“Vietnam in one word … Wild. But one word is not enough : interesting, fascinating, dirty, loud, crazy, beautiful …”
What’s your name and where are you from?
My name is Genevieve, and I come from US.
Why did you come to Vietnam?
I was graduated from university in 2015 I was working for 6 months in the US about international relationship. It’s my major and I worked for the ambassador. I had the job of assistant but it was quite boring. So I decided that I wanted to travel because I don’t have children so I plan to go to teach english abroad and Vietnam offer some great opportunity here.
How long have you stayed here and when will you decide to come back to your country?
I’ve been here for almost a year and a half. When I first came, I though I’m gonna staying here for 6 months or a year maximum but the year flies and I’m still here (Genevieve laugh). I think I’m going to come back to US for Christmas this year!
What do you like the most in Vietnam? Why?
The food ! I also really like living in Vietnam because where I’m from is really rural and here you so many different beautiful landscapes. I will add to that Vietnamese people who always trying to help you or exchange with you!
Do you think it is difficult to find a place to live in HCMC?
No, but you definitely have to have connection to the right people. The first time I moved here, it took me almost 2 months to find a place to live because I was new and focus on my job, finding a motorbike but also because I didn’t know that some agency like GlobeTrottr.
Where do you live right now in Saigon ? What do you think about your neigboorhood ?
I’m living in Binh Thanh District. I love it! Before moving with GlobeTrottr, I was already living in Binh Thanh. It’s a really authentic district but with the entire modern commodity you need.
What do you think about youth mobility now? Is it easier compared to the generation of our parents?
Absolutely ! My generation hasn’t expected to be married as early like my parents who get married they had 25 years old. Now you’re not really expect it before you have 30years old so it’s really good because you can travel during your study or even after to work, travel or whatever you want. So we are lucky to be able to travel, not everyone can, but more and more people of my generation starting to go abroad.
Do you think in general, with digital evolution, home ownership is still a social standard for young people?
It’s a good question! I don’t think that I need to but I also think that if you plane to stay in one place for a long time, you just wasted money on rent. I think the digital revolution has made it easier for people to find houses and allow people to just move around easily.
What do you know about GlobeTrottr?
I just know that it’s an agency who rent share houses for expats.
So according to you, on which points can we improve?
Actually I send an email this morning to GlobeTrottr to have a microwave or an oven. And I think it’s important to have one of those things. Sometimes also, construction annoys me but it’s not GlobeTrottr’s faults. Also I don’t k now how to deal with this problem but sometimes when I come back home my neighbors park their motorbike in front of my door so I can’t enter in.
Can you tell us a little story which happened during your trip ?
One of my first day in Vietnam, I discovered the traffic here in Saïgon and it was quite intimidating. So I was trying to cross the street and I was just waiting and waiting,… I was just to scared to cross! Finally this little tiny old woman, I think she had more than 80 years old, she just took my hand and grab my in the street to cross the road ! It was a really sweet and adorable moment.
Can you resume Vietnam in one word ?
Wild. But one word is not enough : interesting, fascinating, dirty, loud, crazy, beautiful … (Genevieve laugh)
What is the biggest culture shock for you ?
The traffic. It’s like anything you see before. You tried to explaining to your family or friends but you just can’t understand until you see it.
Do you consider yourself as a global citizen ?
No. I mean I like to travel, discover new cultures but I’m still American.
What will be your next destination ?
Actually, I want to go to an francophone country. I speak some French but I would never become fluent until I just go to one place and practice. So I want to go to Quebec which is near to my hometown or France or somewhere different like Seychelles (more exotic ahah)
Interviewed by Corentin, GlobeTrottr staff