For a short period, it seemed like Vietnam would go back to normal
More of my friends left Vietnam
Making the best use of lock down by focusing on work
My online business picked up speed in July / August
I went back to a 99% plant based diet and developed a healthy lock down routine
Lock down got extreme in Vietnam, so I decided to leave in September
New destination: Bansko, Bulgaria
After my last quarterly update, a lot of things have changed. Since the last year, life in Vietnam has been pretty good. But as I already shared in my previous update, things have gotten worse in Vietnam since May. Not only has the Visa situation become more difficult, but also the COVID situation in general. Even up to a point where cities didn’t allow citizens to go outside at all. Not even grocery shopping.
But for a few days in July, it was looking great and it seemed like everything would go back to normal quickly. I didn’t hesitate, made use of the time and visited Hoi An with friends to enjoy some seafood and the beach. Strangely, Hoi An was fully open. It’s bizarre to have a city in full lock down and 5km down the road people are having the best life. As you can imagine, everyone from Da Nang escaped to Hoi An as much as possible.
While Da Nang wasn’t hit the worse, it implemented the hardest measure across the country. After just a few cases, the city went back into full lock down mode, closing all non essential businesses and not allowing online deliveries. Going to Hoi An was also not an option anymore. Glad I went when I could. It was impressive to see how quickly people complied.
Compared to last year during the hard lock down, the city was much more strict this time. Checkpoints between districts were set up quickly and you could only pass with permits. Yes, people love to make things complicated.
While I could go on with talking about the Covid situation in Vietnam, I rather focus on the beautiful things in life. Like my birthday:
While I would have loved to go out to dinner with friends like last year, I’m grateful to have people in my life that think of me even when they’re not there.
Sadly, shortly after, my friends also decided to leave Vietnam.
While it was indeed sad to see everyone leave, I tried to make the best of it. After Andrea left, I moved into my new apartment and got back into my working mode and developing a strong routine. Since there wasn’t much social obligations, I spent most of my time working and staying healthy
One of the things I was most grateful for, was to join the family and hotel staff for lunch and dinner. Since all meals were purely vegan, I changed to a completely plant based diet for the few months of lockdown. Together with my workout routine, I managed to lose a few Kg’s.
Online Business Progress
While being in lock down and basically focusing on my projects day in and day out, it was actually good to see that my work was starting to pay off more and more. As expected, the summer months are usually very quiet for e-Commerce as people are enjoying their lives away from the screen.
However, for some reason my business gained a lot of traction in July and August (only to fall back again in September). I’m not sure what exactly caused this, but that’s life. Running a business is unpredictable and it teaches you a lot about getting comfortable with the unknown.
While my life has been pretty good during lock down, I knew that it couldn’t go on forever like this. Especially because my Visa was running out in September, I knew I had to make a decision. Because the whole country was on hold, it was almost impossible for me to get my passport to Hanoi for another extension, and so I decided to go all-in and leave Vietnam.
It wasn’t an easy decision, but somehow I knew that my time in Vietnam was coming to an end and that I needed to get outside my comfort zone and leave the bubble to see how the rest of the world is.
I felt that the fear mongering in Vietnam was really high and having this negative energy around me wasn’t something I wanted long term. Especially when it comes to the 💉💉💉 talk and when everyone wants to get it.
After going back and forth inside my head for weeks, I made the decision to hire private car and drive all the way up to Hanoi. I shared my experience and the entire journey in another blog post here:
With this being said, as I’m writing these lines, I’m already in Bansko, Bulgaria. For the last weeks, I mainly spent time moving around and finding a place to stay. I’m slowly getting settled and will share more of my life in Bansko in the next update.
People keep asking me: why Bulgaria?
It’s certainly not the most known “Nomad” destinations, but among some other reasons, it was one of the easiest countries to get to from Vietnam at this point in time.
It is for sure very different from Vietnam. For over 3 years, I’ve been used to the easy lifestyle in Asia. Now being back in Europe is quite an adjustment, especially because winter is approaching (I haven’t seen any snow in years!)
I’m embracing this new chapter in life and curious what it brings. For now, I feel that I made the right decision (in fact, any decision is a right decision).
I don’t look back with regrets that I left, because now I’m learning to appreciate it even more.