Malaysian Women Who Travel Solo: Be Bold and Independent

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Malaysian Women Who Travel Solo: Be Bold and Independent

I am afraid of monsters like Manila, so it was a conscious decision to have Cebu as my point of departure and Kuala Lumpur as my point of arrival for my first trip abroad last June-July 2015 but was largely unwritten and unblogged.

My trip to Kuala Lumpur was a lesson on efficient cities. It was a lesson on embarrassment and questions why my homecity did not have express trains and roofed walkways, why our rivers were as trashed as our streets? And I haven’t been to the neighboring Singapore yet.

It was on a lesson on multiculturalism, something that cannot be overtly seen and felt in the Philippines. But in KL, it was a common sight to see women in their saris, in K-Pop-inspired outfits, in hijabs.

As a salute to the first Southeast Asian city that I have been to, as a salute to its women, here are four Malaysian women who dared to travel solo.

Malaysian Women Who Travel Solo


Eeman | Thirty-four | Editor

I started in 2010 if I’m not mistaken. The point that made me go alone by myself was because I’m tired of considering other people’s time. Therefore I decide for only myself. It was a glorious moment thinking I survived the initial trip and was looking forward to another trip. By the way, I’m going to India alone next week for Holi Festival.

Is it difficult for a woman to travel solo? For those traveling abroad, is it difficult for an Asian woman to travel solo abroad?

If an Asian traveling to Asian countries, they can blend in. I personally find local would be very inspired seeing a woman traveling solo. The level of difficulty depends on one’s mind on the idea of how something should be. If we perceive it bad, then it is bad.

Any tips for those who want to travel solo?

You have to be present and stay alert with all your senses.

Malaysian Women Who Travel Solo

Eeman


Did Not Leave Her Name| Thirty | Program Executive at Malaysian Institute of Planners

To be specific, my solo travel started in 2013. I had to attend a conference in Labuan, Malaysia. It was actually a mistake that I booked the wrong date to return to KL, so decided to tour in Brunei for a day. After that, I really don’t mind going solo again. I did go solo in Sabah and Singapore after that.

To be honest, it was a hard decision at first since I have very protective parents. I had to lie, telling them I have friends going with me. LOL. But after some time, they put trust on me and asked me to be careful on my trips. It turns out that I love it so much going solo, and I am always itchy to go somewhere alone.

Is it difficult for a woman to travel solo? For those traveling abroad, is it difficult for an Asian woman to travel solo abroad?

Depend on the country you choose and how well you can adapt to the environment. For me, it’s not that difficult actually because you going to meet lots of amazing person and joining them on certain activities.

Any tips for those who want to travel solo?

Always believe in yourself that you can do it and rest all the things to the Al-Mighty.

Malaysian Women Who Travel Solo


Zuraidah Zainal Abidin | 58 | Retired | Malaysian

At age 56 I started traveling solo. My children are too busy with work & people at my age do not travel solo. I am a female solo backpacker. It is awesome because I can go to places I want and make lots of friends. Since I am alone I can do whatever I want. The challenge, the hurdles, and the fear charge my adrenalin it is as if I have achieved something and people think I am cool. I get respect from young people and I think it is awesome.

Is it difficult for a woman to travel solo? For those traveling abroad, is it difficult for an Asian woman to travel solo abroad?

Not difficult. Just make sure the place of stay is safe.

Any tips for those who want to travel solo?

Be positive, be strong, and be careful.

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Azlin Mohd Nor | 41 | Professionals | Malaysian

When did you start traveling solo? And why? How was it?

I started in 2012. I have never been to Melbourne, Australia. My trip was a good experience.

Is it difficult for a woman to travel solo? For those traveling abroad, is it difficult for an Asian woman to travel solo abroad?
For Asian women traveling solo in Asia, it is bearable due to similar culture. But I had a bad experience traveling solo in Verona, Italy last fall. My physical built is small plus my Asian features. I have become a favorite prey.

Any tips for those who want to travel solo?

Be bold and independent.

BEBOLD AND INDEPENDENT

 


Only Eeman left a link to her Facebook account, which allowed me to put a face on her story.

I tried looking for Azlin because her perspective and experience is something worth discussing for: Asian women as subjects to bullying when traveling abroad. Unfortunately, I was not able to find a trace of her online. She did not leave her email address or any of her social media handles. Here is hoping she would come forward and share, clarify, and deepen her story.

Zuraidah’s story proves that traveling solo is not only meant for the millennials. That adventure does not have an age limit! I actually wanted to interview her as well for a deeper narrative on how it is for a retired woman to travel solo.

Ms. Nameless’ story is very familiar to those who have strict and overprotective parents.

I hope that Azlin, Zuraidah, and the one who did not leave her name would step forward and add more details to their stories. Nonetheless, I am happy to share their stories to inspire our fellow women to venture out, to risk, to embrace the beautiful world of traveling solo.

Here is to women who have boldness as their last name. Thank you!

Love,
Jona

Women Who Travel Solo Project

Women Who Travel Solo Project aims to share stories of women who brave the road of traveling solo. If you have a story to tell, email us at backpackingwithabook@gmail.com with the subject: Women Who Travel Solo.

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