In Vietnam, I am probably one of the so many people who have a homeland and other homes. In fact, the countryside doesn’t have enough jobs for everyone. Thus those who go to universities usually find a way to stay in cities for a better job. I personally found nothing wrong because this happens everywhere – migration and entrepreneurship.
I was born in February 1974 and my homeland is in Thanh Mien district of Hai Duong province. This is an average province in Northern Vietnam. I lived here for twelve years and below is the photo of my homeland in November 2016. I loved this place because it’s so peaceful and quiet. The first 12 years of my life!
Regrettably, my father sold this house and I only return to visit relatives on some special occasions like Tet (Vietnamese New Year), weddings, and funerals.
My Second Home
Then in 1986, my family moved to Chi Linh district in the same province. This is a hilly area, was famous for tea plantation and primitive forests. Right here, I fell in love with riding on mountainous roads and picked up the sense of adventure. There are beautiful lakes, rivers, streams, forests and of course very friendly people. However, I lived here for only 4 years until I went to a university in Hanoi. Many of my friends still live here and below is a picture I took in May 2016 when I returned to this second home.
My Third (Permanent) Home
In 1990, I went to the first university and was trained to be a teacher. However, teaching was boring and 3 years later I started my job in tourism. The early 1990s was the time Vietnam opened the door to the outside world after doi moi (reform) policy. There were not many foreign travellers at that time. However, I luckily had many chances to talk with native English-speaking customers and this assisted me a lot in my study. I graduated in mid-1994 and nearly became a policeman. Before accepting this job, I thought over and decided to continue with tourism because I found this more enjoyable. Honestly, I was not serious enough to become an officer!
I love the older Hanoi as in the picture below taken in 2009.
After 6 years in serving classic tours, I got bored and therefore looked for a change. I worked for a motorbike tour company for 4 years. However, the way of thinking was so different and I didn’t have enough respect from the owner so I left. In addition, my boss is a French Vietnamese but lost his Vietnamese background deeply. I started my own company – Offroad Vietnam in late 2006. I did most of everything, from creating websites, running the office to maintaining motorbikes together with a friend from my university. Later, I found better co-owners and we have had great success together.
I live on the Eastern bank of the Red River in Long Bien district of Hanoi. It’s probably one of the best places for real living in this chaotic city. In fact, it’s not far from the Old Quarter, just 3km away.
I married a lovely wife from Hanoi and she supported me so much in my work and daily life. She’s two years younger than me. We had two sons, born in 2003 and 2011. Both are great. I love my family and I can do everything for them. In return, they support me in my business providing adventures on two wheels to foreigners.