Vietnamese-Canadian Couple & their Children Travel Across Vietnam

Theu and Maxime have spent 10 years together to move around the country and abroad, but for them, traveling by motorbike in Vietnam is still the most interesting experience.
September 09, 2022 | 08:54

"Backpackers Family" describes the married couple Nguyen Thi Theu (HCMC), Maxime Godin-Murphy (Canadian) and their 7- and 2-year-old daughters.

As the name suggests, the whole family loves to explore new places, especially the two youngest members. In just a few weeks, the children ask their parents when they can hit the road again.

“Before the pandemic, when there we hadn't got any children, my husband and I set foot in about 30 countries. I find that traveling does not affect the work of parents and my children's studies, so we keep doing it, there is no plan to stop at a fixed place," she told Zing.

Vietnamese wife and Canadian husband take their children to travel through 30 countries
After 2 years of stopping travel because of the pandemic, Theu's family set off to cross Vietnam at the beginning of this year. Photo: Zing

Passion for travel

Theu and her husband got married in 2012. At that time, Maxime was planning to travel to 50 countries around the world. Halfway through, he met her and decided to stay in Vietnam.

Theu and her husband traveled together when their first child was still in the womb. When he was only a few months old, he followed his parents both in and out of the country.

Vietnamese wife and Canadian husband take their children to travel through 30 countries
Theu's family has been recommended in Ho Chi Minh City for the past two years as a result of Covid-19. Photo: Zing

Theu's family has been recommended in Ho Chi Minh City for the past two years as a result of Covid-19. They have just begun their motorbike tour in Vietnam since Tet this year with the goal of visiting all 63 provinces and cities in around 6 to 8 months.

However, the family has only visited 13 western provinces, six Southeast Asian provinces and cities, Dak Nong, Lam Dong, Ninh Thuan, and Binh Thuan in the past six months.

They made the decision to take a break and explore Europe and North America first when the rainy season arrived, making travel more challenging.

Vietnamese wife and Canadian husband take their children to travel through 30 countries
The plan calls for them to come home around Tet the following year to complete their trip through Vietnam. Photo: Zing

The little family has so far been through France, Belgium, the Netherlands, and is currently resting in Germany. The following countries are the Czech Republic, Hungary, Austria, Italy, Switzerland, the United States of America, and Canada.

The plan calls for them to come home around Tet the following year to complete their trip through Vietnam.

Vietnamese wife and Canadian husband take their children to travel through 30 countries
When traveling for an extended period of time, Theu and her husband have no problems. Photo: Zing

The couple both work as independent freelancers online. When traveling for an extended period of time, Theu and her husband have no problems. Her elder daughter attended an American homeschool where books were shipped to her house, children used the school's online curriculum to do their own exercises, and when they achieved the required test results and scores, they were allowed to attend class.

Vietnamese wife and Canadian husband take their children to travel through 30 countries
In addition to Vietnamese, Theu's eldest daughter can now speak English and French and is good at life skills due to her many experiences. Photo: Zing

“Children are not required to study at any time of the day or day of the week, but when they are free, they can study at that time. Fast learners go to class early, slow learners go to class late, not every year/class. If a child learns continuously, it only takes 4 months to complete a class, then they can continue to study or play. Therefore, in the US, there are many 12-year-old children who have completed 12th grade. My little ones will enter first grade when they reach the age of 1," she said.

In addition to Vietnamese, Theu's eldest daughter can now speak English and French and is good at life skills due to her many experiences.

Vietnamese wife and Canadian husband take their children to travel through 30 countries
Theu's family travels in Europe. Photo: Zing

Theu's family often doesn't make a specific plan for the journey but they always know where to go. During this trip, her favorite was the "bicycle country" of the Netherlands.

“In the Netherlands, there are bicycles everywhere, everything is fresh and clean, rivers are crisscrossed, boats pass gently, and houses are built close to the river. They have a water level control system, so the water is always on the edge of the shore, quiet without ripples. The beauty of small villages is hard to describe in words,” she said.

Vietnamese wife and Canadian husband take their children to travel through 30 countries
Thieu also recalls the happy memories of renting a bicycle in Amsterdam. Photo: Zing

Thieu also recalls the happy memories of renting a bicycle in Amsterdam. Every car is too big for her body, making the store staff uncomfortable. They advised her to buy insurance for 14 euros in case of falls.

Another time, on a metro train in Paris (France), Theu was almost pickpocketed. Fortunately, a girl blocked the scammer, saving her no damage. After the incident, she herself to be more careful everywhere.

Love backpacking in Vietnam

For Ms. Theu, traveling by motorbike is still the family's favorite choice. Even in Europe, she and her husband also want to ride a motorbike because it's convenient, it doesn't take a long walk to get to the train station, train station or attractions.

Vietnamese wife and Canadian husband take their children to travel through 30 countries
Theu and her children in France. Photo: Zing

However, they cannot rent this vehicle here because they do not have an international driver's license. The whole family uses popular forms such as metro, bus, tram, and sky train.

“Traveling by motorbike in Vietnam is the most favorite because it is very convenient to travel, you can go to caves and narrow alleys, indigenous areas to feel the culture and people there. I like this form of travel more than traveling abroad because of the cheap price, suitable food, people, language, and weather”, she explained.

Vietnamese wife and Canadian husband take their children to travel through 30 countries
Maxime Godin-Murph, Theu's husband, with their children. Photo: Zing

According to Theu, many parents frequently believe that traveling with small children is quite challenging. However, they should not be concerned that if the children are good health and do not be sick frequently, they should not be concerned.

“Depending on time and economic conditions, parents can arrange suitable arrangements for the family. I believe that no matter how you go or eat or sleep, your children will be happy and learn many practical things that books don't teach," she said.

“Come with me, see with me, learn with me” is what Thew always thinks about. For her, everything outside is new to both children and parents.

The youngsters always appear joyful when they visit a new location, which Theu observes as a perk of travel.

Children recall lessons they independently acquire from reality more quickly and easily such as seeing the rice exhibit at the museum, paying attention while the tour guide describes the new, wonderful land, visiting the fields to observe the rice and vegetable crops, riding the buffalo and the cows, and have a dip in the ponds and rivers, gaining knowledge of the traffic on the way from Asia, Europe, and America.

In addition to that, the children can hone their realistic map-reading skills, ingest renowned cuisines, have more fluency in foreign languages, can play in the snow in the chilly Canadian weather, or sleep soundly in the hot woodland with U Minh mosquitoes. They can either cycle across the Vietnamese paddy fields or keep up with the European trains.

Theu's family used to travel much but rarely took photographs. Later, she makes an effort to save special moments from her journeys so that her kids can feel more cherished and a part of the family.

As a result, she wants to share her experience traveling with young children with other parents.

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