Happy New Year From Ho Chi Minh City!
Chuc Mung Nam Moi (Happy New Year) from Ho Chi Minh City!
I’m embarrassed at how badly I’ve neglected this blog. I vaguely thought to myself on New Year’s Eve (before going to bed at 9pm) that I really should spend more time on it. But half of January has managed to slip away already, so that semi-resolution isn’t exactly on track.
We have had so many adventures that haven’t made it onto the blog, including the full story of my Mummy-and-baby backpacking trip through Malaysia, an eating excursion to Hanoi and an amazing trip to Central Vietnam for a Cham festival (the Cham are one of Vietnam’s 53 ethnic minority groups).
There have also been birthdays, school fetes, weddings and amazing discoveries at home here in Ho Chi Minh City.
There were also puppies. NINE puppies! Eight left home (we kept one) but we took one back after six weeks after seeing it was severely underweight and quite skittish around people.
We expanded our street food tour business with a new employee at the same time as a flurry of competitors started up. Three years ago we believed we were the first outfit in town to devote ourselves exclusively to food tours, now there are dozens, all undercutting each other.
In the last few months of 2015 I devoted myself to (paid) freelance writing. That satisfied my creative side, fulfilling the (unpaid) role the blog has played in my life. I’ve also had a lot of (paid) corporate work land in my lap – yay!
And the kids… sometimes it feels like they occupy my every waking thought, as well as interrupt my sleep. I do not like getting my slow-to-wake slow-eater ready for the school bus by 7.15am. I do not enjoy helping with her homework. (I DO NOT LIKE IT, SAM-I-AM!) I thought fleeing the corporate world would mean I never ever had to bow to the gods of alarm clocks and drudgery again.
Ah well, they’re both growing up so fast. This phase won’t last forever. But it does mean I have a lot of balls in the air. Maybe too many. Maybe a few of the wrong balls.
Christmas and New Year are the busiest time of year for our tour business and November and December flew by without much time for reflection or forward planning. January has started the same way, but I have scheduled some time out for myself.
This weekend I’m flying up to the beautiful seaside village of Quy Nhon, where we had a wonderful family holiday three years ago. I’ve booked into a bamboo hut on the beach, with a writing desk and wifi. The plan is to take long walks on the beach, prepare a plan for the year ahead and write, write, write. No alarm clock, no interruptions (because no kids are coming with) and lots of fresh seafood.
Anyone ever do anything like this? I am so looking forward to it, and I’m worried I won’t want to come home after only three days!
For more foodie photos and other fun, follow Dropout Diaries on Instagram and on Facebook
4 years ago