Life

6 questions Asian female solo travellers face before their journey

January 30, 2017

Travelling alone as a female isn’t a big issue to me. I can easily argue that solo female travel has been on the rise over the past decade and there are more of us now than ever before. However, being an Asian female meant that there was another level of uncertainty to address.

Although the trend of solo female travel is emerging in Asia, there are still a few things holding wannabe wanderers back. Before leaving for a three-month solo backpacking trip last July, I received plenty of questions and feedback from my family and friends. Many were supportive and excited for me, but some were confused and worried.

I realised that a number of their concerns were deeply rooted in Asian cultural identity and anxieties. So I thought I would compile a few of them and see if other travellers have faced the same. Here are 6 questions Asian female solo travellers would hear at some point prior to their trip and what they can do under these circumstances.

“Is it safe for a girl to travel alone?”

In South East Asia, there is sadly still the belief that it is alright for guys to go anywhere alone because they can take care of themselves, while girls should travel in groups as “it is not safe”. Women are expected to remain within the domestic sphere, protected from danger. Although this gender stereotype is shifting, it still has a long way to go.

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Life

10 lessons of 2016: A year in review

December 31, 2016

2016 has been one surreal, strange year. The world has seen some crazy, shocking and seemingly impossible things. Years from now, people will look back at 2016, wonder what we were on, and take a swig of strong drink.

Me? It’s been one wild journey. There were good times – absolutely amazing times. And there were also bad times, which I decided to take as lessons, blessings in disguise if you may.

If I could only use one word to summarise my year, it would be “bravery”. Letting go of fears, leaving my comfort zone and taking the leap – I guess throughout the year, I’ve been doing crazy, shocking and seemingly impossible things myself.

To make sense it all, I thought it’d compiled a list of things I’ve learnt and am grateful for. Perhaps it might help me make sense of where I’m going in 2017.

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Destination, England

The Peter Pan trail of London anyone who won’t grow up can get on

December 27, 2016

Do you know the way to Neverland? Second star to the right, and straight on till morning. Or perhaps you can find it in London.

For over a century, Peter Pan has sprinkled fairy dust over London and turned it into a magical playground. He flies across the city in search of his wandering shadow. He whisks the Darling siblings to a land untouched by time. He fights Captain Hook and races through the woods with Lost Boys.

And this extraordinary tale of The Boy Who Would Not Grow Up all began in one ordinary city. This is the Peter Pan literary trail of London anyone can get on. Continue Reading…

Life

How to protect your back while backpacking

November 17, 2016

As a backpacker, your back is your most important asset on the trip. 7-10kg may not sound like much at first, but stretch it to several weeks or months (along with the occasional need to run with it), and that’s a whole lot of weight to shoulder!

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Exploring Brussels with my backpack.

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Malaysia

Kuching, Malaysia: 1 city, 10 adventures

November 8, 2016

What do you mean there isn’t anything to do in Kuching?

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Sarawak State Assembly in the morning.

Prior to our trip, whenever I mentioned our short weekend getaway to Kuching, many people insisted, “But there’s nothing to do there!”

While Kuching isn’t an unusual place to visit in the country, it isn’t as popular as other cities especially those in West Malaysia. It is no surprise that Kuala Lumpur, Penang, Ipoh and Malacca tend to steal the limelight as Malaysia’s top urban holiday destinations.

Meanwhile, this city in the state of Sarawak, East Malaysia remains wrapped in the fantasy and shadow of a tropical paradise. Sure, people know about the beautiful national parks, wildlife reserves and the Rainforest World Music Festival – but is that really all there is?

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