When we moved to Nha Trang at the beginning of the year, we were looking for a way to help the community. Vietnam has given us so much and we were looking for ways to give back.
Through a mutual friend, we met Eileen Brown. She is one amazing lady and also the founder of the Tuong Lai Foundation (TLF).
The Tuong Lai Foundation is a social enterprise in Nha Trang which is primarily focused on helping the orphans of Tu Bong orphanage.
Over the past few months, Eileen has become one of our close friends. She invited us to join the summer program at Tu Bong. The summer program was a 10 week program where the local children were taught English. This is what I have been craving to tell you more about! So let me get into it! Continue Reading…
First of all, let me apologize for being a bit absent from this blog. I guess I needed some time to clear my mind and to settle in a bit. You see, we have moved to Vietnam!
We first visited Vietnam over two years ago and immediately fell head over heels for the country! We couldn’t stop thinking about all the beautiful places and the lovely people that we met during our travels. You know that saying “This place keeps calling me back”? Well, Vietnam did that to us. I never really understood this saying. I mean the world is so big with so many places to explore! But after visiting Vietnam we realized that a place can really creep into your heart very quickly.
Di Linh Vietnam
Never give up on your dreams!
Fast forward to the present moment and I am writing this post from our house in Nha Trang. We just spent the morning at the beach and went for a lovely drive along the coast. I can also tell you that we had some of the best coffee in the world and we will probably pick up some street food for dinner.
You are probably wondering what happened in our lives over the past few months? Well, here is a little update. We both found great jobs. AJ is working hard on his dreams and teaching English in the evenings and I am a preschool teacher at an international school. When we are not working we are doing volunteer work at an orphanage. (More about this later) When we have some free time we go for a swim at the beach or drive around the countryside. Life has been really busy and I have so many things to tell you! So I promise to keep you updated on a regular basis!
One thing I have realized is that if you want something in life, work hard at it! Focus on your dreams and do not let anyone tell you that you cannot do it. Dreams don’t just happen. YOU need to make it work.
When we were living in Hong Kong we knew that we wanted to return to Vietnam one day. So we worked hard and built up a safety net for ourselves for when we were ready to take the leap. It wasn’t always easy. Even though we really enjoyed working and living in Hong Kong, some days got the better of us. We got frustrated, we worked long hours and the busy hustle and bustle of the city was tiring at times. But we kept going. We worked extra hours to add to our savings and never gave up on our goals.
“I’m not telling you it’s going to be easy – I’m telling you it’s going to be worth it.” – Art Williams
People always tell us that they wish they could be like us. They wish they had the money to travel and to explore the world. “You guys are so lucky!” they will say.
Well let’s get really honest here for a bit. Before we moved to Hong Kong we were quite broke. I think we had about 2000 USD between the two of us to buy plane tickets and to survive for a month. For our first month we lived off the cheapest meal you can get. (AKA MacDonalds! We really don’t recommend eating junk food for a month! YUCK!) We had to make sure our money lasted until our first paycheck so our budget was tight! But somehow we made it work.
What I am trying to tell you is anything is possible! If you want to travel the world, start a business, buy a new car or spice up your wardrobe make sure you set mini goals for yourself. Think of ways on how you are going to achieve it. (If you want to know how we saved up for our backpacking adventure you can read more over here)
Moving to Vietnam didn’t happen overnight. It was hard work but I am proud to say that we made it.
It sure is beautiful out there and camping in Hong Kong made us realize that this place still has an untouched wilderness!
If you are looking to get away from the city why not pitch your tent in the soft white sand and wake up to the beautiful views of Long Ke Wan.
Camping at Long Ke Wan Continue Reading…
If you live in Hong Kong, as we did at the time, it’s really easy to travel to another country. In April this year, we booked a little trip to Taiwan to break away from our crazy schedules. I know what you are thinking, “breaking away from one crazy city to another?”. Well, not exactly. Yes, we had our return flights booked to Taipei, but we ended up exploring Yilan as we are suckers for beaches and mountains!
So, if you want to explore Taiwan a bit more or need a little break from the hustle and bustle, below is a little breakdown from our 5 day adventure in Taiwan. (*insert drum roll here*)
When people ask us what is was like living and teaching in Hong Kong, I cannot find the right words to describe it.
How do you explain the smell on the streets? Or the old lady that always smiled as she packed up her flower shop after a day’s work? How do you explain walking around, on a Sunday, with Filipino ladies sitting in their cardboard cubicles singing songs and cooking food?
Because Hong Kong is such a crazy city with mini escapes, temples in the middle of the mountains, botanical gardens, hidden restaurants, tiny flats and huge skyscrapers, it’s probably a bit easier to try and sum up our experience visually. (You can also check out our Hong Kong video over here) Continue Reading…
Where is the sun???? We have been working in Hong Kong for six months and it seemed like our bodies completely forgot what sunlight felt like. Back home, the weather was warm and we got so jealous seeing photos from our friends and families on their beach vacations. It was about time that we went searching for islands again.
We knew that we wanted to soak up some sun, go somewhere tropical and not blow our budget. We both love snorkeling and after doing some research online, it seemed like Palawan was our best bet. Continue Reading…
There is so much more to Vietnam than Halong bay. It is a place where you will find the best coffee and food in the world. (According to us anyway) A place that will take your breath away. A place where people instantly become your friends. Vietnam is a country that you have to experience for yourself. If you ever wondered if you should go, we hope these photos will make you buy that plane ticket.
Here’s our top ten photos that will make you fall in love with Vietnam:
(Ok, so it’s more than ten photos but we couldn’t help it!)
I know I haven’t written on this blog for a while but the last few months have been a whirlwind of experiences. Teaching English, although tons of fun, sure keeps you on your toes! 🙂
Becoming a TEFL teacher seemed like a dream out of my reach. For the past three years I have been reading blogs and forums of people traveling the world and teaching English. I wanted to jump into every photo and experience everyone’s journeys for myself, but I never had the guts to actually do it. Continue Reading…
It’s been about two months since we set foot on this foreign land. Wow! What a ride this year has been!
We have backpacked through Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam for two months, danced in the karoo at AfrikaBurn and now we are living abroad in Hong Kong!
About a year ago we made the decision that we wanted to move abroad. We were craving a change and a new adventure. By the way, I turned 30 this year! EEEEEEEEK!!!! (I just wanted you to know that you are NEVER too old to make the changes in your life that you need)
The building where we live
As we rolled into 2015, we never thought that we would find ourselves standing in another UNESCO world heritage site in Macau! A one day trip from Hong Kong is definitely worth a visit!
From Hong Kong, the ferry ride to Macau takes about an hour. There are a few ferry services that you can book through, but we opted for TurboJet. Their service was excellent and with ferries leaving every 15 minutes, there is no need to worry about trips being sold out. Continue Reading…