Viet Nam was never on my list of countries to visit on this trip to SE Asia. I have other travelers to thank for strongly influencing me to go there, particularly Lauren and Natalie who invited me to travel with them there. I stayed for the entirety of my 30-day VISA and feel like I really got to know the country as well as one can in only a month. I don’t know if it was because I was there longer than the other countries I went to in SEA, or if it was the culture, the food, the people, the nature, the history… or most likely a combination of all those things… but Vietnam was definitely my favorite SE Asian country that I visited. Followed closely (very closely) by Indonesia. (If I had spent more than two weeks in Indonesia, it’s very possible that it would have been my favorite.)
Vietnam just has so much to offer: from beaches to mountains, hot/humid climates to frigid weather, cute villages to big, modern cities, wonderful people, cheap and delicious food, a fascinating history, and a never-ending list of places to go and things to see. I would have loved to stay longer. I could see myself living there some day, maybe teaching English or working as a travel guide. I met a couple of North American girls and one British guy who were living there, teaching English, and they said that life is good there and that they enjoyed their jobs. I felt inspired by them.
I spent my final days in Viet Nam back down in Ho Chi Minh City. On my very last day there it rained all day, mimicking my mood. I was sad to leave. But I wasn’t just sad to leave Vietnam, I was really sad to leave Asia. I had the sensation that I was tearing myself away from something that I didn’t want to part from. I wasn’t ready to leave. But I had to… I had a timeline to stick to for meeting other people in other places.