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Black Mom In Vietnam

Perks of Travelling with a Wandering Mom

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I saw this post in one of my travel groups, I thought it was funny as I reflected on my desire to travel the world with my daughter and not to make more babies in the mean time. Another awesome, Wandering Mom (check out her blog) informed me that this picture is often circulated by single women, without children, who are basically saying that you can have one or the other, but not both. While the picture did cause a brief chuckle, that is NOT the case for me and my band of Wandering Moms. We have the best of both worlds!
I am EXTREMELY biased, but I can’t think of a better travel partner than a Wandering Mom!

1. We find the best deals! When traveling with multiple people, deal finding is key! The less I spend on my flights and rooms, the better I feel about the money I blow when I arrive to my destination. SkyScanner (flights) and Agoda (hotels) are two of my new best friends!

 

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My $30 ticket (fees included) that I found (and BOOKED) from Bangkok, Thailand to Hanoi, Vietnam.

 

2. We know how to pack a carryon bag. Perhaps this is a skill remaining from my days of carrying diaper bags, but you are likely to find any and everything you need in my carry-ons! Are you having an Asthma attack? Hold up, I brought my extra inhaler!

 

We recently traveled for 3 weeks using nothing but carry-ons and had everything we needed.

 

3. Actually, we know how to pack, PERIOD. I only take what we NEED and nothing more. (Roni The Travel Guru taught me how to pack)

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Packing cubes help keep up organized. I was able to put all of Tarynn’s clothes in one of those blue and white cubes. I’m also not to good to use a ziplock bag if I don’t have enough cubes.

4. We value down time. I am not going to jam pack a travel itinerary because I understand the value of rest on a vacation. My kid needs it and I need it!

 

Nope, it’s not bedtime. This is a day we spent in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam just resting and reading.

 

This is what happens when you don’t rest. Tarynn fell asleep outside the Petronas Towers (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia) in the time it took me to look up an address for a restaurant.

5. We are not going to act up in public. Wherever I feel like I might lose my cool and go slap-off in a foreign land, I picture myself in a Vietnamese jail cell and watching my daughter be whisked away on the back of a motorbike to their equivalent of the Department of Family and Children Services. I immediately calm down and good times are had by all!

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I’ve learned the art of cursing in my head and carrying on. I was mad about something in Bangkok, Thailand, can’t even remember what it was.

 

6. We get to use the short line in Immigration. Watching others stand in a line a couple hundred deep while I’m being escorted to an agent with no wait is one of the best feelings in the world. (I would put a picture here, but they don’t let you take pics in immigration.)
7. We get to board first! This is where having small children really comes in handy!

If you have a Wandering Mom in your life, consider yourself blessed if she invites you along on one of her adventures! (Is my bias showing again?) But please know that she is not somewhere staring at a map trying to decide between travel and having kids. She is more than likely somewhere chilling with her next destination picked, flights & hotels booked, and ready for her next adventure!

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Join us for our live adventures @ www.persicope.tv/kiathenaildiva

Hoi An, Vietnam: My home away from home (Photo Gallery)

I’m sorry but that is NOT cornbread!!!

Someone asked me what have I done to adjust to my new home. The answer was pretty simple : Expect NOTHING to go as planned and be okay with it!
I know that sounds kind of negative , but letting go of my expectations has been one of the most positive things that I could have done here.

As you can see, even corn bread takes on a different interpretation here. It’s cool, I can go a year without cornbread. There are sooo many other things I can eat at the bakery.😁

My Journey from “Fine” to “Fresh”: In Search of a Barber in Hanoi, Vietnam

I have been wearing my hair cut very short for about 9 years now. I knew finding a barber in Hanoi, Vietnam would be a challenge, but I tried to stay really positive.

One day a friend back home told me that my hair looked “fine”…it was at that moment that I knew I needed a haircut immediately! My experience in the black community has taught me that “fine” is the last word that you want to describe a haircut. I needed it to be FRESH!

Most of the barbers I’d seen had shops outside. IF I couldn’t find a salon, I was just going to have to try them out.


After an hour of walking around Old Quarter, I finally found a salon. PRAISE GOD!!

I’m not even sure how this happened, but I ended up getting my hair washed, a facial, hand and foot massages, and a pedicure!

After 2.5 hours, I had to stop them and ask if this hair cut was ever going to happen!! 😳

Well it did, and I was very pleased!!

8 Reasons Why I’m going to Blab! (And you should too!)

I am so ready to get my Blab on! I even have my first Blab scheduled!

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Since moving 9000 miles away from home [U.S. to Vietnam] communication has been more important to me than it ever has been in the past!

