By TEE CHAYAKUL
SPECIAL TO THE NATION
In light of the recently celebrated International Women’s Day – a day dedicated to celebrating women and their accomplishments – your trusty online travel companion, Traveloka, aims to empower women with strength, confidence and courage to embark on solo travelling, expanding horizons and conquering fears to fully realise and master your true self.
The Road to empowerment: Stepping into the unknown alone is undeniably a huge feat as much as it is a daunting endeavour. However, to fully understand the importance of solo travelling and the wonders it brings to the soul, let’s first explore the top three benefits to embrace solo travelling.
1. Build independence and problem-solving skills
Communication barriers, and being lost and seeking directions are examples of problems you will inevitably encounter along the way. But facing it face-first on your own will drive you to push past your insecurities and … by hook or by crook, learn to fend for yourself. The skills and lessons learned along the way are life-long and valuable, and most definitely indisposable.
2. Seize the world with confidence
Conquering your fears and becoming progressively self-aware through your solo-travels fuels your confidence as you come to fully understand your strengths and weaknesses when put in difficult situations. By honing and sharpening your strengths, you’ll learn to love and embrace your true self and strut your walk across the planet, confidently and boldly.
3. Empathy for others
On your solo journey, you are bound to meet individuals from all walks of life who carry with them a wealth of knowledge and history that project a kaleidoscope of colourful experiences. Solo travelling empowers you with the ability to communicate and, most importantly, empathise with those who hail from a different background. Understanding this allows you to develop an open mind, subjecting yourself to inspire and be inspired, to better understand the world, and ultimately help make the world a better place when you learn to love people different from you.
Baby steps: Frankly, we know that confidence and courage are not qualities that sprout overnight. So let’s set reasonable goals to kick-start your solo travelling endeavours. The key is to start small (and near). Below are the top five destinations recommended by Traveloka for women looking to embark on their solo travelling journey.
1. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Sometimes you don’t have to wander far for a solo adventure; sometimes adventure is right at your doorstep. As locals, we often overlook the “must-visits” that the world finds mesmerising in our own neighbourhood. Visit the world-famous Petronas Twin Towers and check it off your bucket-list for that spectacular view; jump on the Kuala Lumpur Hop-on Hop-off Bus to cover a variety of landmarks that you’ve never had the opportunity to visit in the past; and dine at a local coffee shop of your choice as you take your own sweet time, sipping on the sights, sounds and smells of KL city.
2. Hong Kong
From mountains to city parks and historical places, Hong Kong spoils travellers for choice with a wealth of attractions that are safe and friendly to all. Check out the world famous Madame Tussauds where you can hangout and take selfies with your favourite celebrities across 11 interactive zones; ride on Hong Kong’s first double-decker that combines sightseeing with gourmet dining on the Crystal Bus Sightseeing and Dining Tour; and of course the “not-to-be-missed” day spent with Disney’s famous characters at Hong Kong Disneyland.
3. Tokyo, Japan
The Land of the Rising Sun is a favourite among many tourists. Safe, cultural and respectful – Tokyo offers an unique experience to travellers, granting them the best of both worlds steeped in rich history and modern technology. Visit one of Japan’s best indoor theme parks, Sanrio Puroland and chill with famous characters such as Hello Kitty, Gudetama, Pom Pom Purin and more; immerse yourself in an authentic sumo practice show and get up close and personal with real sumo wrestlers; or learn Japanese recipes from a professional chef through a hands-on cultural experience, Japanese home cooking in Shibuya.
4. Seoul, Korea
This city boasts a rich history of culture and endless sightseeing options such as trendy stores and boutiques. If you appreciate beautiful scenery, N Seoul Tower is a must-visit for its 360-degree view of Seoul; don a hanbok, traditional Korean attire dating back centuries; or perhaps plan your trip around one of South Korea’s many festivals such as the Hwacheon Sancheoneo Ice Festival, the Hampyeong Butterfly Festival and more.
5. Melbourne, Australia
Melbourne is considered one of the best and safest destinations for female solo travellers down under. Classy, artsy, scenic and vintage: the cultural capital of Australia dazzles with verdant gardens, large parks, galleries, museum, extensive shopping and architecture. Join a day-tour to The Twelve Apostles for its breathtaking view of the limestone stacks off the shore in Great Ocean Road. Feeling a little sophisticated? Visit the vineyards of Yarra Valley for a taste of Australia’s top of the crop wines.
Travelling is meant to be a joyous and edifying experience when done the right way. Avoid taking shortcuts and getting short-changed.
Turn to credible resources such as Traveloka to find all your travel solutions under one roof to serve your needs to ease your travel concerns.
International Women’s Day should be celebrated every day. Traveloka believes that everyone deserves to – and must – travel in their lifetime to fully embrace the wonders of the world. “Solo travelling though much to offer is, however, the road less travelled,” said Khun Tee.
“As the leading travel tech company, our duty is to empower people with the right tools and technology to enable mobility, empower individuals, and achieve dreams to add meaningful years to [their] lives. Because a life less travelled is a life less inspired, and a world less understood,” said Khun Tee.
Travellers can visit Traveloka’s “Attraction & Activities” feature on its booking platform (via web or mobile) that helps to make planning easier and more convenient for all.
Contributed by TEE CHAYAKUL, country manager, Thailand, Traveloka