Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Women should never travel alone....

seems to be the first thing people tell you....

It had only been 10 minutes since I had hit the streets of Georgetown on my street tour and I had already been hit on 3 times. Now my mom did want me to have a holiday romance well more like find a guy and get married soon! But I’m sure she didn’t have middle aged men in her thoughts!

I don’t understand why it’s acceptable for a foreign female tourist to be traveling around but not for a asian tourist. Even the hotel uncles had asked me if I was really staying alone, I told them no my friend will be joining me.

But why can’t we accept women to travel alone?

I needed a break and I wanted to go in the first week of December. I asked a few friends but everyone was busy wrapping up business ahead of Christmas and the long break and wanted to travel then. So when my friend in Penang said she could take a day off but I’d have to spend the other working hours alone – I didn’t even think twice.

The only reason I don’t recommend traveling alone is the cost as everything doubles in price and sometimes even triples. Plus it’s also nice to travel with someone like minded as you get to share joy but traveling alone has its perks.

I spent Thursday evening and Saturday morning alone walking the streets of Penang. I stopped whenever I wished, shot everything I wanted, smiled at a few aunties, obliged a photo or two, stopped for food whenever I wanted, walked in and out a dozen of streets at my own pace. I didn’t have to worry about keeping up with a person or if the other person could keep up with me.

I think this trip was one of my most favourite coz I got to do everything I liked.

Heck even when I write about having watched a women ply her trade, someone advices me to watch where I go. Err do you know such activities happen everywhere? From 5 star hotels, your local neighbourhood to probably the seemingly normal looking house 5 doors away from yours?

A certain prominent family apartment in the city centre has its interesting occupants. After you’ve gasped will you ask me to lock myself at home and not go out at all? As you don’t want to hear me getting hurt.

Here’s the thing you could get hurt in your own house and apparently even getting out of your car in front of your own home is no longer safe. I appreciate advice but only if it isn’t silly and by the way next time leave a name – you do know we track all our visitors and label them. Usually the anon’s get interesting names – names you don’t wanna know.

I for one hate paying exorbitant prices for a hotel in the centre of a city when all I do is sleep for less than 6 hours and shower at the beginning and the end of the day. Unless I’m on holiday to sleep in a hotel there is no way I’m gonna pay a ridiculous price at a place that despite the price and star rating still has similar activities going on albeit in a different name!

When I was researching where to stay I did hear about the activities on both the streets. I spoke to 2 guy friends on it. One asked me do you have a problem with it – I said actually no – the other told me about the activities even before I told him. Both knowing me they both told me to have a good time – though one’s a bit jealous I got to go on a holiday!

You see I believe in being street smart – know your surroundings, find out about a place before you go so you can be extra careful and don’t dangle gold jewelry and cash for the world to see. Travel in comfortable clothes and shoes – it’s also easier to talk to people on the streets and take their photos when you’re dressed like them.

So if alls that stopping you from traveling is the company and what society might think, throw both of the thoughts out. So instead of mumbling about wanting to go on a holiday and not having the right people to travel with, go out and discover the world, you’ll come back refreshed and rejuvenated.

Oh don’t forget to take the backroads, there’s so much to discover.


Anonymous said...

Boring yes, but it's good advice, so here goes....

You ARE a brave girl alright, but I'd think caution is called for in visiting places in cities all round West Malaysia, methinks.

Take care, none of us who 'watch/read' your antics would like to see/hear you hurt!


visithra said...

I suspect you're someone I know whose hiding behind the Anonymity of a anon nick

there is no harm in travelling anywhere - as long as you know how to be street smart - such old age advice is not welcome here

Archana said...

Hmm very true.. Even i've faced situations like this wen girls travel alone... Crazy world..

Scribetrotter said...

Well done for braving convention and traveling on your own! I took my first backpacking trip alone when I was 15 - and I've loved to travel solo ever since. You're being wise by doing your research first - and then plunging in.

And in Penang, one of my favourite places on the planet!

Keep traveling...

visithra said...

archana : glad u angry - indeed

scribetrotter : exactly - you just need to be prepared - we;ve got access to so much information - my 2nd most fav place is penang ;p ;)

u too