LFE: Preparing for Departure

There is nothing more stressful than spending the money you’ve been saving on things you’ve been saving for. That makes sense, right? Or am I just insane?


These have been a productive few days! It’s all starting to hit that I’m leaving in about 2 months, which means there are certain things I need to take care of.

First and foremost, my vaccines – I managed to get what I needed, and it definitely cost me a pretty penny. In the end, it’ll be about $800, and then I have to figure out the cost of malaria meds. I have to go back in 4 weeks for round two of my Japanese Encephalitis vaccine.

Second, I applied for my VOA (Visa on Arrival). For United States citizens, we’re required to have a letter of approval before we even get on the plane in order to enter Vietnam. It only takes a few days to get, but I wanted to make sure I had it taken care of now.

The time of year that I’m arriving in Vietnam is tricky. Tet, the Lunar New Year, is on February 5th. The celebration lasts for about a week, and the week leading up to and following Tet are pretty chaotic in terms of transportation and accommodation. I’m planning on staying in Hanoi for Tet, but I have about a week and a half to explore before the chaos begins.

I’ll arrive in Hanoi and stay there for 4 nights. I just booked my accommodation, actually! I have 2 nights in a hotel and 2 nights in a hostel. Realistically, this is the very beginning of a very LONG vacation – so I want to start out slow and relaxed. I didn’t want to push myself into a hostel right away, though they’re fine; I just have a feeling I’ll be pretty jetlagged, so I want to make sure I can rest well and revamp myself before throwing myself into the backpacker life. I found somewhere pretty cool to stay that’s a few hours outside of Hanoi that I’ll be heading to after those 4 days, and I’ll stay there for 4-5 nights before heading back for the Tet festivities.

So, more or less, I’ve figured out my first few weeks. It doesn’t seem like a lot, but it’s taken me a while to actually figure out what I want to do and where I want to go. I don’t plan on planning the rest of my trip like this, but because of Tet, it’s logistically required.

I’m still basically drowning in school work, waiting for this grueling semester to end. I do so much reading that by the end of the day, my eyes blur, and I’m pretty sure I’m going crosseyed. SUPER healthy, I know. I’m pretty ready to be done with it, but I guess it’s normal to be eager when something so awesome is waiting at the end of the finish line.

Til next time…

Emily Rose Wanders (2)

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