I’m sorry. It happened again. I’ve let you down! Recording my backpacking journey on the road is proving difficult – between the constant moving and activities, poor to non-existent wifi and my general beach bum laziness there have been minimal posts as of late. But fear not because I’m about to hit you with some truths I’ve learnt over my 2 months of travels so far. Get ready…
You might see someone die.
If you’ve been to Asia you know how insane the roads can be. Crossing in Hanoi was always a life or death situation that took about 10 minutes to accomplish. The moped numbers are through the roof, mix speeding locals with nervous tourists learning the new rules and you’ve got a recipe for disaster. I’ve met A LOT of backpackers who have witnessed major accidents and even deaths on the roads here. I’ve lost count of the amount of cars and bikes I’ve see at the bottom of mountain roads.
You will be ill – a lot.
You think escaping your air conditioned office and stress of everyday life will mean health on the road?! You’re wrong! I’ve probably never been healthier, fruit smoothies for breakfast, walking countless miles per day, soaking up the vitamin D – why am I always ill! If it’s not food poisoning it’s a cold. The fact is you now live with 10+ people in dorm rooms, meet awesome buddies everyday and have a few too many late nights with shots of local alcohol. Those germs are having a field day!
You WILL ride a motorbike.
So if it wasn’t enough meeting other travelers daily with the tell-tale signs of road accidents. Bandages on their knees, scabs covering every joint and stories of the days in hospital. You might have even seen someone actually get hit on the mental Asian roads – you now have to think positive and hop on one yourself. I’m pretty stubborn and refuse to drive one myself but sometimes it really is the only way to get around! Sharing with an experienced driver is always my goal. And if it’s not a lift to a waterfall or tourist site that you’re getting you will quite often be dropped to your bus by a local on a bike. Just hold on and close your eyes!
You’re gonna get lied to.
Sometimes this is a perfect fly innocent situation. Some cultures are too kind to simply say ‘I don’t know’ to your question and make up an answer. I get this a lot with directions, people have the best intentions but getting 6 different answers often gets frustrating. In Vietnam the locals aren’t a fan of travelers and many lie about the prices of anything.
It’s the best part of the world. You will fall in love and most certainly return.
Despite the rock hard beds, blatant scams, vicious mosquito, cold showers, interesting bus rides, bathroom cockroaches, squat toilets and complete lack of safety regulations this place is paradise. It’s filled with adventure and it feels like home to me. I came here for a culture shock and that’s what it gave me. I’m captured by the unknown, paths to hidden beaches, jungles, mountain views, blue lagoons, cities that don’t quit. I love you Asia.
Now that I’ve warned you, are you ready to have the time of your life?! Good, see you on the beach babe!
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