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Would a solo Asian woman traveling to Australia feel uncomfortable?

by Lisa

I am a solo Chinese woman. I wish to go backpacking to Australia. I never go there before and I am worried that I would feel uncomfortable there. I am also not those normal pretty young woman instead I am ugly with lot of pipmples on my face. I really badly want to know should I travel alone or not.

Answer:

I can't tell you whether you should travel alone or not, but I can tell you that Australia has a huge Chinese population - around half a million out of a population of 22 million - so that's a large minority. Especially in the cities, you'll see plenty of other Chinese. English is also the country's language and as your English appears perfect, you should have no problems meeting people or getting around.

As for a woman traveling solo, you know from reading this site that I think it's a hugely affirming undertaking and that it can be an incredible experience. However what counts is how YOU feel, not how others feel. You need to be comfortable in your own skin and know that travel isn't about being beautiful - it's about discovery, both of the world around you, and perhaps of the world within you. People aren't looking for attractive travelers - they're looking for interesting ones!

If you're heading off solo, Australia is probably as good a place to start as any. All I can do is wish you well and hope you have a wonderful, self-affirming trip that opens your eyes to new places and helps build your confidence.

Comments for Would a solo Asian woman traveling to Australia feel uncomfortable?

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Feb 27, 2010
Go for it!
by: gwen@algarveexperiences.com

Only you can decide, as already pointed, but should you decide to step into a solo trip to Australia, I think you'll really have a good time and enjoy yourself.

I don't backpack, but have spent lots of time in Australia both on my own and with friends. I've always felt safe and had great experiences.

Of course, a gal always has to play it smart, stay out of places that can be dangerous, but if you take some reasonable precautions I'd say you'll really enjoy yourself.

Australia is a very casual place; tons of young people visit every year and they have lots and lots of amenities for travelers. The food is excellent, lots of cultural variety, although I found it very pricey.

Don't worry about how you look. There are all sizes and shapes of folks on the road these days. As long as you are well mannered and respectful of others you'll be accepted. Who knows, you may even end up with a much better self image because of the experience.

Cheers & best wishes,

Gwen McCauley
http://algarveexperiences.com

Mar 02, 2010
You will be fine!
by: Birgit

Hi Lisa,
There are countless solo female travellers backpacking through Australia, many of them Asian. Australia is full of Asian immigrants and Asian tourists.
There is no reason whatsoever why you should feel uncomfortable.
Just do it!

Birgit
(who arrived in Australia as a solo female backpacker and 15 years later is still here!)

Dec 04, 2011
yes
by: J. Sands

Do it!!

As I live in Australia I have seen MANY Chinese and Asian residents and tourists here (particularly in the city and at the beach). Our country is very safe - the only precautions you should take are regarding your bags and money.

Often 'tourist' shops (usually any overly flashy boutiques and/or souvenir stores) are very expensive! You'd be better off buying something at the markets.

Another thing, don't leave your bags out of sight or unattended. (Common sense, but it's better to be safe with these things).

Hope you enjoy your holiday!

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Can you help me decide?


(New York, U.S.A.)

I am a single black AMERICAN woman who normally does Contiki tours. Unfortunately I have aged out and no longer can travel with Contiki. I saw a company called, "Ace The Himalya" (a company based in Nepal not America) which is doing a trip to Nepal, Tibet and Bhutan for 21 days. However, I can only travel in July and in July this trip becomes private.

I have some concerns:
a. How safe is it as an american female to travel with only a driver/guide/no tour group.
b. How do I combat the loneliness? Do you think I will be lonely or bored?
c. Is this choice of a trip wise? No, I am not doing backpacking or trekking. This is strictly sightseeing and staying 3 days at Chitwan.

Answer:

It's perfectly safe to travel without a group but if you're going to choose a driver and guide, make sure you get someone through a good personal recommendation. I suggest posting on expat forums or regular travel forums. I've listed a few of them on Best Travel Forums.

As for feeling lonely, you'll be traveling in some tourist areas so even if you're not backpacking or trekking, you're bound to find other travelers with whom you can share a meal or an evening. Just don't be shy - after all, a great part of travel is made up of the people we meet.

As for being American, that shouldn't be a worry. You won't be any less safe because you're from the US than if you were from any other Western country. However, travel should provide you with a wonderful experience so make sure you adhere to your own comfort level, not anyone else's. Just do what you're most comfortable with.

A final word - there are plenty of tour agencies out of the UK that cater to the slightly older traveler. I'm not sure how old you are - you didn't say - but you could try such agencies as explore.co.uk, with average ages into the 30s and 40s. I hope you have a wonderful trip!

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Mar 04, 2010
Always alternatives
by: gwen@algarveexperiences.com

Hiya

I agree with the advice posted. There's nothing like a personal recommendation when you are considering the options.

I've been finding that as many women get a bit older they lose interest in organized tours and want experiences that provide safety but also the flexibility to create a travel experience customized to their own needs. This isn't meant as a promotion opportunity, but I've begun providing retreats and culinary experiences specifically for women, like you, who are seeking something different.

I encourage you to do some web research on keywords like 'solo travel' 'women's solo travel' etc. I know from being on Twitter of at least 2 bloggers who have websites specifically dedicated to supporting women traveling solo. I'm not sure what the protocols are on this site for mentioning websites, etc. so I'm refraining from that. But I know they won't be difficult to find.

All the best. Have a fantastic trip, whatever choices you make.

Ed. Note:

Gwen, your advice is always fantastic and the protocol is... whatever helps the reader. So feel free to provide additional relevant resources anytime! :-)

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