I have, for as long as I can remember had a fear of flying and even once had a very close call, so I haven’t always traveled when I wanted to, because I was simply too scared of the trip. But a year ago, in the midst of my breakup, I decided that from now on I would say YES. Yes to adventure, yes to new experiences, yes to taking (calculated) risks. I am working really hard on being conscious of not letting my fear limit me or hold me back from realizing my dreams. As a result I am proud to say that I no longer fear flying, but rather see it as an experience in it’s own right. Flying is what makes it possible for me to see the world and meet amazing people. Therefore I have surprisingly learned to actually LIKE it! I do however have one remnant of my fear of flying…two stuffed animals (the flying kittys) that I bring with me on every flight and have to cuddle during take-off no matter how silly it must look. I guess they are my good luck charms and I’m still too superstitious to let them go.
Anyhow the flight to Ho Chi Minh City was luckily rather uneventful. I flew to Doha with Qatar Airways who arranged for a free transfer and hotel room for my 10 hour layover. I had a 6 hour nap and was soon well on my way to HCMC. Now, I’m gonna be honest and admit rather shamefully that while in Doha airport I fell for the temptation of luxury and bought an upgrade to business class. I know! Not very backpacker! But I blame Qatar Airways who after upgrading me for free on my trip to Bali got me hooked! Business class is AMAZING! You get such good service, yummy food and best of all your seat converts into a bed! It was however not all rainbows and diamond encrusted unicorns for me, as fate would have it that I was seated next to Nigel, an 80-year-old British man traveling to Cambodia where he lived with his 31-year-old girlfriend, not to be confused with his 28-year-old Thai girlfriend in Bangkok. Nigel spent the entire journey telling me sordid and unwanted details of his sex life, concluding it all with an offer to join the mile high club with him… When I pointedly put on my headphones and went to sleep, he spent the rest of the flight being sleazy to the flight attendants who in my opinion deserve a medal for not kicking him out of the emergency exit!
On arrival in HCMC my pre-booked co-living place, Christina’s Saigon, had arranged a pickup and 30 mins later I was at The Mothership being welcomed by Monica and her bubbly personality. I felt welcome right from the start. I’ve gotta say, when traveling alone it’s such a great comfort and security to stay in co-living places that are less formal than hotels and therefore a perfect starting point for getting to know the less touristy places to go and especially for meeting other travelers!
My room at Christina’s is booked until the 12th of January so i have 4 1/2 days to explore Saigon and plan my next step.