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EEEKKK-- traveling SEA alone?

  • emily_logan

    Joined Travelfish
    7th February, 2009
    Posts: 2

    Hi guys! This post is a little long, but please don't hold it against me!

    This coming May (and two weeks in June) I'm planning on backpacking in South East Asia(Vietnam, Cambodia, and some other possibilities that I haven't decided on yet)BY MYSELF... for a lot of people this may not be a big deal, but its my first time so forgive me.

    I'm 23 years old (female) and I was supposed to go with my bf of 4 years but we just broke up(amicably so no worries). I'm currently living in Korea, and I've been planning this "before I go home" backpacking trip since before I moved to Korea (2 years ago). So I figure if I don't do it just because my boyfriend and I broke up I'll be kicking my stupid self for the rest of my life. But at the same time I've never traveled by myself before (always with the boyfriend), so I'm really nervous, and although I keep telling my family that I'll be fine and that plenty of people travel SEA by themselves all the time, I haven't really convinced myself that I'll be alright yet. (unfortunately I watch a lot of Law and Order, and even more unfortunately its usually Special Victims unit!... so I'm a little paranoid.. hahaha)

    I feel like I have the option to ask my ex along with me, but not only do I not want to end up arguing with someone at somewhere like Angkor Wat (that would be embarrassing), I also hate the idea of feeling like I have to bring him with me because I'm so lame that I can't do something by myself!

    SO the point of this huge silly post is that I want to get some un-biased opinions/advice.

    Is it safe for me to go alone? I'm pretty smart, but I can also be pretty naive sometimes. (isn't everyone?)

    Should I ask my ex to come with me for companionship/security? If I ask him would it be horribly lame/ "weak" of me? I hate the idea of not being strong enough to do something... but also I wouldn't want my pride to lead to something like, oh...say.. death.

    How easy is it (in reality) to pick up a travel partner along the way? Traveling alone is not my idea of a good time, altho I'm sure it has its perks.

    How cautious should I be when meeting another traveller?(note the Law and Order comment above)

    If I do end up going by myself is there any particularly important advice anyone has for me?

    Thanks so much for your time guys, I really appreciate your advice! And sorry again for the ridiculously long post!

    -Emily

    #1 Posted: 13/2/2009 - 17:47

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  • exacto

    Joined Travelfish
    12th February, 2006
    Location United States
    Posts: 2404
    Total reviews: 47
    Places visited:
    At least 98

    hi emily,

    so, you are seeking advice from total strangers over the internet on travel security?

    seriously though, i've witnessed scores of single women travelling happily, safely, and successfully on their own through southeast asia over the years. i'm afraid i can't speak for vietnam, but thailand and laos in particular are generally safer than most of the places i've lived back here in the states. there is quite a bit of good information and tips about travel safety on the website too, so spending a bit of time exploring here will help you too.

    my experience is that single women are in the best position to meet other travellers on the road, since they can more easily join up with other women, couples, or guys if they choose.

    it seems to me that you've still got time to find a friend from back home to go with you too, or a few different friends to join you for different legs of your journey. hope that helps. cheers.

    #2 Posted: 13/2/2009 - 22:00

  • wdb3838

    Joined Travelfish
    31st January, 2009
    Posts: 2

    Emily,
    I too am traveling to SE Asia by myself in May and June. I too have some of the same concerns--more of the loneliness and Dengue fever variety. I will be heading to Cambodia, Thailand, and possibly Vietnam. I have read extensively about these destinations and the general consensus seems to be:
    1) Travel smart--be aware. Just as you would in any other country, the US included, be aware of your surroundings.
    2) Women are safe--it seems these countries are no more dangerous for female travelers than a trip to NYC (see #1)

    So I think you would be fine.

    #3 Posted: 19/2/2009 - 20:51

  • wdb3838

    Joined Travelfish
    31st January, 2009
    Posts: 2

    Emily,
    I too am traveling to SE Asia by myself in May and June. I too have some of the same concerns--more of the loneliness and Dengue fever variety. I will be heading to Cambodia, Thailand, and possibly Vietnam. I have read extensively about these destinations and the general consensus seems to be:
    1) Travel smart--be aware. Just as you would in any other country, the US included, be aware of your surroundings.
    2) Women are safe--it seems these countries are no more dangerous for female travelers than a trip to NYC (see #1)

    So I think you would be fine.

    #4 Posted: 19/2/2009 - 20:52

  • emily_logan

    Joined Travelfish
    7th February, 2009
    Posts: 2

    Excellent, thanks guys!! haha, I'm feeling much better after reading these, and after doing some more of my own research.

    Thanks again!
    M

    #5 Posted: 19/2/2009 - 23:01

  • Soundvision

    Joined Travelfish
    20th February, 2009
    Posts: 2

    It's funny to find someone in a similar predicament as myself. I too have recently broken up with my significant other and it has altered my summer plans, but for the better.

    A month or so ago my summer plans would have been going to numerous music festivals throughout the States and having a good time. Since my breakup I've realized I have the freedom to do something I've wanted to do for quite a while. Since I'm about to graduate college I told my parents I wanted to disappear for 2.5 months and they said fine.

    So here recently I booked myself a ticket back to Bangkok with no plans and 2.5 months to explore. I can honestly say I haven't been this excited in a long time and traveling is one of my true passions. Unlike you though I didn't have original plans to travel with my significant other. This trip is a change of plans for me and mainly a rewarding trip to myself for completing college.

    Go on the trip, forget about your boyfriend and meet some new travelers along the way. I'm traveling by myself but I figured I can easily meet some people in Bangkok to travel with or meet some people online before my trip. So do yourself a favor and book that plane ticket and have the time of your life. It will be a unique experience and at the end of the trip you will be a better person and know that much more about yourself and what you want to accomplish in life.

    Travel safe and I'll be looking for people to explore and party with once I'm there from late June to early September.

    #6 Posted: 20/2/2009 - 02:45

  • MADMAC

    Joined Travelfish
    6th June, 2009
    Posts: 6333
    Total reviews: 10

    Like the other posters here said, Thailand is safe as long as you use common sense. Maybe pick yourself up a Taser (which you can buy in Bangkok) just to be on the safe side.

    #7 Posted: 23/6/2009 - 14:21

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