What are the Wandering Wheatleys doing right now?

Wandering Wondering what we are up to at the moment? Well, you’ve come to the right place!

2020 Has Been…

… a crazy year for the Wandering Wheatleys! We officially settled down in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam and we gave birth to an adorable baby boy – Humphrey Harlen Wheatley. So we’ve been doing less wandering and more diaper changing since he was born on January 14th.

Having a Baby in Saigon, Vietnam: Humphrey Wheatley

So 2020 was a freaking fantastic year for growing our little family, and a horrendous year for our blog. As it turns out, there aren’t many people looking for travel advice during a global pandemic.

In order to offset the drastic decrease in website traffic, we’ve been exploring a few other business ventures. I started a mom blog called Bad Mom Advice to document all of our adventures in childrearing. It’s full of information that I wish someone had told me before having a baby – like did you know you’re not supposed to give babies honey? Or even water until they’re 6 months old? I didn’t either.

Our other exciting new not-wandering-related venture is a handmade leather goods business called Xinh Boutique. We use fabric that is hand woven by Hmong people in Northern Vietnam and leather that has been imported from Italy to create handbags, laptop sleeves, and other products. And all of our products have been designed by me!

And, since one of our favorite things to do when we’ve been drinking wine is to purchase domain names, we have a few others that may or may not amount to something in the future – Say No to Cilantro, Vibrantly Vietnam, Val Wheatley, and Video Commerce.

Have a Baby in Saigon, Vietnam
Photo by Nicola Bezuidenhout

Our Travel Schedule for the Remainder of 2020:

  • Early November: Dalat, Vietnam

That’s all we have planned for the year because traveling with a baby is HARD! Plus Vietnam is only granting foreigners who have an “expert visa” to enter the country to continue controlling community Covid spread. So once we exit Vietnam, we won’t be able to come back.

Nick has a list of other places that he would like to visit in Vietnam in the near future but I am a bit more hesitant since vacations aren’t nearly as relaxing as they used to be. “Vacationing” with a baby is really just getting a nice view while you wipe their butt and sitting around in a more expensive room while they sleep most of the day!

Our Business Plans for 2021:

One of the amazing things about living in Vietnam and running multiple websites is that we can both be home with our baby boy 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. In fact, he’s now 9 months old and we’ve yet to hire a babysitter or a nanny. He is an incredibly loved (and spoiled) little peanut who has our undivided attention all day every day.

But that being said, we need to increase our income in 2021 and diversify our business because 2020 has shown us just how volatile the travel industry can be. We have started outsourcing some of our content creation to freelance writers and we are hoping to hire an intern to assist in the daily tasks associated with our website.

We hope to grow the readership and eventually monetize our Bad Mom Advice blog. And we plan to finalize our Xinh Boutique handbag designs by the end of this year and begin selling them in the US and in Vietnam at the beginning of 2021.

And, of course, we hope that our blog traffic picks up once people are able to travel again.

Cute & Stylish Diaper Bags

Our Family Plans for 2021:

If I had a dollar for every time someone asked me about our future plans and where we will be living when we leave Vietnam – we’d be rich! The truth is, we really have no idea. So many things are up in the air right now, as they probably are for everyone around the world.

The election is looming and the outcome of that will determine whether or not we return to the US. When Trump won in 2016 we vowed to move away and not return until he was out of office. So far we’ve kept that promise.

And since the number of Covid cases in the US is skyrocketing, we are hesitant to return. Vietnam has done a phenomenal job of controlling the community spread so life is pretty much normal here. Most people continue to wear a mask just in case, but there have been no instances of community spread in months.

That being said, we really want our friends and family members to meet baby Humphrey. It makes us unbelievably sad that he has only met Val’s mom and stepdad so far, and that was when he was only a month old. We would love to return to the US (when it’s safe and assuming we have a new president) so that everyone we know can meet our sweet, smiley baby.

Want to help us get back to the US? Wear a mask and VOTE!

Blog Update – October 22, 2020

As of October 22, 2020, we have reached 585,000 visitors on our Wandering Wheatleys site so far for the year. We currently receive over 2,000 visitors per day and we are on track to see around 700,000 visitors this year.

This page was last updated on October 22, 2020

(Our Now Page was inspired by our friend and fellow travel blogger, Dakota Gale, and is based on the “/now page movement” created by Derek Sivers.)