselves a little bit while we’re here and get involved within the community.
Another thing we both like that we didn’t notice as much in Hanoi is the interaction between locals and expats. In Hanoi it all seemed pretty segregated, with expat neighborhoods and what not. Here there seems to be more interaction, but maybe that opinion will change as we stay longer.
We originally planned on living in Hanoi when the time came to stay in Vietnam for a while, but if we could find jobs in Hoi An (a much more difficult task than Hanoi) then we would stay here. We’ll see what happens!
Although we still have about six months before we return home, we’re moving into the tail end of our travels. We’ll be settled here for at least the next two months, possibly longer. After that we have to make a visa run somewhere (Laos? Hong Kong?), possibly take a quick trip wherever we make our run, and then we’ll settle into our volunteer job in the outskirts of Hanoi with the same family we stayed with the first time. We’ll be there for two months, gaining more experience teaching while also building connections and contacts in Hanoi.
From there we begin our trip back home, but not without a little more travel along the way! We have planned one month in Eastern Europe, with stops like Prague, Budapest, Vienna, Bratislava, and Krakow! The best part : with all of the travel hacking we did prior to the trip, we should have enough points to cover almost all of our stays in hotels the entire month!
Though we’re not traveling as much right now, I think it’s for the best. Traveling can take a toll on you, and every now and again it’s best to settle down somewhere. I think Breada and I have done a great job of that on this trip, living in Phnom Penh, Hanoi, Taipei, and now Hoi An. It gives you a better perspective of the area, helps you recharge, and arguably most importantly, saves you money! After being on the road almost nine months now I gotta say it’s nice having a paying job again.
And that’s it! Since we’re pretty much rained in for the time being, expect some more detailed posts about what we’ve been up to, like our visit from Brittany and Chad, the beautiful hippie town of Pai, and last but not least, the Vietnamese wedding!