In 2011BC (Before Children), Matt and I took a short trip to Laos via Hanoi, Vietnam. We were only in the famous Old Quarter for a few days but it didn’t take long to fall in love with the place. Even now, several years later, I can still taste the crispy deep-fried sensation, cooked in a humble 44 gallon drum on this street.
I heard a famous chef on the radio once ask the question, “If you could only pick one cuisine to eat for the rest of your life, what would it be?” Thinking of this street stall, my answer was immediately: Vietnamese. French would be a close second, but thanks to imperialism, in Vietnam you get the best of both worlds!
So why Vietnam? Firstly, for me, the food.
My husband worked at an airport for years. He encountered travellers of many different backgrounds. One thing that concerned him the most were those travellers who had been to a locale such as Bali, who were not aware that they’d been in the country of Indonesia to write this on their declaration card upon their return to Australia.
So why Vietnam? Secondly, for Matt, it’s not… (insert name of stereotypical family holiday destination here).
As previously mentioned, we have two toddlers. They have adventurous spirits. Rather than just load them up with thingies that often do little to stimulate their growing brains, we resolved very early on that we’d pay for experiences over things. Our kids are not the best dressed at kindy; their rooms are certainly not bursting with toys; we regularly welcome with open arms all things pre-loved but our three and a half year old, Eva, can tell you the capital cities of Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, Bangladesh, India, Somalia, Sierra Leone, and Singapore (well, that’s an easy one).
So why Vietnam? Thirdly, for our kids, it’s a place rich in culture and history.
Tomorrow we board a flight to Ho Chi Minh City (with a one night stop-over in Singapore). We’re up late, still packing and finalising things but, in our minds, we’re ready for an amazing adventure (and 8 hours on a plane with one very active little boy…!). Follow us on our adventure. Don’t forget to like & share…