Hott Reads: Vietnam Edition!

Did I hear someone say they were hoping I'd continue listing, down the the very finest of detail, every single thing I plan to pack on my upcoming vacation?! 

OK!!!!! 

Herewith is a rundown of all the non-clothing, non-cosmetic, non-medicinal items we'll be a-packin'. Aka: the fun stuff!

fun stuff

Camera & Camera Cord: We received a new camera as a generous Christmas gift from my mom. After lots of research - primarily Googling "best point and shoot for travel" or "easy to use, non-crap camera for basic morons" we went with the Nikon Coolpix (what a stupid name) 9700.  It got great reviews for our needs so hopefully it's a good one! 

Electrical Adapters: This is going to sound stupid / ethnocentric but I DON'T mean it that way, I am genuinely serious because I don't understand science...why can't all countries just use the same electrical plugs?? Is it some kind of voltage issue? Is electricity different in Asia than it is in Australia?! I just don't get it!!! Doesn't all electricity just happen when lightning hits a key that you tied to a kite in a rainstorm?!?! Maybe they don't have kites in Vietnam? At any rate, Vietnam has different plugs than America and even within the country they have 2 different kinds of sockets (get it together, guys) so we're bringing two different adapters, Type C and Type G. We found these in a multi-pack that we stole from my mom but you can buy them online all over the place! 

And for anyone travelling to Thailand in the near future, specifically my friend Joe who is so nice he said, AND I QUOTE that he was "looking forward" to reading about electricity adapters, so you can all thank/blame him for this novella, here is a helpful article about what you'll need for there! 

Phone Charger & Phone (not pictured because I needed it to take this photo. I guess I could have used Brian's but I just thought of that. Just use your imaginations and conjure up an iPhone): B & I are both bringing our telefonos and just one charger to share. This will probably be the hardest challenge we face as a couple on this trip, ha! I guess we could bring both ... they don't take up that much space. At any rate, we decided not to get an international phone plan, we're just going to use hotel WiFi as needed. People lived for hundreds of years sans cell phones, we'll survive. (We will be updating the 'gram from time to time, let's not go full prehistoric here. Follow me @lizho914!) 

I keep trying to think of a honeymoon hashtag but can't come up with anything clever. The best I got was #HOTTChiMinh but I feel like that's insanely offensive.  

(By which I mean I know that's insanely offensive. Some things I probably shouldn't say outloud...) 

Earbuds: For rocking to my jams! I have Spotify premium which is supposed to work offline, but I had real issues with it when flying for work earlier this year, so I listened to the one and only album I own on iTunes on repeat over and over like 15 times in a row. The album? Taylor Swift's 1989...duh! Like you even had to ask. 

Playing Cards: We're about to encounter a LOT of one on one time, we'll need some entertainment. The only 2 person game we know how to play is rummy. Any other suggestions?! 

Cute Travel Journal: For all my cute travel thoughts. I'll be bringing a different, pen, though. I learned my lesson

LITERATURE!!!: Figuring out what books to bring on a trip is like 80% of the fun. On this particular trip I won't have a lot of space and most of my reading time will be limited to flights when I'm likely to be barely awake so I just want lots of fun books. Nothing too "educational," gross.  I took to the Facebook (or as my friend Jamie calls it "the Fach") looking for suggestions for "fiction, plot-driven, maybe suspense/thriller but not stupid and maybe it's kind of sexy but not trashy and hopefully not about a young American couple getting kidnapped abroad." 

Mah people did not disappoint! They came through with tonnssss of great suggestions and after much deliberation, I've loaded my Kindle with the following:

  • The Fever by Megan Abbott - an author I've been meaning to read for years
  • 11/22/63 by Stephen King I have never read a single SK, can you believe it?!
  • The Outlander Series - This seems juuuust the right mix of sex, history and ridiculousness to keep me entertained as I'm half asleep somewhere over the North Pole. And then I can catch up on the TV show when I get home. 

I also packed one paperback because I just feel so weird and naked if I don't have at least one real book on me at all times. I've heard great things about this one and I do love me some sweeping, tragic historical fiction. 

At the end of this post is a list of the other suggested titles if you're in the market for a new read. I sadly wasn't able to pack them all (I need about 645 more vacation days for that) but filing away for future reference! 

Not pictured: passports, OBVZ, credit cards (don't let me forget to give the bank a heads up!), addresses of people to mail postcards to (do you want one? I'm not joking, I'll do it! Email me your address.), a folder with a printout of our AGGRESSIVELY detailed itinerary as well as print-outs of all of our hotel, flight & tour confirmations (I am just so chill and laid back, guys), several color photocopies of our passports and credit cards (each hidden in a different pocket of a different bag) (chill, chill, chilllll) and I THINK that's it.

And how will we be lugging all this around? IN STYLE:

backpack and stuff and hottness

What up, paranoid-traveler-approved fanny pack and neon teal backpack. Looking fly! The jammies are staying here, though. Those are my FAVORITE pair of pants, I love them so much and think they look legit adorable. I wore them around my family over the holidays and everyone ruthlessly made fun of me. GUYS! I look so cute! Ok yes they do look, as my mother kindly pointed out, like a five-year-old's pajama set but I stand by my decision. At least I'm not wearing flannel on flannel! 

Annnnd let's shut it down. I look forward, as I'm sure you all do, to the inevitable recap of some VITAL important thing we forgot or wacky hijink about how I left my one bag with ALL of my belongings in the airport, never to see it again. 

Oh lord, please don't let that happen. 

The END! Now go read a book!

xoxoxo Liz Ho 

Recommended Reading a la Liz's Pals:

The Eight by Katharine Neville

The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins (har har, this is one of my books but DO read it.)

The Eye of the Needle by Ken Follett (Pillars of the Earth was my runner-up to Outlander!)

Unbecoming by Rebecca Sherm (I actually already read & loved this!)

Revival by Stephen King

My Sunshine Away by M.O. Walsh

All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven

J.D. Robb's In Death Series

Any Human Heart by William Boyd

Anything by Beatriz Williams (I'm a HUGE fan of Secret Life of Violet Grant! Was going to read her new books coming out this fall but then I decided they'd maybe make me think about the office and I am avoiding that as much as I can! But YOU should read her books, they are gr8!)

Any Tana French (she's the bomb, read all of her books!)

Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel (to be discussed in full later by me because I have THOUGHTS)

Before I Go to Sleep by SJ Watson 

Zoli or This Side of Brightness by Colum McCann 

The Shoemaker's Wife by Adriana Trigiani

Department of Speculation by Jenny Ofill 

The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson (agreed! He's great! He has a new book coming out in a few weeks, too!)

And thennn a bunch of Vietnam War books which I should read before I leave but probably won't because I'm a horrible monster who would rather read about Scottish time travel sex shenanigans than the actual history of the foreign land I'm going to visit.  Whoops? Is #sorrynotsorry appropriate here or is it still smug and annoying like always? I'll go with the latter.

But FOR REAL what a list of books, guys! I hope these might speak to some of you and I can't wait to just check down the list book by book by book!