Farewell to Hanoi – 3 years on

Today marks 3 years since we left Hanoi at the end of our 3.5 year posting. We have been back in Australia for almost as long as we were there.

Our life has changed so much since then. Our little boys who were 3.5 months and 2 years old when we arrived in Hanoi, were still so little when we left – and are now school boys. We’ve had our ups and downs adjusting to a new life in the Barossa. There are days where I do miss the challenge of my public service/diplomatic career and I wonder whether leaving it behind was the right thing to do. But then I think about our wonderful lifestyle, the new friends who have welcomed us into this community and supported us and the opportunities we have been presented. I look at two little boys thriving in this beautiful rural town, playing sport and learning so much and I appreciate the fact I do have the time to spend with them and create my own new career.

The photos below were just a quick sample, uploaded in between the boys Crossfit class and basketball yesterday. It would be lovely to sit and browse through the albums of thousands of photos we took during the years. But how do you sum up 3.5 years of your life in photos or even words. We grew as parents and as a family and made some big decisions. We had the most incredible experiences and we made friends from all around the world. There are so many wonderful people from Vietnam and beyond that really should be in the photos below.

Its been cold and rainy here in the Barossa today and so I can’t help but miss the Hanoi summer. We are so grateful to have had the chance to call another place home and while it was only 3.5 years, it will always be a very special part of our family’s story.



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I started this blog almost 3 years ago when we first arrived in the Barossa Valley. I've always wanted to write and I wanted to share my experience of my career change, our move to this beautiful wine region and discovering my next adventure. After 15 years as a public servant working in Canberra, Beijing, China and Hanoi, Vietnam, I decided it was time for a career change and more importantly, a lifestyle change. In 2014, we left Hanoi and headed to the Barossa Valley in South Australia with a dream of a more fulfilling lifestyle in one of Australia's premier food and wine regions. My husband and I both work in the wine industry - where my job could be described as anything but making the wine. In 2017, I decided to wind-up the consulting business I established in 2015 and focus on learning as much as I could about the wine industry and writing - both on this blog and a memoir of our time in Vietnam. This blog is an opportunity for me to share my writing - about everything from motherhood, to career change, fitness, travel and our vine-change/career change experience.

6 thoughts on “Farewell to Hanoi – 3 years on”

  1. Hi Ange,

    Reading this and looking at the photos makes me so regretful that we never managed to make it to Vietnam. One day perhaps… with lots of suggestions and advice from you.

    Much love,

    Peter >


  2. I have never had the good fortune to visit Vietnam but having Vietnamese friends and colleagues tells me that it would be a wonderful place to see.

    Oh and then add the food, that bowl of Pho had my mouth watering.

    Thanks for sharing.




    1. Thanks Patrick. I highly recommend Vietnam as a place to visit. I don’t think we ever had anyone come and stay that didn’t walk away loving the place – the combination of history, landscape, architecture, food and the most generous, friendly, hardworking people is hard to beat. And the food – did I mention the food? Pho, banh mi, bun cha, Vietnamese iced coffees – including those made with eggs and coconut ice-cream or yoghurt. I’m hungry just typing this. I hope you get the chance to visit some day.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I have never been to that part of the world, but I sure do enjoy looking at peoples’ photos of places they have been, even though I know it’s just not the same. I especially like the geometric patterns in the very first photo you posted. What is the context? Are those tiles? Fabric? Is it part of a wall? Thanks, art is one of my main interests.


  4. Hi Ange,
    I really enjoy reading your blog. I’m in Adelaide and love reading about the Barossa and nice places to visit on a day trip. Your writing is really interesting but manages to not overshare, that’s a hard balance for a blogger but you have done it well.


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