My Millennial Travel Story: Sarah Attaway, 24 – MOTM

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This weeks millennial on the move is Sarah Attaway!Sarah is 24 years old and though she’s originally from Phoenix, Arizona she has been based in Hanoi, Vietnam for the past 8 months. In 2014 she graduated from the College of Charleston, and decided to take the following year to apply to law school programs. However, Sarah wasn’t ready to fully commit to that career path, and to another rigorous academic stretch.

Thus lands her in Hanoi, taking a gap year to just find out what she wants from life through travel!

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Living in Vietnam, Sarah has to get a new visa every 3 months, and has to leave and come back to the country to do so! It’s annoying but also somehow convenient, as this gave her a chance to visit Hong Kong!

Aside from her obvious passion for travel, Sarah loves working on her travel blog, Sun-kissed Suitcase. Starting her blog has given her the opportunity to learn new things and meet new people she never would have otherwise (Amen to that!). For example, travel blogging has made her into an amateur photographer! She hopes to eventually turn Sun-kissed Suitcase into a side business where she can consult on her travel skills.

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Exploring her own back yard in the Temple of Literature in Hanoi.

Sarah also loves to slowly explore Vietnam. This means eating local food, discovering local cafes to feed her coffee addiction, getting out and finding a little bit of adventures in the many rural spots in Vietnam.

On the flip side, once in a while she loves to stay in a high-end hotel, or  get dolled up and grab a cocktail on a night out. I’d say I am a well-rounded traveler, meaning I like a little bit of everything.

MOTM Sarah Attaway | Millennial Traveler Young Adventure | Packs Light

You can be a traveler and not have to stay at hostels and  all the time! Here is Sarah enjoying her own bed at the The Park Hyatt in Saigon!

Sarah says that sometimes living in Vietnam brings the misconception that all she barely works, and has little ambition. Especially as a part-time teacher, people think she just bums around southeast Asia and relaxes all the time!

Which, of course, is far from the truth. She chose a job as a part-time teacher to be able to have an income, but also have the freedom to commit to her blog. Though she may only teach 10-12 hours a week, Sarah says she works on her blog anywhere from 2-8 hours a day!

MOTM Sarah Attaway | Millennial Traveler Young Adventure | Packs Light

Sitting on a metro on her first big solo trip to Hong Kong, Sarah says after this trip she no longer had lack of a travel buddy to blame for her not planning a trip!

Another thing that makes travel a challenge for her is her family. Sarah is very close with her parents and siblings, but with the 12-15 hour time difference and the 24+ hours of travel it takes to get home from Vietnam, she doesn’t get to see them nearly enough. Out of the past 8 months, she says she has seen her parents for only 2 weeks, and hasn’t seen her siblings at all.

She loves being in Vietnam, but also recognizes that it comes at the sacrifice of a stronger relationship with her family.

MOTM Sarah Attaway | Millennial Traveler Young Adventure | Packs Light

One of her many adventures in Vietnam, Sarah explored Ta Prohm at Angkor Wat. This tree is hundreds of years old, and is helping support this temple!

However, Sarah says,

“I continue to travel because I genuinely have a passion for it, which I inherited from my parents. Aside from personal reasons, I also love hearing that through my travels and advice, other people have been helped. It puts a huge smile on my face when someone contacts me to tell me they went somewhere I recommended and that they really enjoyed it!

Travel to me isn’t just about getting to know a new culture or country for me; it is also about helping other people have those amazing and personal experiences as well.”

MOTM Sarah Attaway | Millennial Traveler Young Adventure | Packs Light

After it’s all said and done, travel is a lifestyle that comes with its own sacrifices and rewards. One of those rewards: relaxing on a hammock on a beach in Cambodia!

In the last 8 months of her move to Vietnam, Sarah has learned to ride a motorbike, eaten ants in Cambodia, explored Angkor Wat, been to a blogging conference, taken her first big solo trip, studied Vietnamese, explored waterfalls in the Philippines, celebrated her 24th birthday with her global friends… and many more experiences in between, with a multitude more to come!

If you’d like to connect with Sarah and learn even more about her life as a young traveler, you can connect with her on the following social media:

Sarah’s Website
Sarah’s Instagram
Sarah’s Pinterest
Sarah’s Twitter
Sarah’s BlogLovin’


What is the purpose of this series?
This initiative is driven by my desire to inspire other people in my age range and show them that travel for us is not only invaluable but very possible—sometimes you just need to see someone else jump before you do!
If you’re interested in being featured and you’re age 18-26, subscribe in the form below or shoot me an email at gabby@packslight.com.

Subscribe to MOTM | Millennials on the Move

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16 Discussion to this post

  1. Alix Maza says:

    Such a cool series!

    • Gabby says:

      Thanks so much Alix! 🙂 If you know anyone interested, or you’re interested yourself in being featured, please shoot me an email! xx

  2. Inês says:

    Really cool series! I definitely agree that travel makes it harder to stay in touch with family, but she’ll have so many cool stories to tell them once she returns!! 🙂

  3. Kelly says:

    I love this series, and completely agree with a lot of the pressures that Sarah faces with other people’s opinions. The great thing about travel, though, is that you can always return to your old life – you’ll just be wiser, more well-rounded, and a lot happier when you do!

  4. Sydney says:

    Vietnam is on my bucket list and Hanoi is a must see city. Can’t wait!

  5. Fee says:

    I can’t wait to visit Vietnam, you’re so lucky to have been able to graduate and start following your passions. 🙂

  6. Sandra says:

    Perfect work-life balance! I don’t think Sarah lacks ambition at all; I think she manages her time smartly to focus on her passion and work on her craft.

  7. Cristal says:

    Sounds like amazing experiences for someone so young! 😀

  8. Anisa says:

    Yes, I can imagine being so far from family has got to be tough. And as a fellow blogger I can affirm that blogger definitely is hard work! But sounds like Sarah is making the most of her gap year.

  9. Actually I haven’t heard of many part-time teachers so this is actually really interesting and smart way for Sarah to continue pursuing the things he loves like her blog and travel.

  10. Laura says:

    Sounds like Sarah has been living the life she’s dreamed of! I am all too familiar with this type of lifestyle; I left America in 2013 for “one year” and haven’t been back since! I love reading about other women being incredibly badass and fearless, so thinks for sharing!

    • Gabby says:

      I’m glad you enjoyed the post Laura! That’s so awesome you have been an expat for so long! Do you also identify with the struggles Sarah faces, like family?

  11. Eva says:

    Awesome post! I have been thinking a lot about Vietnam as a place I want to visit when I go to Asia this year, so this post gives me more reason to add it to the list! I’m always super inspired by reading about other Millennials who are traveling, so thanks for sharing!

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