As the year draws to a close and we prepare to leave for South America in January, it’s time to take a look at our 2017 travel roundup. I feel incredibly blessed to have enjoyed yet another year full of new experiences, adventures and travel. In 2017, we managed to live in Thailand, trek to Everest Base Camp, explore Sri Lanka and road-trip around Europe. We got married, went vegan, continued to earn a living remotely and, of course, blogged about it all.
Our final Thai visa run took us back to our former home in Vietnam’s hectic capital, Hanoi. We relished the chance to hang out in our old city while painlessly applying for our final Thailand tourist visa before we head to Nepal in May. Here’s everything you need to know about applying for a visa at the Thai embassy in Hanoi, including the address, cost and what documents you’ll need.
Sapa, Northern Vietnam. The very words conjure images for me of green-yellow tiers of rice, towering peaks, buffaloes wallowing in mud pools, Hmong women in brightly-patterned headscarves and the smell of fresh alpine air. However, in the two years since we last visited Sapa, the town has transformed into a giant construction site. Diggers crowd the streets and the air is filled with dust and the sound of drilling and hammering. What’s more, during our visit last week, Sapa was cloaked in freezing fog so thick we couldn’t make out a single mountain view. The trip was a total travel fail.
“Welcome to Vietnam,” says the khaki-uniformed soldier with a broad smile, while he casually shifts his slim black rifle from one shoulder to the other. He must have clocked the camera around Andrew's neck and assumed we're tourists, which I suppose we are now. Except, instead of coming to see a monument or museum, we're here to revisit our old home in Hanoi.
Do you long to teach English abroad but worry that you won’t find work because you’re a non native English teacher? Well, don’t despair. I get a lot of messages from aspiring teachers who aren’t native English speakers and here’s the good news: there are non native English teacher jobs to be found in Asia. In this post, Venkat Ganesh from India shares his story about teaching in Vietnam and gives some excellent advice about how to find TEFL jobs for non native speakers.
Street vendors are part of the everyday fabric of life in Hanoi. When I lived in the city I’d pass dozens of these women every day. They’d be dressed in conical hats to ward off the sun while they tirelessly pushed heavy bicycles laden with colourful fruit and flowers through the city, from dawn till dusk. I didn’t stop to think about just how beautiful these vendors were until our friend Loes launched her Hanoi street Vendors from Above photo project.
As Andrew and I search for teaching work in Madrid, I can't help thinking back to our first experience of teaching abroad in Hanoi. I'm hoping the lessons I learned from those exciting, turbulent months in Vietnam's crazy capital city will help me cope with the challenge of starting afresh in Spain. Are you thinking of looking for jobs in Vietnam? Asia is a great place to cut your teeth as an English teacher; in this post I talk to British couple Hannah and Ben about their experiences of teaching at a language centre and an international school in Hanoi.
Are you considering teaching English in Vietnam? I remember well from my own experiences in Hanoi just how daunting the whole process can be. If you’re anything like me, you’ll have a million questions about everything from finding jobs in Vietnam to deciding which city and area to live in, how much money you can earn and what kind of qualifications you need. To help you figure things out, I’ve put together this series of Q&As with teachers currently living in Hanoi, Vietnam.
After writing about my experiences teaching in Hanoi, I often get questions from readers about how to teach English in Vietnam. So, to help you guys decide whether you could live and work in Vietnam, I’m publishing a short series of interviews with teachers who’ve lived, or currently live, in Hanoi. In this first edition I talk to Emma and Loes about everything from teaching highs and lows to pay rates, living costs, visas and teaching English if you’re from a non-English speaking country.
2015 has been a year of two very different halves for us; the first spent in Asia, the second in America and the UK. We lived in Vietnam’s crazy capital city, Hanoi, where we saved over £14,000 (and nearly lost our minds!) by teaching English. We relaxed on beaches in Thailand, house sat in London, toured South Wales and took the best road trip ever through New England in the USA. As we prepare to celebrate Christmas in Blighty for the first time in nearly three years, here’s our 2015 travel round-up.