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Living Long-Term in Vietnam

Who among those of us who love to travel hasn’t fallen so in love with one place or another during a trip, so much so that you’d consider moving to another country no matter what you had to do to make it happen? For many long-term travelers, the country of choice is in Southeast Asia – not least because the weather and cost of living are both incredibly appealing. But whereas Thailand has long been the frontrunner when it came to its expat population, more and more people are choosing Vietnam these days.

One of the things to consider when you’re thinking about becoming an expat – in Vietnam or anywhere else – is how you’ll support yourself. If you’re in the midst of a round the world trip you might have enough saved up to live in an inexpensive country like Vietnam for quite awhile before you need to think about having some sort of income, but you’ll eventually need to figure out whether you can work in the country legally or whether you need a job that you can do from anywhere.

If you opt for a job in-country, you can settle into your new life fairly easily by living just like the locals do. If, on the other hand, your job is a “location independent” situation that requires you to be connected to a headquarters somewhere on the other side of the planet now and then, you’ll need to make absolutely sure that internet access isn’t hard to come by. It’s easy to forget that much of the world remains internet-free, and when you’re traveling that’s sometimes a huge plus – but working remotely isn’t usually possible without internet access. All those fabulous online travel tools are basically useless if you can’t get online.

Have you ever lived for an extended period of time in Vietnam? Would you recommend it as a good place to be an expat?

photo by emilio labrador