5 December 2020

It’s been a roller coaster of a few months, in some ways and not others.

I’ve pretty much settled into my new job, which by now is 3 months old, though I still am amazed every time I’m having a conversation with Mark. It’s pretty surreal to be communicating with your favourite author on a daily basis. But this part of my life has more or less stablised.

The roller coaster has mainly been regarding my move to Vietnam. First it seemed like everything was set and all I had to do was set the train rolling, then there was a snag, then there was a breakthrough, then I was dragging my feet for a week or two because I was so apprehensive about navigating the muddy waters, then there was another breakthrough, and now finally the process has officially started.

My application to start a company in Vietnam was submitted to the authorities earlier this week, and after a bunch of paperwork and applications for various approval letters which thankfully my solicitor will take care of, I should be clear to fly to Vietnam in March 2021.

This is much delayed from the original move date of July 2020. Even when my partner and I had accepted the reality of Covid, we still were aiming for September 2020… and then Christmas, then mid-January… you get the idea.

But those were all dates we set ourselves, guesstimating when the Vietnamese border would open for commercial flights from Thailand. We were hoping I would be able to enter Vietnam by those dates.

March 2021, however, is based on an actual timeline of how long each approval process would take. The process kicked off this week. Now, finally, the countdown clock has started.

Another roller coaster has been with my social life. The past 4 months have been a whirlwind of meeting up with a core group of friends and getting to know them better over long dinners and drinks. I’ve enjoyed this immensely, and I think it only hit me a few weeks back that life in Vietnam will be very different socially. There I won’t have this wonderful group of people I’ve only recently started to call my friends, and it made me feel a little lonely. I felt so down that I actually missed my parents, which is new to me. I hardly ever missed my parents before, even when I was living in the UK for many years.

It was a tough week of feeling sad, lonely, and demotivated, but the feeling has passed. And now I’m back to enjoying my social life, but also my solitude. This week has been a week of staycations. I was staying at a business suite during the week doing a ‘workcation,’ and enjoyed the solitude immensely. This morning I checked in to a proper fancy hotel for a relaxing 3-day staycation with my best friend. And I’m writing this while waiting for her to arrive.

It’s going to be great. I already love the room and the service.

Hope you all have been well and your life has been rolling and/or coasting nicely.

Love,

Val

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