Design Your Life
The Black Expat: ‘I Moved To Vietnam With No Job Lined Up’
By DeAnna Taylor
Craig is 29 years old and a native of South Florida. He recently left his job in admissions at the Art Institute of Houston to make the move to Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam with no job lined up.
We had the chance to speak with him about his experience as a black man living in Vietnam.
Travel Noire: Why did you make the move to Vietnam?
Craig: Honestly nothing was going right for me back in the states, working a 9-5 job I hated. I was depressed, drinking a lot, and just hated where my life was. After months of applying for jobs in the justice system and getting rejected, I finally said I’m sick and tired of being sick and tired. I booked a one-way ticket in February, sold all my things in March, and got on a plane to Southeast Asia April 1st.
Travel Noire: What challenges do you face as a black man living in Asia?
Craig: One of the biggest things I face being black and abroad, especially in Vietnam, is the staring. There are not a lot of black people in Vietnam compared to Thailand and Malaysia, so people overly stare at you to a point it becomes uncomfortable. I literally saw someone almost get into an accident on their bike staring at me. Another big thing is dating, as a black man in an Asian country, the culture is mostly taught to fear you. So its hard to meet a woman unless its on Tinder. That’s where they feel free to admit they like brothers (lol).
Travel Noire: What are the best things about being a black man and living abroad?
Craig: Feeling safe. I still watch the news back in the states sometime and I see black men getting harassed by police and being afraid for their life. It is one of the best feelings to walk down the street and not have to worry about getting shot.
Travel Noire: How does life in Vietnam compare to life back home?
Craig: Man, I love my life abroad! The food is better and healthier, I’m experiencing a new culture, and I’m finally happy. I haven’t been this happy and care free in years. It’s amazing.
Travel Noire: Do you have plans to return to the States? If so, when?
Craig: As of right now no. There is nothing there for me. Why go back to work another dead job because I don’t have 8 years of experience with my degree for most high paying positions, when I can live life, be happy, and travel the world?
Travel Noire: What advice can you give to other black men and women looking to move abroad?
Craig: The hardest thing is leaving, to be honest, and not listening to those friends that say you are crazy. You are not crazy. They are just scared. Leaving the states is difficult because we have been taught that we must follow the script: college, job, marriage, house, kids. My advice…Be Different!!!!!
Travel Noire: Where can our readers contact you if they have questions?
Craig: I can be found on Instagram at @thecheapgod.
DeAnna Taylor is a criminal defense Attorney turned travel writer. The Charlotte native recently completed one year abroad working as an English teacher in South Korea. Her hobbies include fitness, traveling to new countries, and trying new foods.