Putting all of our stuff in storage and everything we needed for four months into a backpack was a cathartic experience. While going through all of our belongings we realized how much junk and, for me, clothing we owned. Several times we asked ourselves  “Do we really need all this crap?” and came to the conclusion that, no, we do not. Traveling through Cambodia and seeing how minimally people lived reinforced this idea. We decided that we would buy only a few souvenirs on our trip and when we got home we would get rid of everything that we did not absolutely need.

Everything was going according to plan, until.....

Hoi An's streets are full of tailor shops. Every corner turned reveals a new block full of hundreds of mannequins wearing stylish jackets, dresses and suits. They glare down disdainfully at our  backpacker attire....cargo pants, flip flops and a t-shirt, all of which haven't been washed in weeks.   The tourists here seem to be different as well. Most haven't been lugging their belongings around on their backs for months. They are upper middle class Australians and Europeans in Vietnam for a week or two. They don't have to ride on buses, because they can afford to fly from place to place. They have a suitcase with wheels on it. They're wearing makeup and nice clothing. They don't have to put an extra layer of deodorant on the outside of their shirt to cover their stench, or put a hat on to hide their greasy hair, and they definitely don't have a sixty dollar a day budget. The more we walked around the more grimy and unkempt we felt. After a couple days of staring longingly at all the clothes and shoes that we could have custom tailored, we gave in. It started out innocently enough, Pete would get one suit made. It was a downward spiral from there and the end to our newfound minimalist ideology.

 We both had most of our clothing made at Yaly, one of the many tailors in town. We were measured and came back  several days in a row for fittings and alterations.


To go with his suit Pete got a man treatment, which consists of...





Very thorough ear cleaning.......


Finishing with a back rub with an electric back massager.


Linh who's family owned Thanh Vanthe. The store that made our shoes. She was awesome.


Showing Tyler and Tara (who had just arrived in Hoi An) our new digs.

Pete & Natasha All Gussied Up

Photo by Goingslowly

After three days, one suit, a dress shirt, cocktail dress, a pair of pants, two wool jackets, four pairs of shoes, and two budget recalculations we were finished. We will now have to get rid of some our stored belongings just to make room for our Hoi An shopping spree.

Thanks Mom and Dad for the Christmas money that helped us pay for these clothes. We love you!!