Asia Travel

Vietnam Farewell

Ending Chapter Five in Laos

Location: Vietnam

We are marking three months on the road with our departure from Vietnam. After 28 days we say farewell to Vietnam. Tomorrow we fly to Laos.

We will only be in Laos for nine days, six of those will be spent on board a boat on the Mekong River with 20 other passengers. I am very much looking forward to this experience and the sun that is forecast. No doubt it will generate a blog or two.

Woman spinning in Mai Chau

At the end of our time in Laos we close Chapter Five- Southeast Asia, and turn the page. Chapter Six is six weeks in New Zealand!

At the three-month mark we have settled in to the

Textile art in Mai Chau

lifestyle, behaving less like tourists and more like locals.  I am surprised by a few things – finding a place to run has been hard and it is not happening as often as I would like.  Cooking has actually

Photo of old woman from Vietnam Women’s Museum

proved more expensive than eating out, so I am not cooking as much as I thought I would.  That will likely change in New Zealand.

Flowers on the back of a bicycle

We regularly take a day or two to do nothing. Hanging out, working on the computer and reading. I like these days and do not need to be on the go all the time.

I try to blog a couple of times a week and just submitted my next story for my column “Travel Bug” to West Sound Home & Garden Magazine.

We have been amazingly healthy.  We both had a tummy issue in Thailand that was brief and a cold here in Hanoi only lasted a few days.  Feeling great.

We tell our travel story to people we meet who all stare at us mouth agape at our plans. Why it seems so unachievable to most people but not to us still baffles me.

Bridge in Hanoi

We are under budget thanks in part to how inexpensive everything in SE Asia is. A beer costs about $1.  A manicure is about $3. Dinner for three people, $15 or less.

We track our expenses very closely right down to

On the boat in Halong Bay

taxis and tips. It helps us see where we are spending and where we can improve.

I will say once again that our choice to live this life is not for everyone. We are living much less

A common sight on the busy streets of Hanoi

expensively than we did back home. We do not have a house to update and maintain. We do not have a yard to spend thousands of dollars on each year. We are not entertaining as we used to (which I of course loved to do but also spent tons of money on). No

Young girls in traditional dress, rice paddies of Mai Chau

cars, boats or even lawn mowers to put gas in, maintain and purchase tabs for.  I haven’t had a haircut since August. I don’t buy shoes and clothes or even gifts. But I know some people couldn’t give all that up. And that’s okay. We did – for now at

Floating village family Halong Bay


When asked Arne always tells people that if we make it to the sixth month mark he thinks we can make it to the six – year mark. My answer is a bit different – as long as we are having fun then I can continue.

And we are. We spend nearly every waking hour together and get along better than we ever have.

Night view from our apartment in Hanoi

There is nearly no stress, nothing to argue about or disagree about. It’s working.

So it’s farewell to beautiful Vietnam and hello to Laos. I’m looking forward to a bit of a change of scenery and learning something new – I know so little about Laos. So it will be an adventure.

A Grand Adventure!

Thank you for following!  Please share and tell your friends!  ❤

Note- I have been asked to write about the books I have been reading (currently reading book #18) and I’ve also been asked to write more about how Airbnb works. I promise to both in the near future. 

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  • Reply Suzannne. Suther

    Hitch hiking along your many journeys has long been a joyride! This one is both interesting & inspiring on so many levels! I look forward to reading your article in the West Sound Home & Garden magazine when it is published! Sending love your way!

    February 27, 2017 at 9:13 pm
    • Reply Laureen

      Thank you dear one. Love to you and all.

      February 27, 2017 at 11:29 pm
  • Reply Carla Wesson

    Laureen– I am truly enjoying your blog! You are adventurous, thoughtful, aware and inspiring! We have been in Tasmania since February. 7 and don’t leave until Mar 17. We are having a grand adventure filled with lots of hiking. We leave this week to do an 8 day backpacking trip on the Overland Track.
    Will be fun to see New Zealand thru your eyes!
    Carla Wesson

    February 27, 2017 at 11:09 pm
    • Reply Laureen

      Thank you Carla. I’m sure you all are having a great time too! Be safe and fabulous!

      February 27, 2017 at 11:28 pm

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