Three months ago I moved from Charlotte, North Carolina USA (I write the entire location for emphasis) to Hong Kong. As I started writing this piece, I contemplated if the duration was “Three long months” or “Three short months” ago, and reviewing my emotions and experiences, I would say both.
The Great Outdoors has always called to me. It’s a place, a feeling, a time, a being in itself.
To some, it’s a constant pull, drawing us in. Pushing us to new peaks, down old ravines, and across plains and fields. This weekend hiking on Lantau Island was some of this and more. Time to think and feel the outdoors again was something sorely missed in a city so full of buildings and buses.
When planning Vietnam, I heard Halong Bay was a must-see. After all, it is a UNESCO World Heritage and New Seven Wonders of the World site. So I did my research (searching Google Images) to see if it was worthy of my time and in an instant I knew I needed to see to go.
Anyone that has traveled to Hanoi will tell you – visit the Old Quarter, walk the streets, eat the food, and experience Hanoi at its heart. This is the full submersion test. You’ll quickly learn where you stand on the Love-Hate scale and if Vietnam is for you.
This afternoon I returned to Hong Kong after five days traveling Hanoi and Halong Bay Vietnam. I can already say I miss it. The chaotic streets, incredible food, and vibrancy of the Old Quarter are simply unsurpassable. There’s something unique and special I connect with when walking past hundreds of motorbikes, on streets forged with character and history, and a society that has developed in its own way without the rules or regulation that envelopes Western culture.
To be honest, when I was boarding my flight from Hong Kong to Vietnam, I was a little apprehensive. Planning Vietnam isn’t as easy as some other destinations, such as Hong Kong, Thailand, or even China. The visa process is opaque, there’s a lot of negative reviews for experiences and certain destinations, and some travel bloggers blatantly say they won’t return.
All of that being said, upon arrival in Vietnam, I knew I was going to love this place.
I love to travel! All countries, foods, cultures, and trip types get me excited and itching to board a plane, train, or boat. Over the past few years I’ve had some incredible trips and I have a few more coming up, so I’ve decided to start documenting my destinations, experiences, and advice here.