Welcome to our monthly series of the Journey Update where we keep you clued up on where we are, what we are up to and the highs and lows of the month. You can find all our other updates here.

Where are we now?

In Hanoi, wishing for Autumn to push out the sweaty weather that’s sticking around through September.

Where have we been?

Oli was still in England for the first 5 days of August and we then we both spent the rest of the month in Vietnam.

What have we been doing?

Compared to the whirlwind of July, August was pretty chilled.

We spent the first couple of weeks back simply working and catching up with friends. We also hosted our friend Tor and her boyfriend Danny for a few days before he flew home and she stayed for the whole month! She came to visit us in Korea too, so it was very special to show her our new set up in Vietnam and for so long too.

Two more university friends also came to Vietnam at the end of the month and we all spent a weekend exploring Hanoi and adventuring in Mai Chau together.

Journey highs


Coming back to Hanoi really did feel like coming home, which after only 5 months is really amazing for these two nomads.

Getting back to work was just as great. It feels fantastic to have found jobs that we are so happy to get up and do. And not only that, but we get to be creative again. I get to write and Oli gets to design.

We gave our new house a deep clean and decorated and we are now completely in love with it. We have hammocks on the roof and Oli even made an outside shower! We have spare room if anyone wants to visit…

Exploring Hanoi with the girls was lovely, although we by no means have a perfect itinerary like we had in Seoul. Our go to places mostly revolve around food… Having said that, we can now add the perfect Tay Ho sunset beer spot to our tour.

expat in Vietnam

After a few weekends in the city we got back out to Mai Chau with our friends. It was the perfect place to show them a bit of rural Vietnam and experience the hospitality of the Vietnam homestay. We seriously need to get around to writing about this wonderful place. This time round we explored around the town to find an epic waterfall that we had pretty much all to ourselves.

We also crossed paths with the motorbike-making, hand-poke tattooing badass that is our friend Karen. Her and her partner in crime, Loren, were a huge part of our lives in Hanoi (and gave us our lovely house) and she is making her way around Vietnam right now, tattooing as she goes. So, if you are in Vietnam and want a beautiful hand poke tattoo, then get in touch through Instagram!

An unexpected highlight was Tor falling in love with Vietnam and fitting into life here so easily- we miss her already!

expat life in Vietnam

Journey lows

I’m going to come right out and address the elephant online and say that we continue to fail at updating the blog. I really miss sharing our adventures with you guys and have so much still to write about. Again, that classic irony of travelling too much to write a travel blog…

I got sick this month, an annoying cold that affected my ears really bad, which wasn’t fun when hosting friends.

While we had lovely friends visiting from home, we really missed the Hanoi friends who left us this month. There is definitely such a transient vibe here which will take some getting used to.

Top Instagram of the month

Got home from work and this was going down outside our house ???? #playtime #hestartedit #hanoilife #vietnam

A photo posted by jade_house (@jade_house) on

2016 Pop Sugar Reading Challenge, Month 7

This year I’m trying out the Pop Sugar Reading Challenge to read 41 books, from a series of uniquely different topics, in one year. In this monthly journey update, I will let you know which books I read that month and what categories they filled. I’ll also give handy Amazon Kindle links so you can get them yourself.


The Girl with all the Gifts
M. R. Carey

Janapar: Love on a Bike
Tom Allen

What’s next?


As I’m writing this late, once again, we already took an amazing road trip over a 3 day weekend and have more plans to travel Vietnam for my birthday weekend. Other than that, September is an exciting mystery.

x JOli x

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