Thursday, February 28, 2013

I'm surprised I'm even alive to write this.

{By the way, have I told you how dramatic I can be? No? Oh, okay, well...I can be.}

Yesterday, we left beautiful Bali to embark on a 20 day journey in Vietnam. I may have mentioned before that I know nothing about Vietnam. Other than the fact that my sister was adopted from Vietnam when she was 7 and I was 10 (more on that later), and my favorite nail lady from San Diego grew up there as well, I really don't know much.

But then over these last few months, so many of you have graciously left comments and sent emails giving wonderful suggestions for our time here. So we're definitely excited about exploring so we too can love this place as much as most of you do.

I'm not going to lie though... My thoughts so far? Meh.

After scrambling for the correct paperwork to be allowed into the country, we arrived at Ho Chi Minh airport around 8:30pm last night and followed the signs for "Landing Visa."

Us and a million other people, as well, apparently had the same idea on getting visa approval upon arrival. #poorplanningonmypart

This place was a Mad.House. It was like we were a bunch of 2nd graders pushing and shoving to get to the front of the line for snack time.

Except we were adults. Pushing and shoving to get access to Vietnam.

...Not quite as appealing, in my opinion.

Also, apparently everybody else, but us, knew that $45 AMERICAN dollars were needed to get this visa approval. Where were we when that memo was sent out? We only had about $80 worth of Indonesian Rupiah. Whoops. Again...poor planning on my part.

So we got to the window and desperately tried to convey that we needed an ATM as she stared at us blankly and then told us to wait.

Two hours of waiting later...

Our names are called and she approves me, but not Verner, to go through customs and find an ATM, complete with a handwritten note in Vietnamese saying I could come back in so I could pay for V Dizzle to get through.

So off I went to find an ATM, asking several airport workers where I could find one only to be returned with a blank stare. {I thought most people here spoke English??} Finally, I found it, and made my way back. The lady overcharged us and wouldn't listen to us explain her mistake, so we just paid and got out of there.

Me = huffing and puffing.
V Dizzle = Calm and collected.
Typical for these types of unexpected situations.

{I feel like this story is droning on and it's not even that interesting.}

Aannnyyywayy...Long story long: We made it. We're here. It's hot as balls.

Oh, and I fear for my life every time we try to cross the street. It's rare to see a proper crosswalk and even rarer to see a car adhere to supposed "pedestrian rights."

Basically, it's like playing real-life Frogger.

See for yourself:

See what I mean?

Anyway, we're going to try and do a tour of the city and maybe the Cu Chi Tunnels. I promise my next report of Vietnam will be much more interesting...hopefully.

So with all of that nonsense aside, here is something that will be of interest to you!

Yeah, you heard me.

HOW can you get $25 to spend on Etsy, you're probably wondering?

Because I have a kick ass sponsor named Justina and she's just cool like that.

Enter Below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Now I'm going to hand off the rest of this post to Justina herself so you can get to know her a little better and hear what she has to say about relationships!


Justina on Long Distance Relationships
My boyfriend and I are in a long distance relationship. He lives in Los Angeles, California; I live in Vancouver, British Columbia; a total of 2,077 km worth of distance is between us.
 Never would I have ever thought I would be dating an American.
(Just kidding I love you guys.)

Our story
Chasen and I met when my sister and I decided to go on a 10-day vacation to LA. As a new and passionate rock climber, I convinced my amazing sister to come with me to the rock climbing gym. We went on the first night and again on the second night. By the second night, we had already made many friends. That night, being the brave little souls that we were, we asked if anyone wanted to go to Disneyland with us, and among the 3 who said yes was Chasen. Now let me clarify that this was not "love at first sight" on either ends. He actually admitted after we began dating that, that first night he wasn't as interested in me as he was in the rocks, (thanks babe.)

After Disneyland on the 3rd day though, we all had a lot of fun, and I had a chance to get to know him better. Almost every day after that, my sister and I would hang out with Chasen a lot.
He would take us sightseeing and even surprised us by packing a picnic lunch and taking us to the Pirate's Cove beach. By the 8th day, I had begun to develop feelings for him. After we left, I kept in touch with him via email, and soon we became really good friends. A few months later, he realized his feelings towards me, and the rest was history.

Long distance relationships are hard.
 I like to describe long distance relationship as one that consists of heartbreak and tears, lots of tears, and unless you are eternally positive and optimistic, it's not always fun. Don't get me wrong though, I love my boyfriend and never want to give up on our unique relationship, but if any of my friends ever consider going into one, I would advise them to think very, very carefully about it. It's the kind of relationship that asks for extra trust and communication from both ends, as well as patience.
 It has been 1 year, 2 months since we started dating, and still we continue to learn with each passing day.

Long distance relationships are a tease.
 I mean, I am no 'expert' on LDRs but I do know a thing or two, mainly from personal experience. Like how Skype is simultaneously your best friend and your mortal enemy. I can't imagine how hard it must be to be in an LDR 50 years ago before video conferencing was born (snail mail anyone?) but sometimes it is so frustrating to settle our online arguments, that it makes me want to chuck my laptop to the ground and dance all over it with 5 inch heels...but I won't because laptops are expensive. So instead, we resort to the dreaded Skype.  The whole idea of a LDR is like watching super long previews before finally getting to the movie.

