Hi there, I’m Jona!

Ha Noi, Viet Nam

This blog is problematically named. What you see and read is not a lifestyle. It is a life well-lived and well-loved

BWAB is my attempt to document and write down my ways of living this one precious life.

For real-time stories, puns, self-deprecating awkwardness, find me somewhere else.




February 28, 2020

Describe Your Home Country Like Your Ex-boyfriend

It was a pure coincidence––me finding out about this thread on a Facebook group of women here in Hanoi. It cracked the hell out of me. I asked permission to collate some of them here for a wider audience. Feel free to add some in the comment box! The United […]
February 22, 2020
Siargao Travel Guide 2019

SIARGAO TRAVEL GUIDE 2020 | 46 Things to Do in Siargao

Last Updated Jan 2020: This Siargao Travel Guide 2020 covers all the things to do in Siargao. It covers all the essentials you need to know to fully enjoy your trip! Siargao Island at a Glance Often, Siargao Island is described as a tear drop-shaped island. But, meh, I don’t […]
February 19, 2020

QUY NHON TRAVEL GUIDE 2020 | Travel Thoughts, Where to Stay, Things to Do, and Where to Eat,

This Quy Nhon Travel Guide covers all the essentials you need to make your trip to Quy Nhon memorable and smooth. FEB 2020­––Our taxi driver from the airport has a customized playlist for his foreign passengers. “Let it Go” made it to the cut. Me singing along would make him […]
January 29, 2020

It Is Okay to Be Comfortable

On restlessness, stillness, and on the search of happiness and home We were in Co To Island when I saw her post on Hanoi Buy Swap, and Sell—a Facebook group popular among expats in Hanoi. She was downsizing her wardrobe. I fancied the red dress and messaged her about it, […]






Some years ago, I had an altar of “when you’re broken” reading list. They comprise of Michael Ondaatje’s "The English Patient," Alice Munro’s "The Progress of Love," and Andre Aciman’s "Call Me By Your Name." And the staple Mary Oliver’s “In Blackwater Woods,” Jack Gilbert’s “Failing and Flying,” Derek Walcott’s “Love After Love,” and the pseudo-poem of Jorge Luis Borges’ “After A While You Learn.” I read them. Again. And again. Cried. And cried. Soothed myself. Healed myself through their words again. Cried again. Read them again. This predictable yet painful cycle of breaking and mending. Each pain is different. Each healing is different.

Jona of Backpacking with a Book


Digging this unapologetic human?

This is a sincere, honest online platform for an ever-curious mind. Yes, it is a travel and lifestyle blog. If you feel like reading this biatch, who is uncompromisingly raw and honest on money, relationships, self-love, travel, and anything that bugs this chaotic mind, do leave your email below. I promise, I'm such an absentee newsletter sender.

Jona of Backpacking with a Book



Jona of Backpacking with a Book

Hi there, I’m Jona! I’m in my early 30s and is currently based in Ha Noi, Vietnam.I primarily write poetry and short stories in Cebuano and lengthy travel essays in English. Blogging has become an outlet to think out loud. I live the life I set for myself. I try to live an unapologetic life. For collaborations, projects, and other things, please email me at backpackingwithabook@gmail.com. Find me somewhere else!

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