January 5th was spent in airports and on airplanes, arriving in Hanoi, Vietnam in the late evening.

We had an impossibly hard time getting from the airport to our new apartment; so much we almost gave up and got a hostel. BUT, eventually, we found our new home just as the hours changed from January 5th to January 6th. Straight to bed we went.

GOOD MORNING VIETNAM! We looked out our small terrace and explored the cabinets and cupboards. Cups, spoons, bowls, a microwave! Oh, how we didn’t even realize the things we’ve been missing.

For the next two weeks we are teaching English in Hanoi at a preschool called “My Homeschooling.” This is an awesome opportunity we found via “workaway” which has allowed us to take over a kind woman named Jade’s English classes while she is away on vacation. In exchange for teaching her classes, we get to stay in her apartment for free!

While it has been rough getting here, we have finally made it to the city of Hanoi, all with good time and patience! I like this city-it seems to move right. It’s no secret I don’t like cities: they often seem loud and abrasive and unnecessary But, this one seems real- real people doing life. A combination of seamless past and present. I feel as though Hanoi has wrinkles- smile lines from years of joy, frown lines from war, crow’s feet from change- you can see each new year and each new chapter as you see layers of paint on an old house. Yes, you can paint the walls a new color, but it will still chip away here and there, revealing residue of past lives lived under yellow, or red, or that mistaken blue, or that year with the simple cream.

Hanoi reminds me of a person, someone with a past, present, and future. A person with a heartbeat, who talks through the honking of horns, breathes through the aroma of street food, someone clothed in fresh fruit and flowers and car fumes, someone with eyes that can see through old women and skyscrapers alike.

Today I am reminded how young we are, (somehow traveling hasn’t made me realize this yet). BUT: exploring a new city, “moving” into our apartment, grocery shopping, doing laundry, cooking ourselves dinner, and buying a bottle of wine has reminded me how we’re all grown up. CRAZY CRAZY. After dinner we made popcorn, opened the red wine and dark chocolate, danced around our apartment and watched the fitting movie“Home Alone.”

We’re really just grown-up kids/childish adults…take your pick. (Both work with me ).



  1. Nicole, I think a book is in your future, and knowing and loving you as I do, you will donate the proceeds to the needy…..I can’t wait to give you a hug and tell you how proud I am of you…One blessed Grandmother

    Liked by 1 person

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