80 Days in Vietnam 🇻🇳

Why Vietnam you might ask? And why only one country for so long? And why alone? And how can you afford it? Ok first things first:

Affording it?

You might know it or not: I’m self employed. Since 5,5 years now. I was working a ton during the last few years and saved up some money. So this year I decided it’s time for a break. Time to free my mind. Time for a different perspective. So after thinking about what I should do for a couple of months, I finally came up with the idea to just stop work for a bit and travel to a country far away.

Why Vietnam?

Well, first I actually wanted to visit South Korea but then I realized that around the time I’d like to travel (between October and December) it’s usually pretty cold there and I wanted to escape from fall and winter here in Austria. I definitely wanted to travel to a country in Southeast-Asia. It’s convenient as it’s pretty cheap, easy to get around and generally considered safe. The obvious country that pops into mind would be Thailand but I just felt that it would be a bit too touristy for what I was looking for. After some research I settled with Vietnam for simple reasons:

  • Huge and interesting, upcoming cities
    • Business-oriented Saigon (Ho-Chi-Minh-City) 🌆
    • Artsy Hanoi 🎨
    • Tailor-focused Hoi-An 🤵🏻
    • …
  • Superb and diverse nature
    • Mountains 💪🏻
    • Beaches 👌🏻
    • Caves (in fact the world’s largest cave resides in Phong Nha Ke Bang National Park) 👍🏻
    • Sand Dunes 🙌🏻
    • …
  • Awesome food
    • Phở 🍜
    • Spring rolls 🍤
    • Bánh mì (basically vietnamese sandwiches) 🥖
    • Rice cakes 🍙
    • Coffee, oh the coffee ❤️
    • Phở 🍲
    • …
  • Friendly people and low criminality
  • …

Why only one country?

Difficult to tell. In retrospect I should have gotten a multiple-entry visa, instead of a single-entry 3 month visa only. I was very close to the border of Cambodia twice and I guess Angkor Wat itself would have been worth going there. But anyways: I usually like to explore a country, the people who live there and their culture in depth. Vietnam seemed like a big enough country to spend a few months in.

Why alone?

At first I didn’t choose to travel alone. All of my friends just didn’t have the time, money or the desire to travel (or a mixture of the three). Being it my first time to travel alone I was actually quite afraid of ending up alone in the middle of nowhere. Lonely and depressed, robbed and drugged. In return though I would get something that can’t be bought with money: personal growth and self assessment.

And honestly: most of the world is pretty safe and if you don’t really want to stay on your own you never are. This is especially true in such a booming country like Vietnam, there are plenty of backpackers who’re just waiting to join you on an awesome journey.

Taking off

So there you have it, this is how I ended up leaving my laptop at home and going on an adventure.

I just landed in Hanoi, Vietnam’s capital. My 30L backpack on my shoulders and my Fuji x100 in my hands. I grabbed my free beer at the hostel and my story is about to begin: 80 Days in Vietnam! 💃🏼

 

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