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Traveling Alone and Vietnam

Posted on 14 October 2015

By: Sarah

As I sit here beachside listening to the waves and watching the kite surfers I feel at peace. I have said it a million times and I will say it again, I am a beach girl. I need to live by a beach. I thought I would answer a question here for everyone at home, it’s a question I get almost daily when meeting new people while I travel. The question: How is traveling alone? You’re not afraid? The truth is, I am never really alone unless I want to be. I stay in hostels where you literally have your head about 3 feet away from a complete strangers. It’s almost impossible not to talk to people. I have a good judge of character something that I think comes a bit naturally but that I have learned as well. I stay away from the creeps and the obnoxious partiers and always end up meeting amazing people that build lifelong friendships. Because of my “Lonely” travels I now have friends all over the world. This is not to say that you don’t meet other people when you travel in groups, because you do but it is not the same. Some of my best friends live in different countries. The bond you form while traveling is like nothing else I can really explain. You have experience and memories that only you and those other travels will know about. Something that is very special. I’ve realized a lot about long-term traveling while being in Asia. Those quotes by famous people and the clichés about how a place can be beautiful but what makes it truly stand out is the people you share it with. My most recent example is Laos. It’s a beautiful country but every time I think of Laos, I will now think of the wonderful motorbike experiences I shared with my French friends. They will be forever in my memory when I think of a whole country and what I did there. J That’s why it’s so important to pick the right people to travel with, I’ve seen too many people unhappy with their travel partners. You get good at saying goodbye. That doesn’t make it easier, but it always leaves a question in the back of my mind wondering where I will meet that person next. And to me that’s exciting. Traveling alone has made me more independent, more laid back and confident. I’ve pushed myself even further this time and started not even booking hostels. Normally when I travel alone I like to at least book my next destination so I have a starting point, but since I am here during low season I haven’t needed to. Now I read reviews, show up and hope they have something available. It’s turned out pretty well so far and I usually end up saving a bit of money. Traveling alone has opened the doors to experience I know I would not have had if traveling with someone, it also allows me to be closer to the local culture. So, if you ask me… Traveling alone is wonderful. It’s an experience I hope anyone who wants to but is afraid can have. It is not for everyone, but for anyone who is willing to try J And to the friends who I have made, thank you, you will forever be in my memories.

MELISSA’S VISIT: My friend Melissa came to visit me and I guess Vietnam for 10 days. We did so much in a small amount of time, but she really got to see so much of the country. We started by going straight to Halong Bay with 5 other people, two of them were Clemence and Clara who I met in Laos. Because there were 7 of us we rented a private boat (it worked out to be a little cheaper or the same price) as the usual tours that are offered. It was amazing have a boat take us to the untouched, untouristic parts of such a tourist place. Contact Mr. Lap for private bookings I promise you won’t be let down. hoanglaphp@gmail.com From there we took a night bus straight from Hanoi to Sapa. We knew we didn’t want to stay in Sapa which is filled local women wanting to provide homestays in traditional clothing. Sounds great, but really touristy and has been over taken by tourism unfortunately. We were lucky enough to have arrived on a Sunday. We wanted to go to Bac Ha which we have been told is just as beautiful and a LOT less touristy. This turned out to be true, and the only reason people seem to go to Bac Ha is for the traditional market on Sundays. We caught a bus from Sapa and from there started our Motorcycle adventure for 2 days. We had a guide who would take us around the winding roads and stop for pictures whenever we wanted. We stayed in a homestay and drank a LOT of rice wine that night. It was a great time experience local food and culture and of course Karaoke. We climbed onto more buses after more buses and eventually after 22 hours arrived in Hoi An. This is a small ancient town full of culture and lights at night. This is where I said goodbye to Melissa and continued my journey southward to Mui Ne. Vietnam has been beautiful!IMG_3122

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