real life

The trip that brought our whole family closer together.






The beauty of travelling on an Intrepid Travel trip is of course, not having to think beyond the moment. Our days in Vietnam were as planned or as free as we wanted or needed them to be. Every day had a purpose or a plan, yet if we, for whatever reason decided we’d rather lie by the pool in one of the ever increasingly lovely hotels, we could. Although no one did this of course, there were simply too many experiences we didn’t want to miss out on.

I have two highlights from my Intrepid Travel Good Morning Vietnam Trip. No, wait I have three.

Just as an FYI, you should know that this post is sponsored by Intrepid Travel. But all opinions expressed by the author are 100% authentic and written in her own words.

Halong Bay. Google it and prepare to be insanely jealous. We slept on an overnight ‘Junk’ boat amoungst ethereal limestone islands that have been carved by time. Words cannot do this place justice. Even the photos remain stubbornly devoid of the actual magic. We kayaked through the jutting caves, through crystal green waters and fed monkeys on the side of mountains. There was a tense moment where it looked like Sam and I were about to get run over by an oncoming cruise liner but we were fine (no thanks to Sam the massive slacker). Really though, that just became a story to tell at dinner that night as we ate freshly caught seafood and drank ridiculously cheap cocktails.

Water Buffalo riding. On our second last day in Hoi An we had an optional activity – Bike Riding. For some reason, this appealed to us more than any other activity. Crazy – not like we’ve never rode a push bike before right? Not like this. This activity saw myself and my husband ‘dinking’ the boys and negotiating the somewhat chaotic Vietnamese traffic. It was hairy and yes, I’ll admit, pretty effing scary, but such a thrill to make it out of the town and to be riding our little pushbikes through grass tracks and rice paddies. That’s where we came across the man and his water buffalo. Set up? Sure, who cares – I could never put a price on the look on my boy’s faces as they got the ride of their lives on this gentle giant’s back, believing for a brief moment that they were in fact, real life cowboys. Special mention here has to go to Sam who although doing zero peddling, moaned about having “a stitch”.


There were so many highlights. We would all I am sure, if asked, pick different times that struck at our hearts, minds and bodies. There were little to no low-lights. The kids got sick a few times but nothing more than expected and it was fleeting. It was hot, but it wasn’t unexpected and with mostly everywhere air conditioned or not too far from water, we were never uncomfortably hot. I never felt unsafe and in fact, wandered the streets of Ho Chi Minh alone for hours with little to no idea where I was. I knew that a cab would take me back to our hotel for no more than a dollar if I needed, so it was almost exquisite to get lost for a while.

Special mention though has to go to our Intrepid Travel tour guide Anh. Without ever being intrusive, he certainly made our trip what it was. He was super organised, funny, witty and always looking out for the children, making sure they were safe. Whether it be playing soccer on the beach with the boys, organising a cake for a birthday or simply making sure we knew our daily movements, he made it very easy for us to enjoy our holiday – stress and hassle free.

Bern Morley

This feels like I have just brought you all to one of those slide nights that were massive in the 90s, boring you with my smug “Look at my amazing holiday” photos and “Look at how we ate ALL the food and yet still managed to come back 3kgs lighter”. I hope you don’t’ feel that way. I hope you read this and WANT to go to Vietnam and maybe with Intrepid Travel. Especially if you have children and have always thought you needed to stick to the ‘safe’ destinations. Because Vietnam is safe and so damn fun for the kids. It’s not always sunshine and rainbows but I’m not sure that’s why you should visit a foreign country anyway.


Would it be completely lame to say that the trip brought us together closer as a family? Because it did. I’ll admit I was wondering how we’d fare being in each other’s company for 14 days straight but I can honestly say, hand on heart, besides the one time when there was a miscommunication over exactly how many pairs of spectacles I’d actually purchased (COME ON, they were $8 each, how could I not go nuts???) we actually started to see each other as partners again instead of just co-conspirators in the daily grind that is life.

To visit another land is to learn and experience. So you can go home and understand your own piece of the world a little better.


We’d love to get your thoughts on these questions below about travel and travelling as a family, and as a thanks for your time Intrepid Travel are going to give every reader who responds a $100 discount off their next Intrepid Travel Family Adventure. Take the survey HERE.


Your sense of adventure doesn’t disappear just because you have kids, so why should your family holiday destinations be limited to the ‘usual suspects’? On an Intrepid Family Adventure you and your kids will encounter plenty of real life experiences along the way – anything from riding a tuk-tuk in Bangkok, playing football with the Maasai in Kenya or sailing down the Nile in a felucca. Whatever it is, learning and exploring in the real world opens eyes and minds in a way the virtual world never can.

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