After almost 8 months traveling in SE Asia, we are sad to see our travels come to an end for the moment as we set a timeline of when it was time to start working again. (We gotta make money)
Our plan was to get a teaching job in Vietnam and replicate our year in Korea by traveling this beautiful country during our weekends and time off.
We set up shop in a $10 hotel in Hanoi and began the hunt. Started off great, two job offers in two days. Turned out they sucked. Then got three more interviews in three more days. Things were looking up. Our favorite school said yes after we did a demo class and Scott got peed on by a two-year-old. Excited we went to go sign a contract and make this announcement to you.
But then it happened. The good ol’ bait and switch. The awesome job they promised was switched with commuting up to 60km a day for a two-hour class. Sigh, heads down feeling defeated we had been in this hotel for nearly two weeks and were starting to get discouraged.
We had to constantly pick each other up after our dream job turned out to be a lie. We learned a lot about ourselves while applying for these jobs. We learned we liked having a set schedule so we could form a bit of a routine where we could work on things that were important to us outside of work. (ie; our blog, photography, exercise, learning new skills, and travel) These were all things we were able to do while teaching in Korea. We were finding that in Vietnam it was more common to have to build your own schedule and you could be working all days of the week at different schools all over the city. We discovered we didn’t want any part in that.
This may be great for those who don’t like routine, but through our talks with each other, we started to discover what we really wanted. A place where we now exactly what is expected of us, that allows us to save money for our retirement, and travel together on the weekends. Our dream job told us we would only have one or two classes off for a whole year. YUCK! That’s not even one full day. If we wanted lousy vacation time we would go back and get our old jobs in America!
We also learned it would be difficult for both of us to sync up on the same schedule to travel different parts of Vietnam together on our days off, which is very important to us. This is how we traveled throughout most of South Korea during our year stay.
After feeling a bit defeated in finding a new job and place to live and save money for the next year where we would be happy we got an interview at what turned out to be our favorite school in Vietnam. At the interview we were promised everything we had wanted, set hours, one teaching location, weekends off together and all in a beautiful area of Hanoi called EcoPark. We did a demo lesson that went rather well in front of the Vietnamese teachers we would be working with. All of the people at this school were friendly and we were loving the vibe.
While waiting to hear back from this school an unexpected opportunity came our way. Scott’s old boss from Seoul contacted us and said that there are two teaching positions available at the end of the month. We needed to make a decision quick as his old boss needed to fill the positions.
At the same time, we got the official job offer for the job we loved in Vietnam. With the contract offered to us we would be guaranteed to save $2,000 plus per month between the both of us as well as live off of less because Vietnam is significantly less expensive than the US and Korea to live in. We would be able to travel on our weekends and have a really nice apartment. Which is exactly what we wanted.
We went back and forth with the pros and cons of living, saving, and traveling in both Vietnam and Korea we made a decision. Drum roll please…we are coming back to Korea!!!!
The biggest factor came down to the amount of money we can save by living in Korea. We are still able to save at least $10,000 more by going back to Korea. Except this year we are going to challenge ourselves to save more than last year. We also found ourselves liking the comforts of living in Korea. When it comes to traveling we do not mind roughing it from time to time. We were going to have a nice apartment in Vietnam, but we really liked the convenience and availability of things in Korea. This isn’t important to everyone, and it isn’t to us when we are traveling, but for living a year in a place we want some more of the comforts of back home in the US.
We are in no way done with Vietnam, we can’t wait to come back and travel the entire country as we did in Laos. We are excited and ready to tackle all the places we haven’t seen, including Jeju!
What’s funny is that we were ready to say goodbye to Korea when our contracts were over last November. This was mainly because we were so anxious and excited to start traveling and not feel landlocked to one country. We did not see ourselves going back, we felt like we covered South Korea pretty well considering we only had the weekends to enjoy it. But, the longer we stayed away from Korea, the more and more we started craving the food, the drinks (makgeolli & soju), the hiking, places we frequently visited in Seoul, and our adventures throughout the rest of the country. So to celebrate we are sharing Scott’s first hyperlapse video “A Day in Seoul.” Get ready Korea, Bobo and Chichi are coming back!
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