Breaking and mending hearts
Significant differences for me being in a long distance relationship are the hellos and goodbyes. I am an emotional person by nature so perhaps it affects me more than others in my predicament, but being in a long distance relationship is like having your heart break and mend with each visit.
For example; my boyfriend and I make an effort to see each other every month (and yes it is easily the most expensive relationship I've ever been in.) He flies over one month, I fly over the next, and so on and so forth.  Usually visits are anywhere from 3 days to a week. The challenge is that every time he leaves, my heart shatters and I am devastated.  From then on, I have approximately one month for my heart to recover. Then when it is my turn to visit, I fall in love with him again, and in a deeper way. But as soon as we part ways, my heart breaks again, and we are back to square one.
It goes something like this;
1.     Heart breaks
2.     Heart heals
3.     He visits
4.     We fall deeper in love
5.     He leaves
6.     *See number 1*

Make sure you can stick it out
When I was a freshman, the president of my University gave us a speech. One valuable advice I remember was, "don't fall in love." She didn't mean that you shouldn't be in a relationship, but that falling in love would really distract you from your studies. I have come to realize how true her statement was now that I am deeply in love beyond repair. Though I am doing very well in my classes right now, I would be lying if I said that it doesn't still affect me greatly. Please understand that I am not trying to scare you away from it, this has been a beautiful experience in where I learned a lot about myself and found the love of my life, but if you ever find yourself in that predicament of either entering a LDR or considering one, take my experiences and try to find a balance for yours. If the man or woman is worth it and you can stick it out, you will find that a long distance relationship is extremely rewarding, and you will build a very strong relationship.
Much love,




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  1. So, I only started reading your blog a few weeks ago, but last night, I found myself in the shower, thinking "I wonder if Mish made it into Vietnam" (is that a creepy thing to say? that's probably a creepy thing to say.) Anyway, I'm glad you did, and I'm really enjoying hearing about your trip!

    1. Minus the whole shower thing I found myself wondering the same thing! Haha! Glad she made it!

  2. That street was nuts! I've been hit by a car once before while crossing the street so now I am so overly cautious. I would be so scared to cross that one!

  3. OMG....I would of been so scared on the street let alone with the customs shiz at the airport! Be strong!

  4. Hahaha I would have never made it across!! It was like that in China too but they at least had crossing lights so we could try to time things (even though they go through red lights).

  5. So glad you made it across ;) love the video.

    Bonnie Rose | The Compass Rose

  6. My friend Cam got clipped by a motorbike in Ho Chi Minh. I enjoyed seeing the history in HCM, but it wasn't my favorite part of Vietnam. I did get a great massage there though for like three dollars!

  7. I'm glad you guys made it in safely. That video is crazy. I've never seen that before.

  8. i'm sure the wait was worth the heart shaped cucumbers, no? :) have fun girl, can't wait to see what Vietnam adventures you have!

  9. Please, how can you possible be with no cash when entering a country? Even when entering the USA or Europe... Any passenger should have cash available, you never know if you would find your way in...Sorry but you seem to be very naive travellers...You should talk to some European citizens trying to enter the USA, to see how hard the procedures are...

  10. Hahaha wow! That crosswalk is seriously dangerous lol.

  11. apparently they've never heard of traffic signals in vietnam?

  12. On the Vietnamese frogger front: HOLY HELL.

    On the Justina front: That girl is awesome and I love her honest take on LDRs... And that love story is awesome because it involves Disneyland, as all love stories should.

    1. hahaha, you're favorite nail lady. I won't even tell you what my basic knowledge is of Vietnam, it's pretty pathetic:-) xoxo

  13. ooops, didn't mean to reply?! Love you though, miss Lauren Jean:-) xoxo

  14. I cannot sing enough praises on how much I love reading your blog. Your side commentary always makes you more endearing to me. Traffic is the same in the Philippines, I have to wear an eye mask when we drive around there because my heart can't take the nerves. Lolll I loved reading the love story too!

  15. WHAT THE H! Those cars drive in like 8 different directions all on the same road. I would have lost my shit....and to think you paid them good dollars to get in there! Crazy..

  16. ummmmm I just found your blog and I'm following. You're hilarious. I'm obsessed.

  17. Jay walking is equally as scary in Taiwan and China... I'm more of a let's use the crosswalk type person.

    Also, love the piece Justina wrote... I'm a sometimes in a LDR and if people have never been in one, it's hard to relate ya know?

    Enjoy your time Vietnam and eat some delicious food!!

  18. Aside from blowing black snot and food poisoning, I can't remember much of Vietnam having travelled there 4 years ago. Looking forward to reading more on your take of the country, Mish! I'd love to go back and find something to LIKE about the place - aside from the food. Oh, PLEASE BE CAREFUL of your backpacks! I witnessed right in front of my eyes a couple running after a motorbike after having their bags slashed and snatched - the thief was a passenger on the back of the bike =/ scary stuff.

  19. Holy cow - that's insane! So glad you made it out alive too!

  20. That video is crazy!! That last photo is my favorite.

    The Hartungs Blog

  21. Hahaha real life frogger!! This is preparation for you if you ever go to India - it's actually WORSE if you can believe it. Hope your time in Vietnam improves!!

    The Blue Hour

  22. Glad you got into Vietnam and survived crossing the street. Wow, not even a light huh? Hope you like Viet more and more. Not like I would know b/c I've never been.

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