Going to Vietnam? 10 brutally honest tips you NEED to know

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How apt are you at dealing with culture shock?

Being thrust into dizzyingly unfamiliar surroundings is one surefire way to find out! Enter Vietnam…by far the craziest, noisiest and most difficult country I travelled through in my four years of global gallivanting.

But how long does the disorientation stemming from culture shock generally last? One or two days? Up to a week? What happens when it consumes the entire trip?

I spent my first day in Vietnam utterly bewildered, picking my way through the chaos of a Communist country that ironically appeared to run entirely ungoverned by any road, social or safety regulations.

A seasoned traveller, I presumed my feelings of discomfort would fade in the face of my easy ability to adapt to most environments.

However, four weeks went by and I was still struggling to overcome the challenges of travelling through a country where nothing seemed to make any sense.

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Eight (or should that be ate?) reasons I gained weight while travelling

When I jacked in my career and kick-started a life of long-term travel some four years ago, I was so excited for the changes my new lifestyle would bring.

I couldn’t wait to see the world, have new experiences, explore new cultures, meet new people…and maybe even lose some weight doing it!

Um, no.

I can’t tell you exactly how much weight I put on over the course of my travels (I refused to step on the scales), but I’m willing to hazard a guess at around eight kilos in four years.

Picture credit: topnaturalremedies.net

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Jetplanepenny…for your thoughts

“What are you reading?” I inquired.

My travel buddy looked up from his book. “A philosophy book. It’s called Letters from a Stoic.”

Interesting. I’d been expecting John Grisham or Dan Brown, not a collection of philosophical musings dating back almost 2,000 years.

The literature geek in me stirred from its slumber as I put down my embarrassing chick lit book and peered across at its antithesis.

“I’ve just read a really interesting chapter on travel, actually,” he continued. My eyes must have lit up because he saved his page and handed the book to me. “Feel free to have a read.”

Which is exactly what I did, before snapping a few pictures to pass it on to jetplanejenny readers!

Read on – and let me know your thoughts in the comments box below.

Image by Wade M.
Image by Wade M.

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