I’ve recently taken to Periscope to share my journey with family and close friends, then unexpectedly gained new friends along the way. I love Periscope, but often, it feels very one-sided in terms of interaction. I  really wanted to be able to communicate more with some of my followers!
The other day a friend, Tanai of 4 Deep Around the World, mentioned Blab to me and another friend, Roni the Travel Guru, and we were both thinking “Not another app 😩!” But, I did a little research, and now I’m sold!

8 Reasons why I’m going to Blab!

  1. It was super simple to set up my account! (Just download and login with your Twitter account.)
  2. I can give up to 3 of my really interactive followers a chance to stream WITH me and not be limited to text only! (How cool is that?!)
  3. I will be able to schedule my Blabs and let my friends and family subscribe to them!
  4. You can Blab from a mobile device or your laptop!
  5. You don’t have to have the app just to watch!
  6. You can FAST FORWARD replays! (Some Scopers talk too much 😂 #GetToThePoint)
  7. I will be able to introduce you to more of my cool friends around the Globe!
  8. It’s relatively new and I like to be ahead of the curve! (Blab was released  in April 2015)

Do I think Blab is perfect? Of course not! As a matter of fact, it’s still in beta testing mode, so I’m almost certain that there are some kinks to work out, and I’m okay with that.

I hope you will join me in exploring this new app! Now excuse me while I go figure out how to change my display name 😉

Teacher Tech Tools: GradeCam Overview (You will love this!)

Many have asked what do I do and why am I here in Hanoi, Vietnam. The short answer: MATH!

I’m going into my 8th year of working in Education. Over the years I have served as a Math Teacher, Instructional Coach, Sr. Data Analyst, Technology Coordinator, and more! I have worked in public, charter, private, brick-and-mortar, and online schools. This year I am teaching Geometry, Algebra 2, Precalculus, and AP Calculus AB at a Private International School in Hanoi, Vietnam.

GradeCam is one of my FAVORITE tools that I’ve been using for 2 years now! With GradeCam, you can create your own Scantrons and grade assessments directly with your phone, tablet, or laptop. I can’t even begin to tell you how much time I have saved! Check out the video below for a quick demo!

Let me know what you think of GradeCam in the comments!

Meet Tarynn! Mommy’s Little Globetrotter ✈️

Name: Tarynn

Age: 8

Grade: 3

States Visited: Florida, Michigan, Missouri, Maryland, District of Columbia, New York, Tennessee

Continents Lived On: North America, Europe, Asia

Countries Visited: Belgium, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Czech Republic, France,Liechtenstein, Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia

Travel Status: BOSS

She’s the best travel buddy! Always so flexible and in good spirits!
Tarynn is truly the coolest kid I know! She has been traveling between the United States and Germany since she was 4, splitting her time between her Dad and me. The transition to Vietnam for her was pretty simple. She had just returned to the U.S late April, after having been in Germany for almost 1 year. Her bags were pretty much still packed! (Don’t judge me! LOL)

When she came back, I asked her how she felt about living across the world. She told me it was fun, but the only thing she didn’t like was that I never visit her, or see places with her. That was when it really started sinking in that I would have to make a change, and not let my teacher salary hold us back from living a fabulous life TOGETHER!

Cong Cafe in Tay Ho, Hanoi, Vietnam. They make the BEST coconut coffee and hot cacao!

1st Day of 3rd Grade @ St. Paul American School Hanoi
Thanks for checking us out! You can also follow us LIVE on Periscope!

Allow me to reintroduce myself: Black Mom In Vietnam

Actually, my name is Kia. But you have to admit, BMIV has a nice ring to it!

I identify with Moms, Naturlistas, Math Geeks, Nail Artists, Cartoon Lovers, Bookworms, and most recently “Expats”! (I’ll explain my thoughts on the term “expat” some other time). There are a few groups, however, that I have never identified with and those are writers and bloggers. My math genius is accompanied by writing anxiety, so there’s that.

I’ve embarked upon a wonderful adventure, so I will do my best to squeeze out what I can for my family, friends, and anyone else considering working/teaching abroad in a place where NO ONE looks like you!

The fun stuff…

I moved to Hanoi, Vietnam on July 25th from Atlanta, GA, with my beautiful, baby girl Tarynn as my sidekick!

I left EVERYTHING behind and so far, I have NO REGRETS!

I made up my mind to leave the States and applied for some positions overseas. Yada…yada…yada….July 25th we started our journey, “The Adventures of T & T”!

That’s all for now, this took me FOREVER to compose LOL

Later!

You can also follow our journey LIVE on Periscope

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