Hurtling down the wrong side of the road on the back of a scooter towards a massive bus wasn’t really something I thought I would be okay with, but there it is.

Saigon is bustling. It’s got some crazy traffic and some crazier drivers. The noise of horns is constant, but there isn’t any sense of road rage. The horns are what make the road safer, really.

Beep-beep-beeeeeeep. Hey friend! I’m about to overtake you!

Within half an hour of my first morning walking around Ho Chi Minh City, I’d been approached be a grandfatherly looking man. He offered to take me around the city to see different sights on the back of his scooter. He would cut down the time walking everywhere and he would even take photos for me! It seemed suss, to say the least. He then started talking about the family he had in Australia and pulled out some photos of them. Cool, I was thinking. I’m not interested. No freaking way am I getting on the back of some random dude’s scooter, no matter how grandfatherly he looks.

But then he pulled out a book of recommendations and pointed to some written in English. I saw the words, “this is legit” and then I remembered that I came to Vietnam to have new experiences and throw my normal what ifs to the wind. So I said okay and hopped on.

It was so much fun. Mr Tong was a great guide, super friendly and got so many photos of me in the most random of places – one of them being a five star hotel. Honestly, why? But I didn’t care. I was having fun feeling like a massive goose.

Aaaaaand then I went to the war memorial and a lot of my good feelings faded. The atrocities inflicted on the Vietnamese people are absolutely appalling. I left feeling ill, but knowing that I had a responsibility to bear witness to this. That the Vietnamese can be so friendly to Westerners after that is an amazing feat.

I’m pretty sure Mr Tong ended up ripping me off when I paid at the end, but after looking at the effects of Agent Orange – that are still occurring today – I didn’t really have it in me to haggle.

Plus, he gave me a pretty great view of the city and made me realise that scooters aren’t that scary.

Thanks, Mr Tong!

