I’m moving to Hanoi, Vietnam!

That title isn’t clickbait. This is really happening guys. At least now you know why I’ve been so quiet and distracted lately. I’ve been preparing for my move to Hanoi! Time is absolutely flying by and I can’t believe I’ll be leaving Australia in less than 30 days.

How on Earth did this all come about?

Good question.

It has always been a long-standing dream of mine to be an English teacher in Asia. For years I’ve been craving adventure and imagining myself finally quitting my job and just going for it. However, I always had a mortgage to pay, a responsibility toward my dog and a HECS debt that needed to be taken care of before I could leave the country. That’s not even taking into consideration how much I would miss my family. My parents live only 15 minutes from the house I bought. They’ve always been close by whenever disaster struck, so how could I ever live without them? But my mindset had shifted. I needed to go on a travelling adventure, the one I never went on in my twenties.

It took me two anxiety-filled days to figure out what I would do. Despite all the seemingly insurmountable obstacles facing me, I was going to follow my dreams and move to Hanoi to be an English teacher. If I wanted it badly enough, I would make it happen. Funnily enough, as soon as I made my decision, things started falling into place like magic. I’m not joking. The moment I decided to move overseas, my luck did a complete 180. It’s as if the universe was giving me a sign: moving to Hanoi is the right thing to do.

Photo by VisionPic .net from Pexels

So what’s the plan when I get to Hanoi?

Besides being one hell of an adventure that will no doubt satisfy my wild fernweh desires, my plan is to teach English as a second language while working towards one day being a freelance writer or self-published author. Over the last few weeks, I’ve been doing so much research on the topic (teaching English in Hanoi), that my head has exploded. Quite literally. My mind has splintered into a thousand tiny fragments and floated away into the stratosphere.

And oh… do you know how hard it is to move overseas?? Like… really effing hard. I had to rent out my house and move in with my parents, pay land rates in advance, and a million other things. There are subscriptions to be cancelled, luggage to be bought, banks and other government departments to be notified, TEFL courses to be finished, visas and travel insurance to be sorted, other documents to be organised and phone plans to be changed.


I would like to say I’ve become something of an expert on the process of moving to Vietnam, except I’m not in Vietnam yet. Once I get through border security and have time to soak in my new home for a few days, I’ll tell you all about it. I’ll be staying at an Airbnb in Hai Bà Trưng for the first month, during which I’ll hopefully get a job and find an apartment.

When it comes to living overseas, I have done it once before when I studied South East Asian Development in England during my early twenties. But that was different. Living in England was temporary, as I went over as part of a six-month exchange program for my degree. Moving to Vietnam is a whole different kettle of fish, especially as I’m not even sure when I’ll be coming back. I’ll also be facing a few extra challenges, namely, the language barrier. However, I am determined to actively learn Vietnamese, not just to make my life easier, but because I don’t want to be one of those foreigners who lives in a country without making any attempt to learn more about the culture or language.

have been told that Vietnamese is one of (if not) the hardest South East Asian language for English speakers to learn. The day I discovered Vietnamese tones, is the day I died a little inside. But still… challenge accepted!!

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Photo by Nate Cohen from Pexels 

How has my family and friends responded to the news?

Now before anyone says anything like “but have you really thought this through?” and “is it even a smart thing uprooting your life and moving overseas on a whim?” Well… that last one will probably be addressed in a super long blog post one day, but the first? Yes, I have thought it through. Sure, I’m letting my dreams lead the way, but I like to think I’m doing so with a fairly level-head. I’m certain I can handle the challenges that are no doubt headed my way.

One thing I absolutely have to mention is my parents. Not only are they letting me (and my dog!) live at home until I can move, they have been completely supportive and excited for me from the start. They are a little nervous of course, which is understandable considering their child is moving to a foreign country she’s never been to before. They also know I would regret it for the rest of my life if I didn’t go.

For the moment, I am refusing to think about how much I’ll miss my family while I’m in Vietnam. I’ll leave that for when I’m in Hanoi!

Photo by Hugo Heimendinger from Pexels

So I haven’t been to Vietnam, but have I travelled anywhere in Asia before?

I have a confession, guys… I’ve actually never been to Asia, which is a tad embarrassing considering I grew up in the tropics of the Northern Territory, just a stone’s throw away from Indonesia (I even learned Indonesian during primary school). That’s not to say I’ve never wanted to go, seeing Asia is very close to the top of my bucket list.

As it is, there’s nothing I can do but embrace the crazy-fun (and unknown) adventures that are about to come my way… and the food. I am so damn excited about the food and coffee. As a coffee snob used to strong Australian brews, I was overjoyed to hear about the serious coffee culture over there. Good, strong coffee is almost a given I’ve heard – as long as you know where to go. I’ve also heard Hanoi is known for egg coffee, which struck me as something I’d probably not enjoy from the sound of it, but it’s apparently delicious.

I’m looking forward to trying a few of the other local dishes like bánh Cuon, xoi xeo, bún riêu and bánh mì. Oh and I can’t forget I’ll have easy access to my favourite dish in the entire world – phở ga! Phở ga for breakfast. Phở ga for lunch. Phở ga for dinner…

My God.

I’ll be in Heaven.

Photo by FOX from Pexels

Featured image by Arnie Chou from Pexels

64 thoughts

  1. I’m jealous of your opportunity. Can you eat everything and make it as incredible as possible for those that wish we were in your position?!


