The GoGlobal Blog

Ten Days till Vietnam!

Ten Days till Vietnam!

Batu Caves - KL, Malaysia
Batu Caves – KL, Malaysia

It’s around 5am in Chiang Mai. I’ve been up for the past two hours listening to the pitter-patter of monsoon rain as it falls on the green plastic roof of our guesthouse. This first blogpost has to happen eventually so it may as well happen now – in the dark on a moist chair cushion outside my room.  

I’m outside because I don’t want to wake Emily, a fellow Loyola student and one of my dearest friends. Emily and I met our freshman year at Loyola University Chicago’s John Felice Rome Center. Both Rome Start students we lived in adjacent rooms and became friends over a bagel and cream cheese one fateful November morning. The rest is history. We both decided to study abroad in Vietnam for different reasons and it was a wonderful bonus that we just so happened to get to share the experience together. Both of us has saved up for this for the past two years, ever since we returned from Rome. It’s all been leading up to this and now we’re about five days into a two-week long trip to Malaysia and Thailand before our program in Ho Chi Minh City starts on August 24th! Having been in Rome we watched students jet off every weekend to different countries and both of us valued our quiet weekends getting to know the city of Rome. We wanted to travel before the program because once we get to Vietnam we would like to spend the weekends exploring the diverse country and HCMC as much as we can!

The start of the trip was rough. Emily was almost refused entry on our flight from Seattle to Taipei and then Taipei to Kuala Lumpur because she didn’t have the credit card the flight was bought with (i.e her father’s card). It took her three hours to successfully check-in and then we stumbled upon another little issue. Emily found a wallet in the bathroom, we couldn’t find any airport employees and a cranky TSA women told us she wouldn’t help and that we had to call the police. Thankfully, the woman had an AT&T bill in her wallet so we were able to call her up and do a rad wallet-pass-off through the security gates via a different TSA agent as she had already left for baggage claim (thank goodness EVA Air didn’t want to let Emily on the plane!). After 24+ hours of travel we arrived at our AirBnb in Kuala Lumpur and had no idea how to turn on the hot water so we both subsequently took freezing showers after having cooled the room down to a chill 18 degrees Celsius. We learned after that all we had to do for hot water was flip a switch on the bathroom wall. Later, I found a pack of exploded Goldfish in my checked bag that had turned to delicious cheddar sand all over my clothes and shoes. Things shaped up in KL: I had some tasty nasi lemak, watched a monkey steal apples from a man and listened to the call to prayer (a sound that reminds me of my old home in New Delhi, India).

Petronas Towers - KL, Malaysia
Petronas Towers – KL, Malaysia


I did not wake up this morning at 3am because I am jetlagged but rather because I am anticipating breakfast, this entire day and the next four months. I woke up this morning because I have so much to look forward to and I literally could not sleep. Also who can complain about waking up at 3am when you get to watch the sun rise over the lush greenery and rooftops of Chiang Mai? How wonderful is life.





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