Occasionally disheartened by a hostile scam and at others blown away by seeing first-hand the scars of an incredible history, I was fascinated by the buzzing culture of the Vietnamese people. From a war-scarred Hue, where hills are pockmarked with countless unnamed cemeteries and American bullets still litter the surroundings of bomb-shattered ruins; to the Parisien charm of Hoi An, abound with talented tailors, handicrafts and fiercely shrew barterers; to the hoardes of motorbikes teaming along the cluttered streets of Hanoi; to the sleepy, unconcerned lethargy of the Mui Nee coastline, Vietnam is incredibly diverse.
In a country of such contrasts - fertile pine forests in the mountains, home to row upon row of carefully manicured vegetable patches, rolling hillocks of coffee plantations and death-defying ropewire bridges; watery fields of fresh-green rice paddies; sandy red plains near the coastline - the journey through 'Naam' was a rollercoaster ride in every sense of the word and I felt like I was in a different country at every turn!
On a different note, in my nervous anticipation of travelling for three months I expected that, however much I would enjoy exploring unknown cultures, cuisines, coastlines and countrysides, I would inevitably resent lugging around a backpack full of musty smelling, discoloured clothes. On the contrary I have found that, after seven weeks, I have come to love the scruffy simplicity enforced by living out of my pack: snatching any old pair of shorts and a mismatched top to wear for the day, having only two outfits to choose between each night and never feeling obliged to put on make up.
Sadly I expect that these remaining weeks will fly by, such that I'll be brought back to reality - a wardrobe full of choice and the commencement of the demoralising job hunt - with something of a bump!