A place to call home

“The ornament of a house is the friends who frequent it.”
― Ralph Waldo Emerson
(A not so subtle hit that I want people to come visit and I hope I can entice you by my apartment 😉 )

I found an apartment! The whole process was so much easier than I thought it was going to be.

Sunday: I emailed an agent who was posting apartments on a Facebook page and asked to see two of them.
Monday: My agent, Linh who was fantastic, showed me 8 apartments in 4 different buildings.
Tuesday: 9 am- Went and re-looked at my favorite apartment. 7pm- Signed a lease (after having someone from my HR double-check it for me)
Wednesday: Paid deposit and 1st months rent. It all had to be in cash which was new to me because I’ve always had to give deposits in the form of money orders or certified bank checks. Carrying around millions of VND was a little unnerving.
Thursday: Moved all my bags in.
I still have a couple of days in my temporary housing so I’m still there because it’s convenient and right next door to the school.

My apartment is in a building that is one of 5 new high rises. It’s less than a 10 minute walk to work, which will be even shorter when I get a bicycle. The apartment itself is a new fully furnished (don’t judge the art or linens. I will be replacing those) 2 bedroom/2 bath and is almost 800 sq feet. It’s on the 22nd floor and I have a view of the city.  The building has a gym, swimming pool, and security.

Below are pictures:

IMG_5719View when you first walk in

IMG_8925View looking at the door

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City view

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Balcony
I can’t want to grow some veggies out here.  The sliding glass door is cool and can open on either side which was a little confusing at first.

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View looking up from the balcony

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View looking down from the balcony

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View off to the left of the balcony

IMG_5676View looking at the kitchen

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Kitchen

IMG_9293Kitchen
That door leads to my laundry area

IMG_3494Stove which has a lock button.
There is no oven but my landlord took the price of a convection oven of my first months rent so I can go buy one.

IMG_0327Laundry area
I’m calling it an area because the left wall (sorry no picture) is only a half wall and lets air in so clothing can dry. The American in me is very sad I do not have a drier, but I’m excited about having my own washing machine!

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View from where the bedrooms are

IMG_8660My bedroom

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Guest bedroom

IMG_8537Both bathrooms look like this

IMG_5617Every toilet (except the one in my temporary housing) I have seen has had a bidet.

Let’s talk storage

My apartment in San Diego had very limited storage. I do not have the problem here.
IMG_6265 2Both bedrooms have large wardrobes

IMG_3595 2Both beds have storage

IMG_8911 2Shoe cabinet when you first walk in

Keys….

I have a key for everything! A key card for the building and elevator, a front door key, a key for each bedroom, a key for each bathroom, a key for the balcony, a key for the laundry area, and a key for the safe in each wardrobe. For a country that has doesn’t have a lot of house theft, I sure have a lot of keys.
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Wardrobe safe

Why this apartment?

While I was looking at apartments I judged them on two things; colors on the walls/kitchen back splash (I saw a lot of BRIGHT colors) and the most important things…..the couch.

IMG_5619 2I can’t wait to lounge on this baby and read a good book which drinking a cup of tea. (Relaxation goals)

I’ve put a few of my own things out, but excited for my home goods to arrive because then this apartment will really start to feel like it’s mine.

As I walked around taking pictures I had a moment of feeling really grateful. (And I’m hopefully this doesn’t come off at too first world privileged). This apartment is so nice! If it was set in San Diego it would have been way out of my reach. I’m grateful for an opportunity that is allowing me to live a lifestyle I may not have been able to back in the state.  I get to live in this lovely apartment and not stress about if it’s going to kill my budget. I get to feel safe and secure in a new country and don’t have to stress about buying all new things. I get a pool and a gym at no extra cost! But most of all I’m grateful that I have such a nice space to welcome friends and family who want to come visit.

This week has been kinda crazy with house hunting, orientation, and just trying to stay awake so I’ll post again soon about all the other things that have been going on.

Blogging is not something I’m necessarily good at and autocorrect and I have a love/hate relationship, so please ignore any typos, misspelled words, or all together wrong words. 😉

Asia makes SIX…

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Six continents that is. My big bucket list dream is to go to all seven continents. Being in Asia means I’ve offically been to six (living in four) which means I need to start saving for my trip to Antarctica!

Day One:

Jet lag. You know when you’re so exhausted your body can’t even sleep…. I’m there.

My flights over went really well. It’s too bad United has such a bad reputation lately because they were phenomenal. They checked before every meal to make sure I was the one who needed a gluten-free meal (even putting a sticker on my seat on my third flight), kept us well hydrated, and had a great movie selection. I got into Vietnam around 9pm and customs/immigration was a breeze. When you leave immigration you are immediately outside. My first impressions: loud and hot

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(People waiting to meet people getting off planes. This was outside)

Myself and a teacher from a neighboring school were picked-up by my principal and brought to our temporary housing. This is where I will live for the next week until I find my own apartment.

