Goodbye, Vietnam!

It feels surreal to be saying goodbye but it’s my last day in Vietnam today! The bags are packed, the farewells have been said, and tomorrow morning we fly to Bangkok for one last Asian mini-break (ok, and shopping spree) before heading back to Sydney to live.

It’s been an amazing four and a half years living in Phnom Penh and then Saigon – full of the some of the biggest ups and downs I’ve ever felt but overall, a life changing experience. During that time I’ve travelled lots, had two kids and scored my dream job (Deputy Editor of a magazine!). I’ve made some amazing friends in both cities, eaten a ridiculous amount of great food and drunk copious amounts of good coffee. I’ve forgotten how to clean(!) and how to catch public transport – the adjustment to life back in the ‘real world’ may be a tough one! I’m really looking forward to fresh air, parks, empty sidewalks and comparatively empty roads, Sydney stuff like farmers markets and art galleries and concerts and events, catching up with old friends and rediscovering pretty much everything.

There are lots of things I’ll miss (mostly food and people and cheap stuff!) but lots of things I won’t (the traffic, the pollution, the noise – don’t get me started on the noise!). I think it’ll be a tumultuous time ahead re-establishing a life in Sydney, but hopefully it will feel like the right move. As for blogging – I’ve loved connecting with like-minded souls around the world and don’t want the virtual friendships to end! I’m not sure of the fate of A Girl in Asia just yet (I don’t want to say goodbye!) and I’ll definitely continue reading and commenting on all my favourite blogs. Please drop by now and then as I may post a link to a new Sydney-based blog once I’m on my feet and think up my next blogging move! Better go – there’s still a little more packing to do in our over-stuffed bags which somehow have to fit lots of Bangkok purchases too(!).

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20 Responses

  1. Kristina November 19, 2010 / 10:19 am

    Have a wonderful time in BKK and a good start in Sydney!! All the best, but I hope to see you around soon with great tales from Sydney!
    Viele Gruesse, Kristina

  2. sweetdreamsflyingmachines November 19, 2010 / 4:05 pm

    I’m sorry you’re leaving, but happy for you to be going home. Your blog has been very informative (for my new life in Saigon) and inspirational (for my own writing.) I look forward to whatever your next step will be. Safe travels.

    -Grace Lewis

  3. A Lady's Life November 19, 2010 / 4:54 pm

    One can certainly get attached to Asia. It’s like a Volkswagon bug. You either hate it or love it with a passion.
    The culture shock is coming back home. At least it was for me.
    Good luck with Australia. There is no place like home ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. Fly Girl November 20, 2010 / 12:05 am

    Wow, what an adventure! It makes me sad that you’re leaving and I’ve never even been to Viet Nam. Where am I going to hear about all the fantastic food and restaurants? Do you really have to leave?

  5. Marie November 22, 2010 / 11:46 pm

    Funny you mentioning forgetting how to clean because everytime my husband and I look at a pile of washing up we’ve made, we swear we will go back to Vietnam. I hope you are having a great time shopping it up in BKK and best wishes for a lovely trip back down under. He he, you’ll be in my neighbourhood:)

  6. Circus Charlie November 23, 2010 / 10:23 am

    i just got back over to australia after being washed up on asian shores non-stop for over a year. it was the most refreshing, stimulating and exciting experience. there is nothing like asia to refresh what was once taken for granted. spongy grass, fresh air, dry heat, clean sea, roads without potholes, vintage bookshops, arthouse cinemas, live music and cheeky banter.
    ‘oh, the experiences of this sweet life’

    [a girl in australasia please…]

  7. artdecodiamonds November 29, 2010 / 2:17 pm

    I love north vietnam… one of my favs in the world…!

  8. nmaha December 3, 2010 / 5:19 am

    Oh no! please don’t stop blogging. I’ve just discovered your blog recently and am addicted. A Sydney blog would be great.

  9. niamh December 4, 2010 / 8:27 pm

    What an adventure ahead indeed! As you know from reading my settling back last year, it’s mental at times. I got through it though and I’m sure you all will too. the best thing is you have people to share the experience with. Good luck ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚

  10. the person within December 17, 2010 / 1:21 pm

    I have been following your blog for quite sometime now..It has a very refreshing take on life and culture of Vietnam and very informative, of course.
    If ever, I plan a trip to Vietnam, I would definitely skim over your blog for reference points.
    Please don’t stop blogging. You have a very interesting style of wordplay.

  11. Top-of-the-Arch December 24, 2010 / 9:39 pm

    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
    I was so glad to find your blog, but sad that you are leaving Viet Nam. I will read all your previous posts which would be helpful when my make the trip back to my birthplace.
    Best wishes in all your future plans.
    TOTA
    St. Louis, Missouri

  12. Leah January 15, 2011 / 6:24 pm

    I’ve been reading through your blog and it’s wonderful! After falling in love with plastic chairs, beer with ice, and motorbikes in Saigon I’ve fantasized about going back. Thanks for sharing your adventures.

  13. Living in Vietnam February 15, 2011 / 7:33 am

    Happy New Year ! Wish you success and luck in life! Come, go, eat and living in Vietnam, you have chance discover about Vietnam such : people, history, culture, life style and so on. Vietnam is always welcome you. If you need information about Vietnam such as: accommodation, expats living in Vietnam,… you can contacts me at add: Living in Vietnam or http://www.brighthomevietnam.com/living_in_vietnam.html . Sure I will help you. And you will like living in Vietnam.

  14. Franziska April 1, 2011 / 3:12 pm

    Liz, I will miss you and your great advices for sure! Thanks to your blog I was shopping in Phnom Penh, had delicious coffees, cakes and Dim Sum in Saigon, stayed at Maison’d Hanoi and many, many things more. It was always a pleasure wandering through your new finds on your site. …*sniff*… Take care and blog about Sydney! x Franziska

  15. A Girl in Asia April 3, 2011 / 9:36 am

    Thanks Franziska! (And everyone else who left such wonderful comments!). Glad you found some great places via my blog. I also have to thank you for your vintage furniture shop tip off!

  16. Rachel May 16, 2011 / 2:31 am

    I check back occasionally here and would love to see an update of how your life is going back in Australia.

    I’ve been in Thailand almost 10 years and can’t imagine ever leaving Asia. But I’m always interested in how the people who do leave manage to adjust ๐Ÿ™‚

  17. A Girl in Asia June 13, 2011 / 11:43 pm

    Hi all – just letting you know I’ve started a new blog called devoured – http://devouredbyliz.blogspot.com/ – it’s like A Girl in Asia… just based in Sydney! Hopefully there’ll be a bit of international content too once I venture out of Australia again…

  18. Travel Tips for Asia September 3, 2011 / 1:35 pm

    Very nice blog, and I completely understand when you talk about the biggest ups and downs. This sort of life doesn’t invite stability ๐Ÿ˜›

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