previous post
next post

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Instagram

  • It's been a long time between posts. I've honestly not felt the need to post anything because I think I was being motivated by the wrong things: trying to achieve the whole travel influencer/digital nomad lifestyle while bragging about my adventures in some sort of need for validation. (My own motivation, not all influencers'.) But now I'm back and I'll be posting. Not to achieve validation, but to share pride in myself and my growth as a person. To share the sacrifices and gains. To just be me. New blog up with more about those sacrifices: link in bio.
.
.
.
.
.
#theunpreparedtraveller #rowtrip #aussieblog #aussieblogger #travelblog #travelblogger #expat #solotravel #sacrifice #travellife #instatravel #alifesheloves #femaletraveller #femalesolotraveller #travelgirl #travelgram #thehappynow
  • Those misty, green woods in Winter ๐ŸŒฒ๐Ÿƒ
.
I love love LOVE the English woods. Not pictured: one food-crazy dog that I'm pet-sitting ๐Ÿถ
.
.
.
.
.
.
#theunpreparedtraveller #rowtrip #travelblogger #housesitters #petsitters #nature_brilliance #EarthVisuals #artofvisuals #welivetoexplore #natureaddict #naturediversity #ourplanetdaily #earth_deluxe #instanaturelover #nature_prefection #instapassport #aroundtheworldpix #ig_masterpiece #campinassp #flashesofdelight #travelog #mytinyatlas #visualmobs #theglobewanderer #lovegreatbritain #visitengland #photosofengland #englandtrip #photosofbritain  #focalmarked
  • When I was heading to London two years ago, my colleague at the time @merranbowedesignlust gave me a list of things to do. I didn't manage to tick off all the things on the list, but this time around I made sure I did one of her highly recommended activities: walking along the canal from Camden Markets to Regents Park. My goodness. It's now on my highly recommended list! It's beautiful, peaceful and goes past the zoo! Sure I saw some hyenas ripping another animal apart but that was all part of the experience... Thanks Merran ๐Ÿ’•
.
.
.
.
.
#theunpreparedtraveller #rowtrip #expat #digitalnomad #travelblogger #urbex #streetshared #aov #weekly_feature #createexploretakeover #shotzdelight #mkexplore #gearednomad #rsa_streetview #aroundtheworldpix #flashesofdelight #travelog #mytinyatlas #visualmobs #theglobewanderer #forahappymoment #exploringtheglobe #thisislondon #shutup_london #london_only #unlimitedlondon #londoncalling #londoncollective #unboxyourphone #instaandroid
  • Today I walked through the woods. Words fail me, even now. It is like the landscape is from my dreams; from my imagination. I remember growing up wishing that we had beautiful woods like this near us. The Australian bush is beautiful, don't get me wrong. But English woods are so full of life in a totally different way. They are full of deep greens, vines, moisture! The birds sang around me as I walked. I felt my breath being taken away by the beauty. And I will see it again in my dreams tonight ๐Ÿƒ
.
.
.
.
.
#theunpreparedtraveller #rowtrip #travelblogger #expat #southdowns #southdownsway #naturephoto #main_vision #landscape_captures #awesome_earthpix #natureaddict #awesomeearth #nature_wizards #instapassport #aroundtheworldpix #flashesofdelight #travelog #mytinyatlas #visualmobs #theglobewanderer #lovegreatbritain #visitengland #photosofengland #englandtrip #photosofbritain #englandtourism #unboxyourphone #instaandroid #androidcommunity #teamandroid
  • Welcome to Steyning, an old village in the south of England where the woods are a-plenty (and so was the fog today). Iโ€™m house sitting and looking after Lucky the beagle. Hereโ€™s what we saw on todayโ€™s walk (warning: will give you forest envy)
.
.
.
.
.
#theunpreparedtraveller #rowtrip #travelblog #travelblogger #aussieblog #aussieblogger #housesitters #petsitters #naturevideo #main_vision #landscape_captures #natureaddict #allnatureshots #dogsofinstagram #beaglesofinstagram #travelog #sheisnotlost #theglobewanderer #lovegreatbritain #visitengland #sussex #englandtrip #englandtourism #expatlife
  • Another view of Canterbury Cathedral. Seriously, this architecture is so stunning. I know the locals walk past it every day and don't take it in because it's the norm, so it takes me an extra 20 minutes to walk anywhere because I just want to stop and stare!
.
.
.
.
.
#theunpreparedtraveller #rowtrip #aussieblog #aussieblogger #travelblog #travelblogger #digitalnomad #expatlife  #icu_architecture #jj_architecture #creative_architecture #arkiromantix #tv_architectural #archimasters #excellent_structure #arquitecturamx #diagonal_symmetry #instapassport #aroundtheworldpix #ig_masterpiece #campinassp #flashesofdelight #travelog #mytinyatlas #visualmobs #lovegreatbritain #visitengland #photosofengland #englandtrip
  • Welcome to Canterbury! It's my first stop in the UK and boy is it cold... for someone who has just been in an Australian heatwave, anyway. I've been walking around seeing the aights, sitting in cafes, making friends, visiting friends, hiking in Dover, and slowly settling in. It's hard, but I'm trying. I'm loving the architecture here so much!
.
.
.
.
#theunpreparedtraveller #rowtrip #expatlife #icu_architecture #jj_architecture #creative_architecture #arkiromantix #tv_architectural #archimasters #lookingup_architecture #unlimitedcities #instapassport #aroundtheworldpix #ig_masterpiece #campinassp #flashesofdelight #travelog #mytinyatlas #visualmobs #theglobewanderer #forahappymoment #exploringtheglobe #lovegreatbritain #visitengland #photosofengland #englandtrip #photosofbritain #englandtourism
  • I stand on the rocks at one of my favourite beaches in Newcastle with my trusty best friend (Mikey the border collie) by my side.
.
With only days left in Newcastle before I move overseas, my anxiety is building. I keep thinking of all the things that I am leaving behind, and it's making me question why I'm doing this at all.
.
But, as my good friend Alex told me, there are so many "hellos" in the future. Hello to new people. Hello to new experiences. Hello again to all those I'm "leaving behind".
.
So, this picture is a bit of a metaphor, as well as a stunning sunset. There are so many sunsets to look forward to. There will be rocks, tumultuous seas, and calm waters on the way to those beautiful experiences. One day at a time.
.
.
.
.
#theunpreparedtraveller #rowtrip #aussieblog #aussieblogger #travelblog #travelblogger #mynewcastle #goodbyes #roamtheplanet #travelphotography #visualoflife #beachlife #dametraveler #artofvisuals #flashesofdelight #thecreative #ig_masterpiece #beachvibes #skyporn #sunsetsniper #skylovers #sunrise_and_sunsets #sunsets #sunset_hub #sunsetlovers #instasunsets #all_sunsets #sunsethunter #sunset_madness #sunset_stream
  • When a friend recently invited me up to Valla Beach to camp with his family, I jumped at the opportunity (after finding a way to make the 3.5 hour drive when I'd just sold my car...). I've got limited time left in Australia before my big adventure and I've never actually been properly camping! So, thank you @danmurphy31. I'm so happy to have had some time at such a beautiful beach/river and to have had my first family camping experience where the whole aim is to live slow โ›บโ˜€๏ธ๐ŸŒŠ
.
.
.
.
#theunpreparedtraveller #rowtrip #aussieblog #aussieblogger #travelblog #travelblogger #vallabeach #midnorthcoast #roamtheplanet #travelphotography #visualoflife #beachlife #dametraveler #artofvisuals #islandhopping #flashesofdelight #thecreative #ig_masterpiece #beachvibes #mytinyatlas #instapassport #aroundtheworldpix #campinassp #travelog #mytinyatlas #visualmobs #theglobewanderer #forahappymoment #exploringtheglobe #travelon

Check out those sweet captions on Insta

Get new posts in your inbox

Want to get updates on my travel antics? Sign on up and each post will work its way into your email inbox.

Join 107 other subscribers

Mate, who am i?

(I ask myself the same thing)

Travelling can be really hard when you never feel like you're prepared. But, the more I do it the more I realise that being unprepared is the best way to travel. Iโ€™m Rowena. I live with depression and an anxiety disorder, which inspires a lot of my writing. My first reaction is to over-pack, over-worry, freak out, and give myself a headache. Iโ€™m consciously rebelling against that.

Get $25 (AUD) free! Use booking.com through this link

Booking.com logo

Help a sister out: use my Airbnb referral code

Facebook

Copyright Rowena Grant 2018