Gonna lose my streak...
...as I streak across the Pacific to Vietnam at 38,000 feet. I have posted several of my language adventures here from the US and the next ones will be from Vietnam.
I'll start the adventure in Saigon, travel north and spend about a month or so in a small village of Song Ve, then on the Hanoi and Halong Bay. If six months living and traveling with Vietnamese in Vietnam doesn't help me learn Vietnamese, nothing will. I hope to be able to easily and articulately express myself in Vietnamese by the end of this trip, beyond the simple conversations I have now.
From November to middle of February, I'll be in Saigon, don't want to miss Tet Holiday there. Maybe a month in Song Ve in the middle of Vietnam after that. Then on to Hanoi.
Best of luck to you, Songve. Here are a few lingots - buy yourself something nice. I hope you have a great trip and learn much more of Vietnamese. See you soon.
How exciting! I'll miss seeing your name/avatar but wow, what an opportunity!! You are living a real dream. Without going into any personal info (and if you can't say anything really that's fine) can you say if it was difficult to put your life (work/school) on hold in order to accomplish this journey, and was it difficult to finance?
I ask because I yearn to do something like this but it's difficult with job/family/bills. I keep thinking maybe a temp overseas job or something...
So basically I'm picking your brain for ideas but if you can't get into it I totally understand.
CONGRATS on your upcoming adventure!!!
When I worked, I put as much as I could into a deferred compensation account that would earn money and I wouldn't be taxed until I withdrew it. I controlled the % of stocks, bonds, etc and it earned far more than a regular saving account. As I got older, I made it more conservative. I also set up a retirement account.
I took an opportunity to take an early retirement by buying back my military time that gave me the years to take special deal of having life time medical insurance that I figured would outweigh the pay cut I'd take by retiring early. Where I worked offered early retirement to get people out of the system.
With my own money, SS, retirement, monthly comp from VA, I am pretty lucky and don't worry about money too much. I follow the philosophy, "less is more" so I can easily move around the world.
My advice to become as independent as possible is not get into debt, get into a deferred compensation plan, stay away from criminal enterprises like the big national banks and use local banks or credit unions, don't mindlessly accumulate a lot of possessions. If you want to try an adventure, test the waters first. You can get a job teaching English in SE Asia and live quite comfortably as you would be paid more than what local professionals get and cost of living much cheaper. But visit the country first to make sure it is compatible with you. I hear Americans in big demand for English teachers in Vietnam as USA the go to place for the kids that can afford to make it to the US and their parents have the money to pay for good teachers either in schools or private tutors. I'll keep this in mind in my travels to see if I can give you more information.
So, I retired early and got rid of all my possessions that were holding me down.
BTW, I am going to a Vietnamese travel agent tomorrow to get my tickets. The tickets are $1,100 USD roundtrip via Korean Airlines. I'll fly from US to (Tokyo, Japan) edit: Seoul, Korea and hop on a Vietnam Airline to Saigon. It will take nearly 24 hours with flight time and airport layovers. And then a few days to get over jet lag.
Thank you for such a thorough response! Right now my plan is to work until I can retire, and then look for a job abroad. I would LOVE to live in Prague for a year but I understand it's fairly expensive. If I'm very lucky I could get a job in my field and easily live there, and if I'm not very lucky I have been thinking about teaching English. I have been looking at what it would take to get TOEFL/TOESL certified and it is not a very big hurdle at all, in terms of time nor money. I have to admit I had not considered Asia - it is so different from the USA! But what you say makes sense. I will keep it in mind. Thank you again for the response, I greatly appreciate it.
Your streak? Ma dai, forget all about it songve. Have a wonderful time. You'll be free!
That sounds like an incredible language learning opportunity! Losing a streak for that is totally worth it. Good luck and have fun!
Best wishes for your trip, and looking forward to hearing about the adventure!
Songve, Have fun! Enjoy the cuisine. The French brought all their recipes with them when they invaded. I'll miss your sense of humor the most. Love, Cat
Wish all invaders brought just food and recipes. The coffee and bread are the first things to come to mind...
Amazing, how exciting!! Think of it as a celebratory reward for the streak!! Have a great time, can't wait to hear, or well, read, the stories!! :D
Thanks much. I understand Tet Holiday in Vietnam it is virtually impossible not to have fun. The whole country parties for a week.
Good luck learning Vietnamese. That is 100% worth the loss of the streak.
I lived in Vietnam for a few years. There is honestly not much to miss during Tet in Saigon. Everyone leaves the big cities during this time to go to their home villages, the city is basically a ghost town and almost nothing is open for more than a week. The only thing that really happens in Saigon during Tet is the flower street and usually there is a fireworks show, but even that was cancelled for a few years so maybe not.
Have a wonderful trip Sonve! I'm sure you will have lots of amazing experiences there! Looking forwards to hearing from you!
What an Adventure! Enjoy it as much as possible! And hopefully you come back being able to speak Vietnamese fluently!
Good luck! I hope you have a wondeful experience!! :)
bon voyage! hope you have the best time. & can't wait to hear all about your adventure. take a journal with you to document, toodles!
A lovely reminder that streaks can be motivational, but they're not important.
Thanks for sharing your adventures, Songve. I hope that you have a great trip, both for language learning and for the experience! Safe travels. :)
It's worth it. Having streak is just a number. Going on an adventure is much better then keeping a streak. Have fun, and be back soon! :)