  2. Milly, this is wonderfully exciting! Albeit terrifying at the same time. I know that you will be pleased with yourself for trying. Not much is harder than regret. Regret is a tough thing to let go of when you know you can’t turn back the clock. Having spent this time with Tim in your home country gives you a strong idea of who he is and what he’s all about. Being there with him will make it much more fun for you! 🙂

    I wish you all the very best in this life and trust that you have your best days ahead of you. Looking forward to reading all about it! Blessings to you and yours Milly! ♥

    Liked by 1 person

  3. That is so exciting! I wish you the best of luck I just finished my international travel to Aus from US, it has been a wild ride. I look forward to hearing more from you, and I hope your TEFL courses go smoothly!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Our beautiful Milly following her dreams. Looking forward to the novel I am sure you will finish in lovely Vietnam. Mum xx


  5. Very cool! A friend in Hawaii did some traveling through Southeast Asia and was pretty impressed with Hanoi. The city was clean, modern and friendly to Westerners too from all he said. A fair number of English speakers too, but you’re better off learning the language. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Yes to Love & Yes To Following it. I’m sure it’s going to work out! And even if it doesn’t : It is ALWAYS better to regret something you did than regretting something you didn’t do. And Thai food (l) No arguing that.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Vietnam is amazing! We moved here about a month ago and so far love it. We have spent most of that time in Da Nang.

    Just in case you didn’t know: before you move, get proof of non-criminal background from your local police or country. It’s required for legal work, and much easier to obtain before you move.

    The expat forums are also great resources (having a local boyfriend is helpful, but some things are often easier to find through the female expats groups, like bras or swimsuit, unless you are very petite).

    Enjoy yourself!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. First I said to myself, “This girl is crazy,” but then, after reading a little further, realized that you will be fine. In fact, more than fine. It will be a marvelous adventure and story to tell no mater what direction you take. Besides, I was thinking from my own geographical viewpoint here in the States; you are only about a 6 hour flight from Vietnam, where for me it’s the other side of the world. It’s more like me flying to Europe. It’s hard for me to get a direct flight to California these days. Best of luck to you Milly!


  9. I think it’ll be an amazing experience for you.
    My husband and I moved from Slovenia, Europe, to India this year because of his job. My family wasn’t happy about my move but they always support my decisions. It has been challenging but we are making it an adventure and we don’t regret doing it.


  10. First and foremost, congratulations on finding love. I was lucky enough to finally find someone to be with after a lengthy period of ….well of nothing really…and that has been good for me.
    As for moving to Vietnam…that’s fantastic. I went there twice of cycling trips and thought it was fantastic. The food was great and the scenery was beautiful. As an ESL teacher, I was tempted to start my life over again and go there. While that didn’t happen, I can understand how alluring the possibilities are.
    Have an amazing journey and I will be here to read all about it.


  11. It will be interesting and give you a rare perspective on the world. (Like that’s your highest priority when you move for love!) Be prepared to run afoul of at least one custom, and don’t be too hard on yourself when it happens. And try to use that writer’s brain to get into the heads of the people you meet to understand them and to figure out how they see you.


  12. What a wonderful adventure Milly. I’ve often heard people say their biggest regrets are opportunities not taken, so whatever happens, you’ll know you’ve taken that chance. Hoping your new life is rich and fascinating and full of love.

    Liked by 2 people

  13. Upping sticks and moving to a non-english speaking country is a big move. I wish you well in your new life…lots of adventures await you. 30 years ago i made the move from England to New Zealand. My wife is a Kiwi. No regrets.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. North Island, east coast….Hawke’s Bay, the fruit bowl of New Zealand. Lots of orchards, vineyards and farms here…and awesome beaches. Main cities Hastings and Napier were flattened in 1931 massive earthquake and rebuilt in Art Deco style. Each February we celebrate art deco with hundreds of vintage 1920’s and 30’s cars, costume, music etc. See link – https://www.artdeconapier.com/


  14. I would not presume that you need luck to make your endeavor work. I will simply wish you well. It sounds like you have put some thought into it. The best anyone can hope for is that they make the right decision with the given information. You appear to have done your homework, so the decision is likely right for you. I’ll look forward to reading about your new home.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh no Tim would definitely follow me, and he probably will on my return. There’s a very good reason he had to go back, but not sure if I should/can share as it’s private information about Tim. I’m used to sharing myself publicly, but Tim isn’t lol

      Liked by 1 person

  15. Packing up and moving to a new continent or even just a different country can be insane and sometimes jarring. I spent a year living and working in South Korea, and while I absolutely loved the experience, it was a lot of work to get my life organized before leaving. Like you, I moved my things back in with my parents, and tried to fit my entire life into a single suitcase. I had one advantage, and that was working with a recruiter, acquiring a job before I left, and then applied for a visa with the school supporting the visa application. It made things go a bit smoother and it felt less chaotic. But it was still stressful and there was always more to do. It will be one hell of an experience, but I am sure you will love it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh wow! So you’re back home now? I’ve always wanted to teach English in South Korea. Two of my friends went there and they loved it, and since then I’ve wanted to go. Like you mentioned, I liked the fact you could go through a recruiter and get things started overseas (visa etc…) With Vietnam I’ve had to do a ton of research to make sure I’m doing it the right way and have everything I need to get a job before I go. Also, I’ll need to do a visa run at some point, which will be interesting. Thanks for sharing your story!!


  16. As someone who recently moved to South Korea to go teach English (by myself, no less), I can totally relate to just how crazy stressful it is to pack up your life and start it up again brand sparkling new. Good luck to you 👍👍👍

    Liked by 1 person

      1. It’s been quite a learning experience so far. I’ve had to learn a lot on the fly, and there’re been some definite highs and lows, but it’s certainly been an adventure 🙂


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