Vietnam quickly became one of our favourite Asian countries during our first, month-long visit in 2013. In fact, we loved Hanoi so much that we later returned to teach for a year and have re-visited on visa runs from Thailand. As well as exploring the northern rice terraces and national parks, we’ve sailed Halong Bay and stayed on Cat Ba Island. On our first trip to Vietnam we travelled the length of the country, stopping in the former capital Hue, Danang and Hoi An. We bused our way from there to the Mui Ne sand dunes, celebrated our first Christmas abroad in Dalat and spent New Year’s Eve in Ho Chi Minh City.
The entire morning of my birthday was spent on a coach battling through choked roads to Halong Bay. One thing’s for sure, I never expected to be living this kind of uncertain, transient, exhilarating lifestyle when I turned 30. Like most people, I thought I’d have submitted to societal norms and gotten myself weighed down in responsibility with a mortgage and a steady job by this point. Instead, Andrew and I have only each other and the possessions we carry on our backs and our once plump savings account is now starting to look pretty lean.