New Years Eve In Halong Bay

On the first day of 2017, I thought I was going to die.  After traveling around Vietnam for about a week, I’ve quickly discovered safety checks and procedures are non existent here.  There is a casual nonchalance amongst the tour guides, where being paid is the main priority – after that – anything goes.  So I began the 1st of January climbing up (or should I say pulling myself up) a massive, jagged cliff.  It was a group of us, some people were still hung over from partying the night before, some people were still drinking and smoking, most of us were in flip flops.  The tour guide said, “I take you on the money walk, and then we go to monkey beach”.  It all seemed innocent enough.  The tour guide led us behind the hotel, up a steep pathway, where trees blocked the view.  This was fine.  We walked up like this for about 10 minutes, and then things got interesting.  The tour guide moved quickly, so we had to hurry to keep up.  The path started getting steeper, and the guide started to rock climb up the cliff.  Some of us looked at each other thinking, this seems sketchy, but okay, let’s keep going.  It just got worse and worse, as we got higher.  There was less flat ground, and eventually we all had to rock climb up the mountain, no equipment, starring down at our imminent death.  I don’t think I’ve done anything this crazy in my life.  At one point going down I felt my whole body freeze up, and I almost lost my footing.  The lesson I’ve learned?  If it seems unsafe – don’t keep doing it.  Maybe this seems obvious, but if there’s one thing social psychology and this trip has made evident, is that in an unfamiliar situation we’re more likely to follow the crowd.  And stupidly, that’s what I did.  I’m still deciding if the view was worth it.

Besides life and death situations, I’m still really enjoying my time in Hanoi.  These last few days have flown by so quickly.  We spent another day in Hanoi after Mai Chau Valley, visiting some tourist sites in the morning, then doing our own thing in the afternoon.  When I enter a new city, if I don’t have a lot of time, I love to just wander around the streets.  I was able to do a lot of filming and sit in cafés people watching.  The next day we caught a bus, then a boat, then a bus, then another boat into Halong Bay.  Jiji was so excited.  She kept giggling and jumping up and down with joy.  When we arrived at the island resort, we hung out on the beach for a bit, before going on a tour of the fishing village.  Then we spent the rest of the afternoon kayaking around the bay, and jumping off the boat into the water.  It was so much fun.  For new years eve, the locals set up a huge bonfire, and we played games, drank beer, and sat around talking.  At one point I fell asleep in the sand, but Ji woke me up in time for the fireworks.  It was a really magical night.

Sadly though, Jiji and I parted ways this morning.  We had dinner in Hanoi last night with our friend Sue, then at dawn caught a taxi to the airport.  We’ve just said our goodbyes – Jiji heading down to Ho Chi Minh City, and myself heading over to Danang, then catching a bus out to Hoi An for my studies.  It feels pretty surreal.  Everything flew by so quickly, and now I’m not sure if I feel ready to get into the study zone.  It will be exciting to learn more about this country though.  From the research I’ve been doing, it seems Vietnam has endured a lot, yet as the country continues to modernise, traditions and ancient practices are still honoured.  This was evident in Hanoi, the capital, so I’m eager to compare this insight with the other great cities.

Happy New Year everyone!  May 2017 bring everything you need.

Love Kat x


Hanoi, Old Quarter – Lady selling flowers


Hanoi, Old Quarter – Shops


Hanoi, Old Quarter – Ladies selling fruit


Hanoi, Old Quarter – Shops


Hanoi, Old Quarter – Shops


Halong Bay – Fishing Village


Halong Bay


Halong Bay – Fishing Village


Halong Bay


Halong Bay – Fishing Village


Halong Bay, Monkey Island – Resort


Halong Bay, Monkey Beach – Monkey eating fruit


Halong Bay, Monkey Island – At the top of the cliff (Behind that smile is a feeling of absolute terror)


Back On The Road

So, it’s been a while, and a lot has happened. Originally Jiji and I had great plans to keep doing a post a day. But uni, work, basically life interrupted and we decided to take a step back and focus on some other projects.

WHAT ARE THESE PROJECTS YOU ASK?!  Well, we can’t share all, but we will let you know we decided to plan an adventure together, and explore a bit of Vietnam. I’m going for uni, Jiji is going for travel, and we’re both going for fun.

We caught a bus out this morning to Sydney International Airport, and here we sit amongst a mass of people on phones with their baggage, and children in tow, waiting to hear the call for our flight to start boarding. It is so good to be getting out of Australia again. We both feel that buzz of anticipation to escape from our comfort zones and try something new.

So stay in touch, and watch this space. Over the next month we’ll be updating regularly (internet provided), so you can adventure with us on the journey ahead.


Love Kat and Ji



I love learning new things, and meeting new people.  I love the moment when you step out of a building and into a sunny day.  I love creating things.  I love evenings when the kitchen is free and I can conjure up a new recipe.  I love the sensation of taking off your shoes, after a long day at work.  I love sitting down with a good book, and losing myself in the pages.  I love all the little moments that fill up a day, that fill up a week, that fill up a year, that fill up a lifetime.  I love this life.

Love Kat x


Wellbeing – Acknowledging You’re Unwell

I am one of those people that refuse to admit they’re sick.  I remain in denial for days until my body is like, “right, either you rest, or we make it impossible for you function”.  Today was just one of those days where I had to take a big step back, and send myself straight to bed when I got home from uni.  Tissues are now my best friend – I’m onto the second box and counting.  Fingers crossed my immune system can kill off what ever’s causing trouble as quickly as possible!!!

Love Kat x


Day in, Day out – Breaking Routine

The start of a new week!  I’m finding one of the best ways to stay motivated or on track, is by having something to look forward to – small or big.  Recently I’ve started thinking more about travel again, and it’s just got me so excited for the future.  I love planning trips, and I love going on them even more.  Travel has always been a big source of growth and learning for me.  I don’t think going over seas is a waste of money or time.  I think it’s a personal investment for shaping who you are as an individual, appreciating your life, and broadening your perspective.

Have something to look forward to, where you can break your own routine! 🙂

Love Kat x


Life – Being With Nature

This saturday I had the biggest endorphin rush climbing up Mt. Tennent with a couple of friends!  It took four hours with stops going up, and an hour and a half with stops going down.  It was so much fun, and the perfect happiness boost! If you’re ever having a down day, get outside, get moving, and get in touch with nature and a bit of sunlight – it can only do good 🙂

Love Kat x

Food – Dinner With Ji

Beautiful night with a beautiful soul.  We’ve both been running around non-stop for a while, so it was good to just slow down and hang out.  We went for a quick dip in the pool, then ran back to Ji’s apartment with nothing but our towels to protect us from the cold weather.  For dinner, Jiji cooked a stir fry – and all I can say is – DELICIOUS!  She knows her food 😉

It’s great when you can embrace the moments!

Love Kat