Ho Chi Minh City (commonly known as Saigon) is a city in southern Vietnam famous for the pivotal role it played in the Vietnam War.
With a population of 8.3 million – the city is bustling 24/7.
Travel is rebellion in it’s purest form. Traveling alone is thought to be a bit ludicrous. Traveling alone in a third world country – you’re insane and your friends and family are questioning your sanity. My parents were not thrilled with my decision to travel solo to Vietnam but they respect me now for it. #imasurvivor
Exaggerations aside, I’m here to tell you it is not crazy and it is 1000% life-changing to travel alone to a foreign country. It is the most liberating experience you will ever have. You will learn quickly how to take care of yourself. I became more independent on this trip than ever before.
Travel is what teaches you to live with an open mind and heart.
Travel is truly living.
We follow our heart, we free ourselves from routines, we lose control willingly, we love the unfamiliar, we trust strangers.
Ho Chi Minh (Saigon) was the first city where I was completely alone and knew nobody. I had no plans to meet up with anyone – I was just going for the adventure and to learn about a culture that interested me.
My day went like this: I woke up at my hotel from my daily 6 A.M. alarm, it was a hot and humid Sunday – (I honestly wanted to be back in Bali on the beach at this point – I was beginning to miss English speaking people) – I went over my list of places that I wanted to see during a breakfast at the hotel and then I set out with my camera in hand for an exciting solo adventure. My first stop was the Cho Ben Thanh Market.
15 minutes into my solo excursion I met Dalia outside the market. Dalia is in her 50’s with a daughter my age, lives in Paris but was visiting Vietnam for business. She designs these little figurines you see below – the ones that are baked into King Cakes. She was also a solo traveler – it was her day off to explore. She approached me and asked if I spoke French, I really wish I did. She knew a little English but it was rather difficult to communicate- thank god for Google translate. She didn’t really have any places she wanted to see asked me what my plan was for the day and I showed her my itinerary. We decided to spend the rest of the day together and explore the city together. I will always be grateful for Dalia. You taught me more in 1 day than most people teach me in a year, even with the language barrier.
We still email and I am very grateful to have crossed paths with such a beautiful soul. I hope to see you in Paris soon Dalia:)
Below are our adventures. Hope this inspires you to travel with an open mind and heart. Live fearless.
Ba Thien Hau Temple
Streets of Saigon
SAIGON OPERA HOUSE
Ho Chi Minh Square