Since leaving Korea I have only had positive experiences, which has kept my mind off of the fact that I don’t really have definite plans for my post-Korea life. OH WELL. I got to Hanoi, Vietnam on January 30th (Saturday) and as soon as I arrived, I met some cool people. I decided to stay at the Central Backpackers Hostel in Old Quarter again since my last stay there was so great. In my dorm I met two Aussies named Arsanie and Tony. Straight away, they were super welcoming and helpful with getting me pumped about this world tour that I have half-ass planned. I love meeting people while traveling because every one is so friendly and laid back. We then went to go socialize with people during the free beer hour and even put my “Cards Against Humanity” cards to use. It was a great time finding out everyone’s demented sense of humor. I feel like I should always use that game when meeting people for the first time to see if we will get along.
I love meeting people while traveling because every one is so friendly and laid back.
Following the first night in Hanoi, I ended up switching hostels with Arsanie and Tony and we changed to Hanoi Rocks Hostel. Right when I entered the hostel I found Amber, who used to work in Korea and was friends with Matt and Emily when she lived there. It was so funny because we weren’t even planning to meet and we just ran into each other. Apparently Amber had been up since the night before from going out and I have no idea how she didn’t fall asleep yet. She is way more hardcore than I am, seeing as I am notorious for typically falling asleep at 9pm on Fridays. I met two guys named Chris and Jack who were from England and they were planning on riding motorbikes down to Southern Vietnam. Jack was very close to convincing me to try and learn how to ride one, but I knew my mom would experience heart failure if I even mentioned the notion of me getting on a motorbike. Later on I met some other people including this guy Mads from Denmark. He was doing a great job getting me more interested in living in Denmark after explaining all of the benefits of being Danish. Oh how I envy Danish people…
If there is one thing I have realized in my short time here, it is that traveling alone is the best way to make friends. It depends on your personality obviously, but the only thing holding you back from meeting people and doing things is yourself.
At Hanoi Rocks, I also met Kate, who is from Australia. As I am writing this blog, she is actually right next to me and we are on a lovely overnight bus to Sapa. The past couple of days we were in Halong Bay and on Cát Bá Island. Kate did an island stay while I was on Cát Bá being a BUM. I ended up taking the same bus as Kate to Cát Bá even though I wasn’t on the same tour and we met some interesting characters on that bus. The five guys we were on the bus with were from Australia and their names are Michael, Chris, Angus, James and Nick. They were all on summer break from college and Michael was actually telling me about India and giving me some useful tips. It eased my nerves about traveling there in May. Anyways, these guys were pretty funny. It’s refreshing meeting people who are essentially strangers and yet who have a similar sense of humor that you do, which I didn’t experience much outside of my closest friends circle in Seoul. We actually all got dinner tonight and I learned some personal, yet hilarious things about them and I haven’t laughed that hard in so long. Nothing better that self-deprecating stories, am I right Nick? Additionally, we got around to talking about dopplegängers and without thinking I said that Chris looked like Rob Schneider, which I now know is NOT a compliment. I felt bad especially because Chris had been so patient with teaching me about Aussie slang. I mean, if I ever go to Australia, I know how to ask for the essentials: bongs, condoms and drugs. Thanks Chris.
It’s refreshing meeting people who are essentially strangers and yet who have a similar sense of humor that you do, which I didn’t experience much outside of my closest friends circle in Seoul.
Some amazing pho from Bún Bò Nam Bô.
If there is one thing I have realized in my short time here, it is that traveling alone is the best way to make friends. It depends on your personality obviously, but the only thing holding you back from meeting people and doing things is yourself. I think I really am happy with what’s been going on so far with my trip. It is supposed to be really cold in Sapa, but I know it can’t be nearly as bad as Seoul, so bring it on. Additionally, Ashley is coming for New Years this week and I am looking forward to that. Finally, Kate and I are looking to going South where is is warm so we can ditch our boxy jackets that were clearly made for a male’s body. Until then, we’ll just have to persevere.