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(Sorry for the bad quality of photos. I took them last night when I first got in)

This is the view from my balcony:

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I feel like I was really lazy today, but my Fitbit says otherwise (almost 14,000 steps). I will be living and working in District 2 so I spent the day walking around and getting a feel for the area. Below are a few pictures:

IMG_4650 2Morning walk along the river

StreetStreet views

Street 3Thankfully the streets around my school are pretty quiet and I won’t have to try to cross a multi-laned motorbike packed street on a daily basis.

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My school

color-run.jpgThere was a color run going on

There is a lot of construction going on and presumably all these hammocks are for the workers to use during their breaks.

French buildingFrench influenced building are all around

I’m looking forwarding to trying out all the local cafes and eateries.

rain-on-street.jpgThis picture doesn’t show it well, but I was caught in a down pour

PhoObligatory bowl of Pho on my first day

Important lessons learned from day one:
– Always have a rain jacket or umbrella with you
– Dealing with bills of money in the 1000, 10,000, 100,000, and 500,000 notes is going to take some getting used it. Not going to lie, I feel like at baller carrying around 500,000 note bills (even though it’s only roughly $22 USD).

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– American fast food is everywhere. I saw a McDonald, Burger King, Church’s Chicken (called Texas Chicken- same logo just different name), Buffalo Wild Wings (called B-Dubs – same logo just different name), and Starbucks.
– Pandora does not work in Vietnam but iHeart radio does
– Sunscreen is a must

I have an appointment set up to look at apartments tomorrow and will also be venturing into District 1 (The city center), but for now I’m going to try and get some sleep.

Blogging is not something I’m necessarily good at and autocorrect and I have a love/hate relationship, so please ignore any typos, misspelled words, or all together wrong words. 😉
(***because I’ve mentioned the school where I’ll be teaching I should probably mention that everything on this blog will be my thoughts, not those of my employer***)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Leaving on a jet plane

IMG_5406My bags are packed, I’m all checked-in, and currently waiting to board my flight.  Yes, three checked bags… no shame here. I packed food I knew I wouldn’t be able to get, clothing to hold me over until my home goods arrive, and things I didn’t want to get lost or broken. Thankful all of my bags were under 50 pounds! 🙌🏼 I also made sure to call United three days ago to make sure I had gluten free meals. I did not want my Virgin Australia fiasco (they didn’t have my requested meals on my flights to/from Australia) to be repeated.

It’ll take three flights and roughly 24 hours to get to Vietnam. I’ll try and update my blog in the next few days (depending on when I get Internet) and let everyone know that I’ve made it.

Blogging is not something I’m necessarily good at and autocorrect and I have a love/hate relationship, so please ignore any typos, misspelled words, or all together wrong words. 😉

Until next time, San Diego

Today is my last full day in San Diego. I’ve been back from Australia for just over a week and I feel like I haven’t stopped running.  Last week I drove my home goods up to Long Beach to be put on a boat and sent to Vietnam. (I was notified to do this the day prior) Hopefully they get there without any issues from pirates (the contract I signed stated this as a real possibility).IMG_5116There they go…. all 9 boxes. Which made the guy helping me laugh because “you pack light.”

So, Home goods shipped -check.

One last doctors appointment-check

At least 10 trips to Target-check

Two trips to Goodwill-check

Library books returned-check

Sold stuff online-check

Celebrated Henry’s birthday- checkIMG_5232(I watch too my SVU to post this cute little face on a public form. So all you get is his smile😉)

Apartment empty-checkIMG_5200Goodbye dinner -check. (Can I just add that I love that my friends from different areas of my life met and now want to be friends with each other! How awesome is that!)

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Car sold- check (biggest stressor right here!) IMG_5225I will miss this car! It was so good to me. Little gray Honda, you rocked!

Ate more Mexican food and acai bowls then I want to publicly admit-checkD7A771A4-B9EA-4BFF-A09B-398D932FE295

Lazy day at the beach-unfortunately this one didn’t happen.

Its been crazy week and I wish I had had a little bit more time with people. The last two years in San Diego have been great. I met some wonderful new friends, got to spend time with old friends, lived by family, grew as a teacher, worked with some fantastic people who supported me through so much, and saw parts of San Diego I hadn’t know about (Torrey Pines! How did I miss that in college). I will miss it here, but at the end of the day it really hasn’t hit me. I tend to move cities or apartment every 2-ish years so packing up all my stuff has become routine. (With as much as I loath packing you’d think I’d stay in one place longer. Ha!)

I think the reality of this move will hit me about a month in, when it stops feeling like a vacation. I’m sure then I’ll write a post about missing home.😉

Now, I’m off to spend a week in Northern California with my mom.

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Blogging is not something I’m necessarily good at and autocorrect and I have a love/hate relationship, so please ignore any typos, misspelled words, or all together wrong words. 😉