We have been in Hoi An for just over a week, and what a week it has been! We have viewed a number of potential retreat venues, one of which we are extremely excited about, and moved into a home for the foreseeable future.
Thanks yet again to Facebook, we found and enlisted ‘The Help’ of long-term expat Cyril Quynhon who, incredibly, managed to transport all of our baggage (nearly 200Kgs!) in his trailer, with a bag on his back and another on the bike. Thank you Cyril!
Our new home is just beautiful! Designed and lovingly constructed by a Vietnamese architect couple, it is by far the quirkiest and most unique house we have ever lived in. The living room/kitchen/office/third bedroom is constructed around wooden pillars with traditional latticed doors on both sides, creating an indoor-outdoor feel, perfectly suited to a healthy and productive working space.
Hannah hard at work in our new home!
The rainy season has struck a little late here, and with the bedrooms in a detached building over a pond, we have to ‘run the gauntlet’ with umbrellas to make it to our gorgeous ensuite bedrooms!
Located on Cam Nam island, we are down an extremely quiet lane and close to the Thu Bon River – we are so off-grid, that we do not even have an address! Surrounded by coconut palms, vegetable farming, greenery and the river, we have found a perfect place of peace. With the exception of the occasional (rather loud!) karaoke from the neighbours, all we hear are the sounds of cicadas, chickens, pigs and the occasional fishing boat chugging along the river. Only 10 minutes by bike, and we are back in the bustling market of Hoi An old town where we have found fresh ginger, turmeric and a vast range of locally grown fresh fruit and vegetables.
Aside from moving house, we have been busy moving forwards on the retreat! Hannah has found a fabulous Facebook group, Hoi An Eco-City project – where we have discovered a new local company called ‘Refillables’ that sources sustainable, plastic-free products, and another ‘Joy Food’ which produces packaging made of plant-fibre. Our aim to be a zero-waste company is looking increasingly feasible. Meanwhile, Naomi has been working on content for the website and learning about the alien concept of SEO (basically Neurolinguistic Programming for the internet!), and researching additional retreat practitioners to add to our already talented pool.
Eco-friendly packaging in Vietnam.
We also met with a business consultant who will enable us to navigate the intricacies, legalities and complexities of the systems and processes involved with being foreign investors (and there are many!). Having been bemused, concerned and slightly shocked by various stories of dual book keeping – a real book, and one for the tax authorities, we were thankful to meet with an accountant who is able to provide us with a service which is completely ethical and above board.
Thank you all so much! We have loved receiving your encouraging messages, ‘follows/likes’ on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter, and blog subscriptions! We would be grateful if you could continue to share our journey with others whom you feel would be interested, as we seek to create our wellness retreat here in Hoi An.
With gratitude and love,
“The most important human endeavour is the striving for morality in our actions. Our inner balance and even our very existence depend on it. Only morality in our actions can give beauty and dignity to life.” Albert Einstein (1879-1955)