City of the World


On 31st October 2013, I arrived in Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) in the south of Vietnam. A recent graduate, I had looked at the jobs available to me in the United Kingdom and decided – against every introverted fibre of my being – to move abroad and teach English as a foreign language. As someone who struggles with social anxiety, it was not easy to adapt. Presentations were my worst nightmare – and now I was going to be doing them every day in front of people of all ages. But it was an adventure, and that was the important part.

These poems tell my story. They are the high points and the low points. They are the memories that I gleefully recall to my friends. Some of them were written when I was in Ho Chi Minh City; the rest can only attempt to recall the mixture of emotions that my memories conjoure within me. Through these poems, I take you from the beginning of my adventure to the end, ten months later, when I returned to England to begin the next part of my life.

Out of respect for the people I knew in Vietnam (and a great deal of other people who I was not on a first name basis with), I have carefully avoided referring to individuals throughout this work. I have instead melded the characteristics of people and used elements of my own experiences for these poems. For this reason, I have used no names, save one, which I have changed.

The only exception to this rule is myself, although where I end and the poetry begins is not explicitly clear in order to add to the magic of our poetic adventure.


This adventure is available at:

You can also find the book on Amazon.