Solo female travelling is on the rise. We are proving to the world that we are capable of not only coming back in one piece, but to have so many adventures to share.
Since my divorce, I have solo travelled to “dangerous” or “honeymoon” destinations like Egypt, Peru, Nepal, Bali, Honolulu and Greece. I can honestly tell you, I had the best times of my life! So much so that, I have to admit I almost prefer the freedom of solo travelling.
Granted, you don’t have to travel solo everytime you get on the road, but that sense of accomplishment alone definitely warrants you to try it at least once!
We as fellow ladies share many similar struggles, and there are plenty of information on women travelling to bash those stereotypes. But I don’t find too much information regarding my specific challenges as an East Asian woman. By highlighting some of my experiences, hopefully it adds another layer of perspective.
Disclaimer: I can’t speak for everybody, I am a Chinese Canadian who border on having an identity crisis with different sets of values. These are my general observations during my encounters that might resonate with you. I hope my tips will help inspire you to get out there and experience the world!
Although we do have some distinctive experiences among cultures, but almost everything is universal at the same time. That’s what makes the human experience is so interesting. We have our differences but we are fundamentally the same.
The more we learn about the world, the more we can pick and choose what works for us. How cool is that? It’s like absorbing many superpowers and using them at will!
So without further ado, here are some challenges I come across when travelling solo as an East Asian female, and what to do about them.
Solo travelling can be an uncomfortable concept for your family and friends to grasp. Their concerns for your safety are absolutely legitmate. However, there might also be unfounded biases and worries based on hearsay instead of facts.
Reassure your loved ones by using due diligence:
There are so many types of Asians out there, but there is a small group that has money. Sometimes, I get mistaken for being rich (I wish!), so they might quote you a higher price when shopping/taking transportation, or assume you have more valuables.
Due to stereotypes, Asian females sometimes can be seen as less assertive, and have problems saying no.
Confession: I still struggle with this one!
Story time: I was on a ferry in San Francisco coming back from Alcatraz. This guy sat right next to me and started to caress my legs! I should’ve said something, instead, I just walked away.
Sometimes, there can be barriers to communicate well with others during our travels, not just from the differences in language, but from the different value systems as well.
Disclaimer: This is my very general observations of the different values systems of the west and the east, there is always variations within these cultures and individuals.
Western Values: Fun conversations, banter and creativity.
Chinese Values: Productivity, results oriented, *nutritious conversations.
The very steoreotypical Asian female travellers avoid the sun and physical activities (hence outdoor activities). But we all know that is not always true and it is changing!
Yes, it does suck that we have to take these extra measures as an Asian female. But each individual also has their unqiue challenges they have to deal with as well, no matter what their background. A lot of the challenges mentioned above are universal as well.
We could only do our best to prevent mishaps from happening, but we can’t control whatever that happens to us. Is it better to try then regret not having these experiences at all? Trust me though, the rewards of going out there and trying solo travelling for yourself is so worth it!
Voila! Here are my two cents. No way is this a comprehensive list of everything that could happen on the road.
Have you tried solo travelling? Are there any tips you would like to share with our community to help us travel better? What other challenges is stopping you? Comment below and we can all learn together!