Home » Vietnam » Lyra Dacio, Ho Chi Minh City

Lyra Dacio, Ho Chi Minh City

Who are you?

I’m Lyra, a Filipina living in Ho Chi Minh City with my husband and 2 boys.

Where, when and why did you move abroad?

My family moved to Ho Chi Minh City (from the Philippines) in 2009 when my husband found work here.What challenges did you face during the move?

My husband’s company was kind enough to cover for the move and saw to it that we received assistance when we needed it but adapting to Vietnam life had its challenges still —

Language. Eight years ago, my neighbors, the shopkeepers around, the cab drivers, and vendors hardly spoke English. I’d literally be on my phone translating words so that I could communicate. Luckily, the Vietnamese are very welcoming and were eager to learn English as well.


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Transportation. In Manila, I could drive myself around in my own car. Here, I couldn’t because I was terrified of the motorbikes! Crossing the street is like an achievement.

English publications. It was so hard back then to find English magazines and books! I have to hoard books and magazines whenever we’re outside the country.

Are there many other expats in your area?

Yes. A lot actually. My neighbors are either Westerners, Japanese or Koreans.

What do you like about life where you are?

There are a lot of expat neighborhoods in Ho Chi Minh City but what I like about ours is that it’s a safe place for our kids to walk around and play without fear of getting hit by motorbikes.

Looking at the bigger picture, we enjoy our life here because it’s less hectic compared to Manila — less traffic and far from the stress of my country’s political drama.

What do you dislike about your expat life?

Moving to a different country afforded us a new perspective in life and allowed us to get to know our adoptive country. We enjoy exploring the different cities and provinces in Vietnam. Vietnam is such a lovely, vibrant, and quirky country.

What is the biggest cultural difference you have experienced between your new country and life back home?

Not really cultural (because we’re Asians too) but — we actually feel more safe here. I am not saying that Ho Chi Minh City is without crimes but HCMC is still one of those places (at least in my neighborhood) where you can leave your bike outside your apartment and still find it there the next day. You can have groceries delivered from the supermarket without fear of losing them. You can call your house agent to send a worker to fix whatever you need fixing on the same day.

What advice would you give to anyone following in your footsteps?

I would advise that before settling, go visit first. Spend a week to get to know the country and neighborhood where you plan to live. We did that before we officially moved here and it helped us tremendously in our decision making.

What are your plans for the future?

Honestly, we don’t know for sure if we’ll be moving on to another country or moving back to ours but most definitely, Vietnam feels like home. It is our home.

You can keep up to date with Lyra's adventures on her blog, Hello Saigon.


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In this short video, we dive into the significant health care updates and changes happening globally in 2024. From Germany's insurance cost adjustments to Cyprus's renewed COVID-19 precautions, we cover the essential news you need to know.  Germany's Health Insurance Update:  Starting in 2024, residents in Germany will see a slight increase in their health insurance costs, with a 0.1% rise to a maximum of 1.7%. This adjustment aims to expand coverage for medical care not currently included in statutory health insurance, such as select dental treatments, IVF, and early cancer screenings.  COVID-19 Measures Reintroduced in Cyprus:  With over 3000 new COVID-19 cases, Cyprus is stepping up its game by reintroducing health measures. Requirements now include proof of a negative COVID-19 test for entry into various facilities, emphasizing the importance of vaccination, especially for the elderly, to combat the evolving virus strains.  Free Health Trials in Trieste, Italy:  Trieste launches an initiative for free health screenings, including echocardiograms and blood tests, focusing on preventive care against non-communicable diseases. This move underscores the city's commitment to improving public health through early detection and prevention.  Spain's New Health Advice App:  Madrid introduces a groundbreaking app offering reliable health advice to counteract the widespread misinformation online. This app, part of the 'Madrid Te Cuida' initiative, will guide users to accurate information, from diet tips to medical queries, ensuring the advice is vetted by health professionals.  Expat Satisfaction with Healthcare in Mexico:  A study reveals that expat retirees in Mexico are largely content with the healthcare quality and costs, with many citing significant savings compared to the United States without compromising on care quality. This insight sheds light on the growing trend of healthcare tourism and relocation for medical reasons.  Stay tuned as we unpack these updates, providing you with the insights and implications of these healthcare changes. Whether it's the impact on your wallet or the quality of care you can expect, we've got you covered in this comprehensive overview of health care in 2024. Don't forget to like, share, and subscribe for more health news around the globe!

In this short video, we dive into the significant health care updates and changes happening globally in 2024. From Germany's insurance cost adjustments to Cyprus's renewed COVID-19 precautions, we cover the essential news you need to know.

Germany's Health Insurance Update:

Starting in 2024, residents in Germany will see a slight increase in their health insurance costs, with a 0.1% rise to a maximum of 1.7%. This adjustment aims to expand coverage for medical care not currently included in statutory health insurance, such as select dental treatments, IVF, and early cancer screenings.

COVID-19 Measures Reintroduced in Cyprus:

With over 3000 new COVID-19 cases, Cyprus is stepping up its game by reintroducing health measures. Requirements now include proof of a negative COVID-19 test for entry into various facilities, emphasizing the importance of vaccination, especially for the elderly, to combat the evolving virus strains.

Free Health Trials in Trieste, Italy:

Trieste launches an initiative for free health screenings, including echocardiograms and blood tests, focusing on preventive care against non-communicable diseases. This move underscores the city's commitment to improving public health through early detection and prevention.

Spain's New Health Advice App:

Madrid introduces a groundbreaking app offering reliable health advice to counteract the widespread misinformation online. This app, part of the 'Madrid Te Cuida' initiative, will guide users to accurate information, from diet tips to medical queries, ensuring the advice is vetted by health professionals.

Expat Satisfaction with Healthcare in Mexico:

A study reveals that expat retirees in Mexico are largely content with the healthcare quality and costs, with many citing significant savings compared to the United States without compromising on care quality. This insight sheds light on the growing trend of healthcare tourism and relocation for medical reasons.

Stay tuned as we unpack these updates, providing you with the insights and implications of these healthcare changes. Whether it's the impact on your wallet or the quality of care you can expect, we've got you covered in this comprehensive overview of health care in 2024. Don't forget to like, share, and subscribe for more health news around the globe!

YouTube Video UCB21b-C4O2aXm7H18_GsXMQ_nC_Fs6gU22U

Expat Focus International Healthcare Update January 2024

Expat Focus 31 January 2024 10:36 am

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