Local Experiences Along the Tourist Trail in Hue

September 12, 2013 11 Comments »

Citadel Hue Vietnam

There is a well worn tourist trail in Vietnam, and yes, the Vietnamese can be quite aggressive when it come to tourism and selling you things, but once you step out of those tourist districts – you can find a very different experience. Sure – you will still stick out and probably still pay higher […]

What to Expect in Halong Bay

September 10, 2013 34 Comments »

I stared out the window of the van and watched as the city gave way to suburbs, to industry, to rice fields, that would eventually deposit us in Halong Bay. As I watched our driver play chicken with big trucks, dodge motorbikes, and zip by the slower bicycles and buffalo – I thought that not […]

Finding our Stride in Hanoi

September 5, 2013 15 Comments »

Jet lag was wearing off, and now we were rapidly adjusting to a new culture and environment. After 4 years of being away from Vietnam, my brain was happy to be exposed to all of this new and sometimes baffling culture again. Evie was also taking a lot in trying to make sense of Vietnamese […]

Assuming Responsibility

September 3, 2013 9 Comments »

Vietnam flag

I mouthed the words, “It’ll be ok.” through the front window of the car as we pulled away. After all, I was taking away my sister-in-law’s oldest daughter to a place halfway around the world, a place she knew very little about, a place that was completely foreign – this was a big step. Yet […]

Are we There Yet?

June 27, 2013 9 Comments »

airplane sculpture

I stared at the numbers. Elapsed Time: 23:10 hrs, Miles: 9,940 – shit, we are flying halfway around the earth – I hope we don’t run out of gas. I will soon be getting on the longest non-stop flight in the world. For someone who has always gushed about how much I like long flights, […]

Pho Lessons

February 9, 2012 15 Comments »


Before I left Vietnam I had a goal – I wanted to learn how to make Pho. I had eaten it a few times a week for a year while living in Ho Chi Minh City, and I never tired of it. The thought of eating boiling hot soup in humid 90 degrees somehow appealed […]

A Foreign Christmas

December 21, 2011 9 Comments »

One of the most unusual sites I witnessed in my travels was experiencing Christmas in Asia. I had been living in Ho Chi Minh City Vietnam for 3 months when December 25th rolled around. In a country with no real religion, and no westernized consumerism (yet), Vietnam surprised me with their Christmas spirit. Christmas in […]

What to expect in a Vietnamese Restaurant

June 16, 2010 34 Comments »

Going out to eat at a restaurant is easy, right? …not always. Often when you find yourself in other countries, even though there’s a waiter, a table, you are putting food in your mouth, and there’s a bill – there are many things that can be vastly different. As I lived in Vietnam there were […]

Fruit in Vietnam: Try this Market Scavenger Hunt

November 10, 2009 17 Comments »

fruit in vietnam

The most common thing you’ll say as you walk around a Vietnamese market is “What is that?” I lived in Vietnam for a year, and one of my favorite things to do was walk around the markets. It wasn’t until I met local Vietnamese friends who enjoyed taking me to markets, that I could actually […]

30 Lessons I Learned as a Vietnam Expat

October 19, 2009 16 Comments »

expat vietnam lessons

I love to reflect upon my time in a place, so it’s fitting that after a year as a expat in Vietnam I sat down and actually thought about what I’ve learned about Vietnam, Asia, and myself. It wasn’t an easy road, and until I met some local friends about 6 months in did things […]