Family of nomads cross Vietnam on bikes


Many parents believe that academic achievements are the most crucial part of every child’s life. But 36-year-old Pham Quoc Tuan and 30-year-old Bui Thuy think otherwise. 

In the eyes of these young parents from Saigon, nature also plays a key role in a child’s mental and intellectual development. 

With that in mind, the couple gave up their lucrative jobs back home to live as nomads on bikes with their 2 kids, traveling across Vietnam.


Family of nomads travels 200KM on bikes across Vietnam


Vietnam nomads
Image credit: VnExpress

Over a month ago, this adventurous family of 4 set out on a 200KM journey from Ba Ria – Vung Tau to Lam Dong on bicycles.

Most of the time, they spend their nights in the woods, where they pitch camps and go fishing for meals. 

nomads Vietnam
Image credit: VnExpress

During the journey, the new nomads acquired a new member – a monkey they rescued from an abusive pet owner.

Even though raising a pet while on a road trip can be inconvenient, Tuan told VnExpress that the monkey bonds very well with his kids.

Vietnam nomads
Image credit: VnExpress


Children acquire life skills & meet people from all walks of life


The family enjoy spending time together in nature, exposing themselves to people from all walks of life. In the process, they’ve also acquired remarkable full-time travelling skills.

For example, the kids have learned to cast a net to catch eels in the rivers, and identify color-changing leaves in different seasons. 

Vietnam nomads
Image credit: VnExpress

They also went from being clingy toddlers to enjoying chores – helping their parents pick vegetables, do laundry, and wash dishes in rivers.

One time, their 5-year-old son stumbled on a snake in the woods and calmly moved aside to avoid getting hurt.

Vietnam nomads
Image credit: VnExpress

Even though the couple used to make VND30,000,000 (~USD1,303) per month in Saigon and their earnings are about 10 times lower now, they both think that they’re living a much more comfortable life than before.

While living closer to nature is good for your mental wellbeing, it’s not without challenges, especially for residents who’re used to living in urban spaces.


Overcoming challenges on their nomadic journey


Vietnam nomads
Image credit: VnExpress

According to Tuan, the family have faced plenty of troubles during their journey. There were days when they had to brace for midnight rides on mountain passes because they couldn’t find camping spots. 

When sudden downpours come while the nomads are on their way, they must hurry to set up camp and seek shelter.

Recently, Nam – their 2-year-old daughter contracted malaria in the woods. The couple had to learn how to treat and care for the kid without the assistance of doctors or available medicine.

Vietnam nomads
Image credit: VnExpress

“For me, challenges are supposed to be conquered and they are lessons for all of us. On top of that, we’ve always chanced upon really nice people along the way who help us with basic necessities and offer us accommodation,” Tuan quipped, apparently satisfied with the life of a nomad.

Vietnam nomads
Image credit: VnExpress

While enjoying their time together and on the roads, Tuan and Thuy plan to settle down again once their kids go to primary school.

During the first 6 years of their children’s lives, they’d like to spend time with their kids and help them explore the world as much as possible.  


A life well-spent often involves overcoming challenges


Even though the nomadic life sounds like a great adventure for this young family, it has faced opposing views on social media. Some believe the kids are too young to be full-time travelers, while others worry about the financial uncertainty the parents must face.

But when it comes to a life well-spent, everyone has different opinions.

We think it’s up to each person to decide whether they’re happier living in a concrete jungle with a well-paid job, or going on a road trip to explore the world.

Tuan and Thuy’s family must have faced many difficulties, but the lessons that they have learned, and the genuine smiles on their faces when they’re together – are all worth the challenges.

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Cover image adapted from: VnExpress

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