When I boarded my Shanghai Airlines flight to Saigon, it was with a great deal of ambiguity. At the time, I was unsure as to whether I would return to Shanghai as scheduled, or continue traveling north through Vietnam with my friends Amber and Kale.
Although I spent the first several days of my trip wrought with indecision, it became clear to me as we traveled up the coast — by bus, mind you, and not using the far more comfortable “Reunification Express” train service — that Shanghai wasn’t the place I needed to be.
Vietnam will forever hold an important place in my heart: during the three weeks I spent in this magical country, I mapped out what ended up being the path to my wildest dreams.
Robert Schrader is a travel writer and photographer who’s been roaming the world independently since 2005, writing for publications such as “CNNGo” and “Shanghaiist” along the way. His blog, Leave Your Daily Hell, provides a mix of travel advice, destination guides and personal essays covering the more esoteric aspects of life as a traveler.