What’s your name and where are you from ?
Hello, my name is Sumin and I’m from Korea, of course South Korea.
Why did you come to Vietnam ?
First, I came here for my internship in Hanoi and then the reason I’m in HCMC is that I found a permanent job here. So I’m going to stay here as long as I can.
How long have you stayed here and when will you decide to come back to your country ?
I’ve been here since 1 year already (Hanoi around 8months and HCMC since 4months) and honestly when I took my job, I thought 1 to 3 years will be the maximum I m gonna stay here but now I got a permanent job so I don’t know what gonna happen next
What do you like the most in Vietnam ? Why ?
This journey itself! I never expected myself to be in Vietnam. It’s really good because I usually before Vietnam go to Europe (already develop country) but I thought myself there to end up more than in south east asia. So like, every moment are unexpected but in a good way!
Do you think it is difficult to find a place to live in HCMC ?
I don’t think so because I didn’t know how many foreigners will be in Vietnam. So at first, I thought it will be hard to found a place. When I arrived here the first time, my company provides me accommodation but since I moved here I must find an accommodation for myself. So first, I started looking on google and I found some offer on internet.
Where do you live right now in Saigon ? What do you think about your neigboorhood ?
It’s a sharehouse in Binh Thanh with an awesome rooftop. I didn’t do any research before coming here so I didn’t really know what kind of area it’s gonna be. I ‘m very satisfied because it’s close to my work area (15min away by motorbike) and also close to the center. But here, you live with local people and I like it!
What do you think about youth mobility now ? Is it easier compared to the generation of our parents ?
From what I hear, my parent generation had a lot of problem to travel and the way of life was really different in Korea compare to now. In the 80’s, they started to get out of the country more easily. When my parents would to travel they only go around Korea but after the 80’s, you can find too many Korean people all over the world.
Added to that, Korean passport is today one of the strongest passport (you can go to a lot of country without visa).
Do you think in general, with digital evolution, home ownership is still a social standard for young people ?
I don’t think so. In Korea, it’s really important to own your house to have stability and security. But when I think about my life in general, I honestly want to travel everywhere. So in that case it’s kind of hard to have my own place because I never know when I’m going to end up. When I think about myself in longer term, I think I should own my own place.
What do you know about GlobeTrottr ?
From my point of view, they are really helpful. I had any problem with them and it’s pretty convenient for me. I can compare my life here with the way of life in Korea when you are student. I was living in a dormitory and it’s kind of the same concept. You just need to pay for a rent and they take care of all the maintenance.
Can you tell us a little story about what has happened to you during your trip ?
My phone got stolen. It’s happening everywhere in HCMC. It was kind of shock for me because back in Korea, you don’t need to take care of your stuffs whenever you walking on the street. If you are in a restaurant and you leave your bag on the table to go to toilet, nobody will touch your bag. When I was in Europe, even if you ‘re sitting outside a restaurant, every people told me to be careful with my stuff.
I was just waiting for my UBER in D1 and as soon as I take out my phone the guy was driving and snatch my phone away . I never exact that kind of thing happen to me. I was checking and ask myself how I gonna do now to go back to the house (modern life got me said Sumin).
Can you describe Vietnam in one word ?
What is the biggest culture shock for you ?
The way of they work. They don’t want to be in a responsibility position. When I spoke to them about something wrong to understand what happen and trying to solve the problem and show them why it didn’t work, they think I ‘m blame them. The way how we work in Korea is really different and working for a Korean company in Vietnam is not easy every day.
Do you consider yourself as a global citizen ?
I think so because I’m Korean but I never thought myself living my entire life in Korea. I want to live in some other country because where you’re born you don’t choose where you’re going to born but that’s the good thing about life. When you get older you can choose where do you wanna go.
What will be your next destination ?
That’s something unexpectable. No plan is the plan
Interviewed by Corentin, GlobeTrottr staff