Elie and I will be leaving for Vietnam in three weeks to celebrate my 40th birthday. For most of the time we’re there, we’ll be biking with Butterfield & Robinson, with a few days by ourselves exploring Hanoi and Saigon at the beginning and end of the trip. I feel like a kid counting down to Christmas!
Everyone keeps asking me, “Why Vietnam?”
I wanted to do something adventurous for my 40th birthday, something outside of my comfort zone. Other than our recent trip to Bali, I haven’t travelled through Asia at all and the culture and food is unfamiliar. And, despite living in biking-obsessed Bellingham, I’m a timid biker and I rarely see the seat of a bike. It’s good to face your fears and reach past the edges of comfort—to stretch and experience something new. So, we’re biking through Vietnam.
In the four years Elie and I have been together, we’ve made quite a few international trips—Australia, Bali, the Greek Islands, three trips to Israel, Paris, and two trips to Mexico. With each trip, I’ve gotten better and better at packing. I keep a running list in my iPad of things we use during our travels, and on every trip we edit the list.
I think a well-packed carry-on bag is essential to being comfortable on the flight and feeling good when you reach your destination. Can you survive a flight without all these things? Yes. But why not give yourself a little comfort and some small luxuries, even if you’re flying coach?