Over the past 6 weeks or so, I've been living in Hoi An, Vietnam, roughly halfway between Saigon and Hanoi. Declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, Hoi An has joined the elite rank of Chichen Itza, Uluru, the entire city of Rome, the Statue of Liberty, and Independence Hall, just to name a few. It's no wonder why it's now home to about 120,000 people from around the globe.
But I'm no history major.
And neither are these people. Life is so simple here. There's no push for big careers, no deadlines, no "ASAP," no closing hours, no fixed prices --- no rules, really. And no religion. Thank God. You just do what you can do to get by and everyone looks after each other. There is a lot of Wi-Fi though, albeit tremendously slow, but it's everywhere.
Last June when I left my job in America, I left with intentions to work on a boat or "something like that."
Clearly that goal eluded me (or I it) in Australia, but now, well over a year later, I've finally had that experience. If you've never had a job that requires you to be outdoors and/or on the water all hours of the day, I encourage you to stop reading this email, draft your resignation letter, immediately turn it in, and start searching.
What an incredible experience. Blue Coral Diving is the top recreational snorkeling and scuba diving tour company in Hoi An that operates daily a 40 passenger boat for tourists and locals alike.
Turns out that being able to breathe 100 feet under water is pretty damn awesome. Diving and getting advanced certifications for free were also awesome... But the money's run out, so it's time to move on, re-fill the accounts, and then do it all over again.
In a few days, I'm heading over to Lusaka, Zambia to do some freelance consulting for the World Bicycle Relief.
This 6-month contract will be a good opportunity to "do some good," exercise my brain, make some cash, and see Africa for the first time. The thought of company safaris was also a big factor in the choice.
You know as much as I do about Zambia, Lusaka, my living situation, my job role, safety level, economic condition, and just about anything else that one should know before making a major move. But I'm sure it'll be just fine.
To Vietnam, I appreciate your Bánh Mì ladies (capitalized as one wise soul taught me to do), your free ketchup, your 25 cent beers, your $7/day accommodation, your motorbikes, and your delicious food. You've come a long way from our first day together where people were defecating in the streets.
To Zambia, step up your game. You have a lot of work ahead of you to beat this magnificent country. A good start would be free public (and Western) toilets.
Here are some pictures, and some more of the diving sites.