In my early days as a solo traveller, there was a lot of buzz around the notion of being a “broke backpacker”- that is, travelling so extensively that you don’t have a dime to your name, but are nevertheless happy because you’re living like a vagabond on the beach in a land far, far away. For some, that would seem daunting and very unappealing, but for Wanderlusters like me, it’s alluring – or so I thought it was.
It wasn’t until 2012, after several years of solo travel, that I realized I still hadn’t experienced life of a broke backpacker – something that was almost like a rite of passage for young travellers. And so, like many others, I decided to aimlessly wander off to Southeast Asia and Australia.
As I’ve said many times before, Ho Chi Minh City just didn’t do it for me. It was too Westernized and tourist-centric, leaving me totally disconnected, which was a vast difference from my time spent in Northern Vietnam. I will however, credit Saigon for gifting me with one powerful and touching memory.
I was so looking forward to taking a pleasant scenic train ride along the Vietnam countryside heading for Hoi An. I certainly didn’t expect a bullet train, but neither did I expect snail rail. When I purchased my train ticket from the agent, she provided detailed instructions on how to locate the correct platform and train. […]
I was in Southeast Asia, which just so happens to be the perfect place to wander. After completing my volunteer placement in Hanoi, I decided to forfeit my plane ticket to Australia, leaving me with the realization that I had all the time in the world, with no restriction on where to go or how […]
I was expecting subtle differences going from Hanoi to Saigon, but instead I felt like I had entered a different country. I was already anticipating a different experience than my time in Hanoi simply because I would no longer be a volunteer living with the locals, but rather a backpacker staying in the tourist district. […]