We met Hoa in Hanoi, Vietnam. She kindly hosted us on her (surprisingly comfortable) living room floor for one night. We really enjoyed hanging out with her: She taught us some of her favorite dishes (see below), took us to the local market and treated us to some absolutely delicious breakfast and lunch. She also told us about her life and the Vietnamese culture and history. After finishing her studies she now works as a freelance English teacher. So if you ever feel like dusting off your English skills – she will be just the right person to get in touch with.
What comes to your mind when you think of “home”?
When I think of home, it’s the sensation of being around with other members of my family; the feeling of relief when you get up in the morning and take a deep breath of fresh air in my small village; a warm kiss on the head of my boyfriend when he leaves to work; and the warmth of his arms. Home has been many places for me over the years, but its comforts are defined by simple, blissful moments like these.
What do you associate with "traveling"?
Traveling around the world is my biggest dream. It’s such a way to make love with my life.
Which place or destination blows your mind?
Definitely New Zealand. I am not only amazed by its spectacular landspaces, but also the people who are well-known for their hospitality and friendliness. For sure I will travel to New Zealand in the near future.
Is there anyone you met who deeply impressed you?
There is a man who left me a big impression. I knew him through Couchsurfing Hanoi and we had a trip together to Sapa which is one of Vietnam’s most beautiful attractions. The trip was incredible because it was the first time in my life to see snow which is really rare in Vietnam. At the end of our trip, he shared his perspectives about life with me. He said his friends call him a misfit because he didn’t have a stable job or even a girlfriend which are two things you are supposed to achieve at his age. But he said, he didn’t want to follow other people life’s patterns which are to own a good job, a girlfriend/boyfriend and then a family, and you will be swamped by work and kids to be able to have your time to travel. I then was surprised at his ideas and thanks to him, I started to travel more after that.
What does food mean to you?
Before, food was just something I ate everyday to survive. But it has changed. Now tasting new cuisine is always on my top list when I travel somewhere.
What is your favorite dish?
My favorite dish is boiled pig’s trotters. It sounds very very simple. But in Vietnam we have a very special dipping sauce which makes the dish become my favorite. It’s “shrimp paste”. The smell of this sauce is really strong and unique.
Want to get in touch with Hoa as well? She will definitely be a good couchsurfing host to you. And an even better English teacher.