So now that my time in Vietnam is coming to a close I want to reflect on all the amazing experiences, how they have shaped me to be as I am now, and why Vietnam was the right choice for me. Vietnam is a crazy, busy, frantic, overwhelming, incomprehensible, keep-you-on-your-toes kind of place. If I didn’t like things that scared, challenged, and excited me Vietnam would not be the place for me. As luck would have it, I was up to the challenge.
That’s what living in Vietnam is like, just when you start to feel like you’ve got the hang of things it throws another curveball at you. That, however, is why it is wonderful.
There are many “types” of travellers, of course not everyone fits into one category, but I feel that the two main types of travellers are: adventure travellers and leisure travellers. I certainly can be one or the other on certain days but I LIVE for exploring, finding new places, getting lost, and then finding my way. I am an adventurer at heart. If you are not an adventurer, I don’t think Vietnam is for you, sure there is still a beach and lots of great coffee shops to relax and unwind in the space in between the chaos but to really experience the culture and country you just have to see it the way I have.
Hiking through jungles, up mountains, through rivers, and caves. Motorcycling through amazing scenic passes, navigating rush hour, and driving through mud, dirt, and sand to get to the best views you’ve ever seen. Getting bit by leeches, mosquitos, ants, and (nearly) snakes. Meet the locals who are sometimes shy to chat with you, at first, but are often so friendly and curious about your travels. Meeting friendly street dogs, cats, buffalo, pigs, chickens, and ducks. Swimming in caves, lakes, pools, and the ocean. These are just some of the amazing things that you can do while you’re here, get dirty, sandy, muddy, soaked to the bone, and then laugh like you’ve never laughed before when you get a flat tire in the middle of nowhere, and then another one 20 minutes after you get the first one fixed. Meet the locals who will help you figure out how to change a motorbike tire with the oddest assortment of tools you’ve ever seen when the mechanic is out of town and the next town is 30km away. Then maybe tomorrow sleep in and go to the beach.
My time here has been a whirlwind of adventure, going with the flow, and making amazing memories. Don’t go to Vietnam if you’re not an adventurer, but maybe go anyways and become one.