Back in 2008, I was just a college student with no plans of getting into automotive journalism. I mean, if you had told me that it would be possible to get paid to write about cars, I would have jumped at the opportunity, but it didn’t even occur to me that it might be an option. So instead, I obsessively watched “Top Gear” with my friend Matt who introduced me to the show. And one of the first specials that I remember watching was the Vietnam Special. I hadn’t even tried pho yet since my hometown only got its own Walmart in 2002, but I knew from that moment I watched the special that I was going to make a similar trip to Vietnam.
It took until 2019 to actually make that happen, but it did happen. The trip, that is, not trying pho. I was introduced to the wonder of pho much earlier than 2019. And while we didn’t ride motorcycles the whole way, we did get to ride the Hai Van Pass on an old Honda 125. Sadly, the suits I got custom-made in Hoi An weren’t as flashy as the ones Clarkson, Hammond and May bought, but still. It was an incredible trip that I probably never would have taken if Top Gear hadn’t given me the inspiration back when I was still in college.