What It Feels Like to Win a Trip to Vietnam

Ever wonder what it would feel like to win a trip to Vietnam?! Kelly and John share their amazing story.

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We recently teamed up with Mr. and Mrs. Smith (side note: we are all obsessed with Mr. and Mrs. Smith’s gorgeous hotelsto co-host a Vietnam Giveaway and are so excited for our winners, Kelly and John! You know how there always seems to be that one hip and inspiring couple you know and love? That’s Kelly and John. They are wanderers at heart. In true adventurous fashion, they shared with us their how-to for enjoying life to the fullest and what they’re most excited to try in Vietnam.

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Kelly, what was your reaction when you found out you had won the contest?

My first reaction was of skepticism and disbelief. I received the email from Ann Marie [of Mr. and Mrs. Smith] while I was at work and talking with a co-worker. It was like “OMG, I think I just won a trip to Vietnam” and then I called Ann Marie to see if it was legit and she assured me it was. I was just super floored by the whole thing, I’ll enter these contests from time to time, you know, “The Downton Abbey” sweepstakes, “Win a Trip to Wimbeldon”, “Win a Trip to the French Open” (we’re both big tennis fans), I just fill them out and forget about them, never expecting to win, but this time I did! I called John and let him know and we both still cannot get over how crazy the whole thing is. We’re super, DUPER insanely, excited!

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What are you and John most excited about for your Vietnam trip?

The prospect of taking a REAL, proper, vacation! Overseas! To an exotic locale! On the beach! 5-star hotels! John has never been out of the country aside from Mexico and I’ve only ever been to Paris so having a real vacation is just a dream come true. Neither of us has EVER stayed in a 5-Star hotel. We plan on extending the trip a bit and taking a full two weeks. Seeing the temples of Angkor Wat has been on my bucket list for years and we figure, while we’re over there, let’s just go to Cambodia too! We both love Vietnamese food so we plan on spending a lot of time sampling the offerings of the various street vendors. We’re just so excited to explore a part of the world that’s so different from ours!

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We’d love to hear, where did you and John go on your honeymoon?

Well, we had initially registered for a Croatian and Slovenian honeymoon but because we didn’t have a traditional wedding (we were married in a courthouse in August 2012 and had a party the following October with our friends to celebrate), we didn’t quite make our goal, funding wise. Instead we used the money our friends donated through Wanderable and took an epic two week camping trip through the Eastern Sierras and the Cascades and back down the coast of California with our dog, Juniper. We both love the outdoors, camping, and hiking, and this turned out to be the ideal trip for us at the time. We had a blast!

Why did you choose to register for experiences over things when you got married?

Being an “older” couple (I was 40 when we got married and John 38, first marriage for both us!) we really didn’t have a need for household items, we already had them. Life and marriage for us at this point wasn’t about things or kids, it was just about spending the rest of our lives together. John’s mom had been fighting cancer throughout our engagement and she lost that fight the week that we were married. The importance of enjoying life to the fullest was really and profoundly made apparent to us. We’re both super adventurous and love new experiences, exploring different cultures and foods and really just seeing, smelling, hearing, laughing, loving, doing and living as much as possible! Our time here is short and our time together even shorter, why spend it in the aisles of Target registering for an espresso machine when we could be sipping espresso along the Dalmatian coast, or in this case, sipping Vietnamese Iced Coffees on the beaches of Hoi An!

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How amazing do Kelly and John sound?! Thank you so much, Kelly! And a huge shout out again to Mr. and Mrs. Smith for helping to make Kelly and John’s next adventure to Vietnam a reality!

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TourNative’s Best Local Tips for Traveling in Vietnam

TourNative has the best local tips for traveling in Vietnam.

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As the weather warms up, our team at Wanderable is dreaming about traveling to Vietnam. A country known for its beauty and energy, Vietnam offers travelers everything from peaceful beaches to bustling cities. With a country as unique and interesting as Vietnam, it pays to have some local insight. This is why we asked our friends at TourNative to share their best local tips for traveling in Vietnam.

TourNative is an innovative company allowing travelers to book authentic experiences with local guides. They have tons of experiences in Vietnam, which makes them the de facto experts, whether this is your first or tenth trip to Vietnam. Read their local tips for traveling in Vietnam, below.

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1. Definitely try out the local cuisine in Vietnam: Bánh mì, coconut water, Pho, coffee – all these things are best savored in random restaurants and next to carts by the roads.

2. You may run into some minor scams if taking a taxi in Vietnam, especially if you hail a taxi driver who goes by the meter, so always arrange your transportation through reputable companies. Or if you’re up for a thrill, enjoy a motorbike tour.

3. The traffic in Vietnam is incredibly packed. In big cities like Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh City, cross roads with caution. Be confident: let cars avoid you, keep a consistent pace, and keep walking forward.

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4. Do not drink the tap water. Sometimes it is fine and sometimes it is not, but it is always best to be safe and carry bottled water wherever you go.

5. Remember to pack mosquito repellent with you. It’ll be extremely useful if you end up exploring Vietnam’s countryside trails!

6. The Northern, Central, and Southern areas of Vietnam have completely different climate, so pack accordingly if you’re planning on traveling to many different areas of Vietnam.

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Just like TourNative, Wanderable believes in enjoying authentic, memorable, and local experiences while traveling. Peek inside Wanderable’s top-rated curated experiences in Vietnam, to really bring your Vietnam trip to the next level.

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