Living near a tropical beach in a foreign land, discovering a diverse culture and culinary experiences sounds like a lot of fun for some adventure-loving people. However, a life abroad comes with its own set of challenges.

Hi, my name is Dietmar Vogelmann. I am a German native and citizen of the world. My life’s journey brought me to some quite interesting places, among them being the Cayman Islands, the United Kingdom, the Maldives and Thailand. But my most life-changing experience thus far was made in the beautiful, charming and culturally diverse country of Vietnam; the sleeping Dragon of Southeast Asia.

I have lived and worked in Vietnam for almost a decade. I found the love of my life there and settled down to start a family, just like someone would do at home. Now, that’s the positive. But every coin has two sides; I also lost my life’s savings, twice. My family almost broke apart due to some stupid decision I made drinking too much alcohol, while my family at home worried a lot as they didn’t know what I was up to most of the time.

Living in Vietnam certainly was challenging, despite being in a love/hate relationship with the country and its culture. I was following my dream; actually, I was living my dream.

The reason why I wrote “My Different Orient; a Memoir” is simple. To close a life’s chapter, one must finish the paragraph first. I wanted to start over, leaving my experiences in Vietnam behind. Not forgotten, but stored away to be able to move on. Another reason for me to go through with the book was the fact that I wanted to involve my family at home in the things I have done, went through and experienced, without hiding uncomfortable truths and all the doubts I had during my time living as expat abroad.

“My Different Orient” reveals the good, the bad and the ugly side of a life abroad.

The opportunities someone gets when digging through the obstacles thrown on the way and the challenges one must face when immersing into a different culture. But also, the rewards when chasing your dream and following through with persistence and a clear goal in sight.

Completing my Memoirs gave me a sense of accomplishment and pride I hadn’t felt in quite some time. I felt relieved that a year-long project finally came to an end with a product in hand which was not only fascinating but I a felt like a huge stone was falling off my chest.

Reliving some of the toughest and most memorable moments in my life made me understand that I was now able to close this chapter in my life and gain the ability to move on.

I am now living with my beautiful Vietnamese wife and our son (second on the way) happily ever after back in Germany. Life is good and certainly I will visit Vietnam once again in the future. Will I ever go back to start a life there? I wouldn’t say no at this point, but if I do, it will be more in the distant future.

“My Different Orient; a Memoir” is available on all Amazon marketplaces as kindle version and paperback book. If you are a member of Kindle Unlimited, you can even borrow the book from the library for free. If you like this story and would like to know more, please follow me on and on Instagram @thelifeofanexpat.

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