Living Well In Vietnam For Less

A new, must-listen podcast with Paul Kennedy, an ex-pat currently living in Hanoi Vietnam, and one who has a very interesting story to tell. Here is how a short vacation turned into four years and counting travel experience which has him living well in Vietnam for a lot less than one would have thought.

woman back view in brown shirt and black pants with a rake during the burning season in Hanoi Vietnam
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Living the Hanoi life. Workers in the field.

Living well in Vietnam with Paul Kennedy

Paul Kennedy set out from New York (where he was working) a few years ago after graduating from culinary school on what was supposed to be just a two-week trip to visit some friends in Greece. Well, the best non-made plans often work out :-).

Paul discovered a love for travel and those two weeks became an adventure and a quest to live a life of his own design. That adventurous spirit shows through in this interview as he discusses his past travels amongst many other things.

Vietnamese food, pork with boiled egg
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I have to admit that l think this food looks too pretty to eat, but yeah… l would eat it anyway.


Highlights of the living well in Vietnam podcast includes:

  • How travel enriches your outlook on life, and why he believes everyone who possibly can, should.
  •  Fear of the unknown and how it holds people back from traveling.
  • Safety as a traveler, and things to keep in mind.
  •  Finding your purpose through travel and how it helps you discover your true self.
  • Some of the places he has traveled through, and how he liked them.
  • Choosing Hanoi as his long-term home. What attracted him to the place and why the city has become home.
  • His cost of living in Vietnam with a breakdown of rent, traveling, dining out, and utilities. Very reasonable and doable for most, and without sacrificing the good life either. It also allows him to save a bit.
  • Avoiding the typical ex-pat experience and choosing to live like a true local intentionally as it satisfies his urge to become a part of his society.
  • His love for cooking and how being a chef has allowed him to not only prepare typical Vietnam dishes but also put his own spin on them. You can see some of the dishes in the photos accompanying this podcast.
  • His exploration of the relationship between Asian food and culture culminated in a new book that will be released later this year, plus who the target audience is.
  • Where he was when covid happened. How he essentially did things the other way around that most as he was forced to basically start businesses from scratch thanks to the fears of the Vietnamese towards foreigners which left him without a roof over his head.
  • His advice for anyone thinking of travel and life outside of their home country.
Vietnamese dish Bun Dao mam tom with chicken in a bowl on living well in Vietnam for less
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Bun Dao Mam tom. I recognize chicken :-). Make sure to check his site for delicious recipes.

Wrapping up:

This podcast interview was a very enjoyable one. Paul is so chill and easy to converse with. Time constraints have slowed down the number of podcast episodes l can produce despite the tremendous pleasure l get from it.

There are so many different reasons why people travel and explore different facets of life. l want to hear all the stories as l think they serve to inspire those that want to do the same.

The world has become much more open, thanks to the internet and the ability to discover far-flung places, often without leaving the comfort of your own house is still jaw-dropping to me. I still remember the days before the internet 🙂 which makes me sound super old, but it really wasn’t that long ago.

I think hearing stories and different perspectives can be motivating and l hope timid would-be travelers get the courage to get out there and live. The world is waiting. Paul is a good example of what life free of the hamster wheel can be.

living well in vietnam for less. Bon moc soup in a white bowl.
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Yummy looking Bun moc by Chef Paul


You can find Paul Kennedy:

On his website, complete with yummy recipes to whet your appetite before the book release. You can also find out more about the release date.

Paul is also on Instagram where you can keep up with his travels and amazing photography.

Find him on Twitter here


Listen to the living well in Vietnam podcast here:

Or listen/watch on YouTube

Other podcasts of interest:

Living and loving life in Lisbon with Cinnamon

American ex-pat in London, Christine

Journalist Christine Hoag on being a third-culture kid

An American in Paris, David.

The cost of living in Vietnam certainly remains reasonable, and life there sounds good. What’s holding you back? Paul’s budget and costs in Vietnam are doable, and so the country makes a lot of sense for any adventurous person. Another plus is the delicious food.

If you like this post, please share. Thank you.

2 thoughts on “Living Well In Vietnam For Less”

  1. I think that this type of things – those that happen without any prior planning are the best possible. I mean… few things can beat going for a week-long vacation and ending up on a life-changing adventure 🙂 Great podcast, as always!

    Reply
    • Thanks, C. I do agree that often, a greater experience is made even better when there is no heavy planning behind it. That has always been my experience anyway, and obviously for him too. Going with the flow can often be. He has certainly made it the longest week ever … haha!

      Reply

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