Vietnam: Saigon as an Expat

Motorbike Diaries After her original 16-month career break, Sherry Ott decided not to go return to the “Briefcase” world and settled in Vietnam, teaching English for a year.

As an expat living in Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), Sherry wanted to embrace life as a local, which included learning to navigate the hectic streets by motorbike. For many countries, motorbikes are the main source of travel – it’s not uncommon to see people transport livestock, refrigerators, and families of 5 or more on two wheels, even during a monsoon. And rather than just become another passenger, Sherry decided that she wanted to take control of the motorbike.

Sherry Ott Though her rented bike spent it’s first weeks parked in her living room, Sherry eventually got over her fear of taking it on the road, even obtaining a “license” in hopes of being a legal driver.

In her “Motorbike Diaries”, Sherry opens up about the ups and downs of this experience, with witty observations of the motorbike culture in Vietnam. And within time, she finds herself to be fitting right in – masks and rain ponchos included.

Sherry Ott And in her “Expat Adventures” Sherry shares what it’s like living in a dust bowl of pollution, tasting new cuisines, the literal price one pays being a foreigner, and dealing with a foreign hospital system.

Through these experiences, Sherry gained insight into a unique culture, which helped her to develop a “Saigon City Guide” for the Indie Travel Podcast.  She has even been spotted on the streets of Saigon by backpackers who listened to the podcast! “Three travelers came up to me while eating and ask if I did a podcast on Saigon – I said yes and they let out a collective burst of joy. They apparently had listened to the podcast and were following my Saigon tips during their vacation in Vietnam! They even asked to have my picture taken with them…CRAZY!”

So even though you may not have a year to get to know Saigon, Sherry’s tips are a great resource for your visit.

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2 Comments on "Vietnam: Saigon as an Expat"

  1. Tweets that mention Vietnam: Saigon as an Expat | Briefcase to Backpack - Travel Advice for Career Breaks or Sabbaticals -- Topsy.com on Sat, 17th Oct 2009 1:52 am 

    [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Sherry Ott and BriefcasetoBackpack, Emily Gerson. Emily Gerson said: RT @CareerBreakHQs Heading to #Vietnam? Use some tips from @ottsworld after her year there as an expat http://bit.ly/GM0xM #travel [...]

  2. Timeshare Relief on Tue, 22nd Dec 2009 10:26 pm 

    Yeah, Vietnam is now starting to become famous and attractive to the eye of travel community. Vietnam is a great expat destination because of its hidden natural wonders, foods and colorful celebration. That is why many of the timeshare relief vacationers are so love to visit this place.

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