My family and I went on a one month trip to Vietnam in 2008, and to say the least, it wasn’t what I expected. In fact, it was actually better. This country surprised me in so many ways, and I ended up falling in love with its friendly atmosphere, exotic culture, and humble way of life. I enjoyed doing many things over there, such as singing ‘Yellow Submarine’ (even if I only knew the chorus) on a boat run by a drunk Vietnamese tour guide by the name of ‘Funky Monkey’, speeding down a sea-side road at midnight on the back of a motorbike, eating ‘Elephant ear fish’ spring rolls in the Mekong Delta, wrapping a giant carpet snake over my shoulders ,soaking in mud spas, drinking ridiculously tasty iced coffee’s made with condensed milk, exploring ancient ruins of citadels, cycling around the lantern-lit town of Hoi An, junk- boating around Halong Bay, and finally crawling through the Cu Chi tunnels. But although these were spectacular moments, there were some that weren’t so terrific, such as; being bed-ridden with a cold and only being able to digest mandarins, sleepless nights on dodgy trains, early morning freezing cold bus rides up to the mountain town, Sapa, where I was coughing and sneezing all over a poor buggar sitting next to me, stopping to go to the toilet in a bucket in the middle of nowhere, or lastly, spitting out the ghastly Durian flavoured ice-cream (a native fruit that tastes like chives and smells like petrol). But through all the memories, the good and the bad, they are all memories I will treasure forever, and in the end I find the best overseas trips are the un-predictable ones. The ones that throw you out in the deep end, hook, line and sinker, then reel you back to shore with a fresh perspective on life and people. Travelling to Vietnam broadened my mind, and stretched limits I never knew I could exceed. I climbed a jagged mountain, when I knew I had a horrible phobia of heights, I drank ‘snake wine’, and I even tried my hand at haggling and got some really good bargains. We are so fortunate to live in such a blessed country like Australia, but too often we take the beautiful beaches, rainforests, the bush and laid-back lifestyle for granted. We should grab life; take up opportunities to travel, dive straight into exciting cultures and branch out to people from all walks of life. Each individual has a story to share, and a fresh insight into the world, so why not get out there and be a part of it!