Its September and I am two months into an extended break from full time work. My last day at work was July, the day before my birthday. My first real day of my extended break was my birthday (happy birthday to me I guess).
The length of my break is undetermined and it might depend on my finances because this extended break is completely self-funded. A mental health day just wasn’t going to cut it, I wanted a proper break.
I also find myself two years into a renovation, which is usually done on weekends, so I wanted to take the time to be able to renovate at leisure (if you could ever put “renovation” and “leisure” in the same sentence). It is also a chance to catch up with friends during the week and work to my own schedule for a change.
Part of the plan for my break was to also take a long trip somewhere and so we come to how a trip through Vietnam was conceived.
The Vietnam trip was conceived after my brother and I separately watched the Top Gear “special” on Vietnam. During a conversation one day the program came up and we both mentioned how we thought it would be a really cool thing to do …and the fact is…it just looked like a lot of fun. How hard could it be right?
Our itinerary would be (very) loosely based on theirs, we would start in the north of Vietnam (Hanoi) and make our way down the length of Vietnam to Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) in the south ….all done on a motorbike (of all things!) taking up to 4 weeks.
Now, this may not initially sound like much of a big deal until you appreciate that I have never ridden a motorbike in my life, let alone in such a fast paced city as Hanoi. My brother and his girlfriend have ridden motorbikes so, unlike me, there should be no sleepless nights before the trip for them.
And so…. with a general plan formulated we work out a date and book our flights, I book my main Jetstar flight from Melbourne to Bangkok (for a 2 night stopover), an Air Asia flight from Bangkok to Hanoi, a second Air Asia flight from Ho Chi Minh City to Bangkok and my return Jetstar flight from Bangkok to Melbourne.
I organise an international drivers permit so it looks like I’m actually going to go through with it (this is crazy..). My brother also has a guy from his work who is joining us for most/some (not sure how much) of the trip.
So, just to summarise…I’ve watched the Top Gear “Vietnam Special”, I’ve organised for a friend to look after Eddie (my fish) and I’ve studied my “Rough Guide to – Southeast Asia” book …yep…looks like I’m all set….[showmyads]
For next Vietnam post see Departing Melbourne for Bangkok, Thailand and our holiday takes off