8 REASONS WHY I MOVED TO VIETNAM





Just over a month ago I made one of the biggest decisions of my life!
 I booked a one way ticket to Vietnam and I can honestly say it was the best decision I have ever made. I've seen, eaten and learned so much in the past 5 weeks or so. I feel like I belong here, it just feels right.  I'd love to say this move was another one of my spontaneous ideas but, after months of research I just knew I had to move abroad ASAP. I was actually tired of life in London. I literally felt like I had no purpose, no direction and I was BORED!

 If you know me, then you'll know that I absolutely love travelling. Last year I travelled to Dubai, Morocco, Marbella and Amsterdam and I realised that I'm a lot happier exploring new cultures vs sitting in an office, pretending to be happy serving customers. I've quit of few crappy jobs in the past but this time was different, I was finally about to do something I've always dreamt of doing. 

You're probably still thinking - Why Vietnam though? 

Let me break it down for you.. 

One day I stumbled across Haus of Color's - Vietnam Vlog on Youtube and after I watched that video I was obsessed. I started researching how soon I could move here and how the hell I could make some money to live and travel around Asia. I've never been to Asia and it didn't hit me until the day I boarded the plane, that I was doing something extremely crazy. Like I said before though, I feel like I'm supposed to be here.

Here are a few more reasons why I moved to Vietnam:


1. CULTURE 


Happy New Year from Vietnam

Vietnamese New year- Good luck tree

Vietnamese culture is so beautiful, they are probably the most hospitable and generous people I have ever come across in my life. Despite the language barrier, it has been an interesting and fascinating experience since the day I arrived here. The crazy traffic In Ho Chi Minh City has taken some getting used to but it's all part of the fun. Just yesterday, the family that run the hotel I'm currently staying at cooked us a massive traditional Vietnamese meal to celebrate their New Year (TET). We ate, drank and laughed so much. They just wanted to know everything about us. It was such a lovely gesture and I was amazed at how much they just kept giving without wanting a thing in return. I was literally full for the rest of the day haha!

As a black girl living in Vietnam, I have definitely had my fair share of stares but I expected nothing less, considering the population is predominately Vietnamese. Their curiosity at times can be somewhat intrusive but I'm sure I'll get used to it. Well I hope I do soon haha!

2. JOB OPPORTUNITIES

Observation class at AVSE. The kids aged 8-10 years old were incredibly smart

A native English speaker in Vietnam could earn up to $2000 a month, working only 25 hours a week. Sounds crazy but it's true. I arrived a month ago and decided to do an in-class 160 hour TESOL course, which basically means Teach English to speakers of other languages. Getting a certification definitely raises your chances of getting a good English teaching job at a public school or language centre. Luckily my course comes with a guaranteed job placement so after the holidays I'll officially be 'Miss Zina' haha! The children here are incredibly smart and I think it's so incredible that their parents are investing in their future by paying for them to learn English, sometime's as young as 4 years old.

Because the cost of living in Vietnam is so low, it's possible for English Teachers to save a large amount of money each month. I never ever thought it would be possible to save and travel. There are other job opportunities that can be found here too; blogging, newspapers, marketing and working for businesses that need native English speakers to attract foreigners.

3.  COST OF LIVING

Vietnam is in the top 5 of Cheapest places to live in Southeast Asia. You can find a beautiful serviced apartment with a gym and swimming pool for less than $500 a month. Compared to London, you would probably have to pay 3 times the amount a month, for the same style apartment. It's crazy!

With a job as an English teacher and an apartment ranging from $350 - $600 a month, you can easily save over $500 each month, depending if you're frugal haha!

4. FOOD

Chicken Pho
Banh Mi

CJ'S British Cafe- Vung Tau

 The food here in Vietnam is incredible! I've tried so many different versions of their traditional Phở which is a Vietnamese noodle soup consisting of broth, rice noodles called bánh phở, a few herbs, and meat, primarily made with either beef or chicken. The best meals I have had so far have been street foods, the meals are cooked from scratch and every vendor has a different style in which they choose to make or present their food. 


The food here is better than I ever thought it would be and it's sooo cheap - normally always less than £3 for a whole meal! Vietnam also has a lot of western cafe's and restaurants, just this morning my friend Safira found the best British Fish and Chip Cafe called CJ's in Vung Tau. I ordered a  cheese burger and chips, it was SOOO GOOD! Felt like I was at a chippy in London. The service is incredible and the food is top notch. 

5. TRAVEL


Vung Tau- Jesus Christ Vung Tau

My travel bucket list this year is endless. I want to see everything haha! I've already started planning an epic tour around Vietnam. 
Vietnam has striking landscapes, large stretches of lovely coastline, intriguing cities and excellent food. A few must see places in Vietnam are; Mekong Delta, Phu Quoc Island, Ha Long Bay, Hoi An, Hanoi, Sapa. I could go on forever! 

I'm currently in Vung Tau which is only a two hour bus ride from Ho chi Minh City. This place is incredible and the air is a lot clearer compared to Ho Chi Minh's polluted air. 

Southeast Asia is so easy to travel around and you could easily get to some of Vietnam's beautiful neighbouring countries in less than 4 hours by plane. With airlines such as AirAsia you can find tickets as low as £50 (low season) to places like; Cambodia, Loas, Burma, Thailand, Philippines, Indonesia, Singapore and Malaysia. Bargain!


6. MEET NEW PEOPLE

My girl's - Lexie and Safira 

One of my fave pics ever

New Year's Ever 2016

Last day of our TESOL course at AVSE. David was a great trainer!

Arts and crafts practice class - Henry, Na and Myself

Deciding to do my in- class TESOL course at AVSE was a blessing in disguise. Not only did I get to train to be a good English teacher with Vietnamese children but I also met 15 amazing people from all over the world. We all came to Vietnam with the same vision and helped each other through our best and worst days, for four weeks! Moving abroad can connect you with people you wouldn't normally get to meet in your home countries. I've now got friends and travel buddies for life! However, I'm not going to sit here and pretend that it's easy being away from home. I'm just lucky to have met this crazy bunch. 

7. COFFEE SHOPS

Metropolis cafe - Go Vap 

Peach Iced Tea

Iced Choco Classic

Coffee shops are extremely common in Vietnam and I'm obsessed! Back in London, I wasn't the biggest fan but Vietnamese coffee has won me over. The coffee shops here are really good places to get work done quietly, socialise or do some tutoring lessons. 
Cafe Sua Da (Iced Coffee with milk) is my fave! Probably because of the amount of condensed milk they use but it's nice when it's really hot outside and you need something to cool you down. I actually prefer coffee from the street vendors, it tastes better and it usually costs less than 50p. SO CHEAP!


8. TRAVEL BLOGGING

Now that I've finished my TESOL course, I'll start posting a lot more on here about my lifestyle, travels and experiences. The idea of being able to express myself by documenting some of the things I get up to excites me. I like that I have motivated a few people to travel, it's really easy to get comfortable with your day to day routines and sometimes one trip trip, whether it be domestic or international, can open your eyes to a new world. It's a beautiful feeling. 

If you would like to know anything in particular about Vietnam that I haven't mentioned, leave a comment below and I'll reply as soon as possible.

'EXPECT NOTHING. EXPERIENCE EVERYTHING'

Until next time ..


ZINA TARA

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