Since Friday, August 4th, I have a new home in Hanoi, the capital city of Vietnam. Things work well and always, slowly.. Soon I adapted with the Hanoi laid back lifestyle. Totally opposite with the fast paced lifestyle in Jakarta, I found Hanoi very relaxed and peaceful, at least in my perspective. Or maybe because it’s not the first time I’ve visited this city. I have been to Vietnam 5 times since October last year, and to Hanoi 4 times. Even though my last visit in May was horrible due to exceptionally hot weather (38-40 degree C!), I am still expecting to have a peaceful and memorable life in Hanoi. To be honest, I am excited to experience living in a country during winter ! one new thing for me.
This city might be not a favorite destination for Indonesians, especially for urban young people. It’s not a developed country; I can say the city looks like Indonesia 20 years ago. It’s not clean, modern and definitely super cheap. For some people it does not fulfill the standard of a perfect holiday destination (even for me too hehe). But Hanoi has its own charm. As a history buff and architecture lover, I admire the mixed Chinese & French style of the buildings here, and I love to read its history. I like to see the way Hanoians dress up, yes they have unique culture. Yet i hate the trash which can be found nearly at every corner of the city, the smells of the food (I don’t know what kind of meat they cook, it can be dog!, i am so picky in terms of food..), and the way they drive on the street (Jakartans seem more obedient to normal traffic laws according to my boyfriend).
To answer a question from a friend in Facebook, about what actually I am looking for in Vietnam, well to be honest I just want to try something new like job & lifestyle ( I thought I have given clear and long explanation of background story why I took this decision). But most important, I got more FREEDOM, to do anything I want, anytime and anywhere. No more begging for taking annual leave so I could go to Bali, for instance. With more freedom, I believe I could feel more happy, content and peaceful. No more people telling me what to do (cause they dont have right, just keypoh, still cant accept why some people very fond of giving suggestions. Omg ) And yeah, I have some plans until next year that could be done only when I have plenty of free time. So I had to choose, and I did. And by the way, this is not like decision for the rest of my life. Whenever I feel bored and wanting something new I might go back to work for a company (probably at new city) or open my own business (been done it but just a small one).
So everyday my life starts around 12 pm when I wake up. As a digital nomad I am not obliged to go to an office and sit for 8 hours. I can work from anywhere, everywhere and wearing anything I like; not even having to shower first !. I spent my first month in Hanoi adapting with my new working schedule. I pushed myself to write 3-4 articles everyday. I gave myself 2 days off on Monday and Tuesday so my boyfriend and I can hang out together when we are both off working. Sometimes I used my days off too in order to finish the long article for the newspaper. But it doesn’t matter- I still have more free time than i used to.
The next week I started to feel bored with my routine. Wake up, go to a restaurant for lunch, write, go out for dinner and sleep. So I decided to move my office to some cafes. My favourite is Cong Caphe, which is located near Kyle’s office. It has a nice design, cheap coffee, relaxed atmosphere and air conditioned room. The second one is KFC. I often write in my phone while waiting for Kyle to finish his work. The KFC is located at the ground floor building of Kyle’s office. There is no McDonalds in Hanoi so I really have to rely on KFC (it’s a communist country: can’t find many brands here).
The next challenge arrived when Kyle’s family came to visit him. For 9 days I joined their holiday in Hanoi, Ha Long bay, Da Nang and Hoi An. It was a wonderful holiday, everybody was happy and bought a lot of souvenirs but also very tiring. Ha Long bay itself was very beautiful and magical even though the sky was still grey. So between the tight holiday schedule, I kept pushing myself to fulfill my own daily target, 3-4 articles per day. Nobody to push me here- I have no boss so I have to act as boss for my self. Yet finally I managed to fulfill my target. I wrote from the deck of the boat, during lunch at a restaurant in Hoi An, on a sun bed at a beach and also before I sleep.
The other benefit I got from the last holiday is I got nine videos of our travel. Four of them have been edited and sent and 2 have been aired, yet i still have homework to edit 5 more videos.
The weird thing from my new life is I don’t have a need to socialize. I feel content meeting nobody except Kyle. I don’t have a desire to make new friends or join travel community gathering. I say its weird because back when i was in Jakarta i was always wanted to go out with some friends, especially on weekend. During this solitary time, i still managed to keep online communication with some friends, editors and people for business and work affairs.
For the first month as digital nomad I feel satisfied enough with my ability to manage my working schedule. I made almost 40 articles, 1 long article and 4 videos. With the right schedule, I made as much as I used to earn at KidZania. It should be !. Next month I should be able to perform better.
You could see and, of course, read my articles at http://www.okezone.com/travel, Koran Tempo and some videos at Net CJ. I post some of it here too.
As a digital nomad, i have to find some ways to keep balance my financial record. I had to had some back up plans while thing doesnt work as i planned. Here in Hanoi, i did some other jobs like teaching english and assessing Vietnamese – Indonesian translator. but i’ll write the details on the next post.