Vietnam was doing a spectacular job at keeping COVID at bay, having only 270 cases in the entire country and not a new one in months. As fabulous as this is, it made it all the more difficult for my school to get us into the country since the boarders are still closed (no commercial flights in or out). After weeks/months of waiting, finally the word came that SSIS chartered a flight from Seoul, Korea. I would fly ahead and then Kim would (hopefully) follow shortly after on a different flight chartered from London.
I know there is a lot of curiosity around traveling right now so I wanted to share my journey. In total, from leaving my Dad’s house in Maine to arriving in my hotel room in Saigon, it took 42 hours. Firstly, I needed to get a COVID test done a few days before I left. Then I took off from Portland to Detroit, a fairly uneventful quick flight at only 2 hours. I had a 5 hour layover where I staked claim to a very comfortable sofa that I snoozed on a bit in between catching up with video chats with friends.
We waited a few hours for them to process our visas, all of us sitting around getting to know each other. Finally we were allowed to enter. I was so happy to see all of my bags waiting for me on the other side! A part of me was convinced that they would get lost in the tricky transit. We didn’t need to wait much longer before we were bussed to the local IBIS hotel (only a few minutes from the airport).