After weeks of collecting documentations, subjecting myself to shots, and all round general hysteria, I can finally say that I am officially (more or less) ready for Vietnam! In two days my boyfriend Chris will be flying to Jo’burg from Durban, and then in another 12 days we’ll be jetting off on our adventure together.
I am feeling both nervous and incredibly excited – nervous because I’ll be leaving everything and everyone I know behind, but excited because of the possibilities that await me in this new country. For the passed few weeks, I have been bombarded with questions about my decision to move to Hanoi, the most common one being “why Vietnam?”.
When I’d first received the email from my English lecturer telling us about the TEFL course, I had originally been keen on the idea of possibly teaching in South Korea or Thailand – countries more ‘cosmopolitan’ than many believe Vietnam to be. After meeting Chris and hearing about his plans to teach in Hanoi, I was intrigued and decided to do some of my own research.
Luckily for me, my cousin Andoni and his girlfriend Jess have been living and teaching in Vietnam for about three years now. I was able to talk to him and ask him many of the questions that plagued my mind. The first thing he said to me was that I would not regret my decision to move to Hanoi. He talked to me about the beauties of the country, about all the travelling that he and Jess get to do, and about how rewarding it was to be able to teach English to children who so passionately wanted to learn.
I spent a few days reading articles online and soaking in everything I could about Vietnam. I learnt that the cost of living there is 12.26% lower than the cost of living in South Africa. At the same time, I would be earning between $2000-$2500 a month (depending on the school I’d be teaching at), spending only a maximum of $300 on rent a month. Financially, that is an amazing deal.
And so after a little bit of researching, I came to the conclusion that Vietnam might just be the place for me. Not only will I be travelling with the man that I love, I’ll also be with family when I get there, which makes travelling to a whole new country much less daunting. On top of that, I’ll be earning a really good salary for someone who has only just recently graduated from university, and I can use some of that money to travel while I work.
What more could a 22 year old want?