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What Are The 5 Things I’ve Gotten Used to Traveling As An Asian?

There are really things that is hard to get used to when you’re traveling as an Asian, to be honest it was transition over transition of emotions.  It was first amusing when I started traveling but then it keeps happening and you have to repeat yourself over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over (see, you get annoyed at me repeating ‘over and over’ too, yeah?) again.

Yet, when you’re traveling is not just a road that you take and that’s it. It’s the road to learn things, adapt to new cultures, accept and understand other ways of living, isn’t that our goal why we travel? Oh unless you just want to spend your selfish vacation secluded in a paradise-like island without noise or people bothering and haggling you with their product to sell.

Anyway, I am not a saint and I did hate this things before too but you know, you can’t change the world and definitely, you can’t change it for your own benefit.

5 Things I’ve Gotten Used to Traveling As An Asian

  1. Asian people talks to me in their own language.  Wherever it is in Southeast Asia or in Europe, Asian people thinks that I can speak all Asian languages.  In Milan, a Chinese woman started talking to me in Chinese to ask directions, I have to say “Sono Filippine, non capisci Cinesi…”.  Backpacking Southeast Asia, you bet that everywhere I go they would just talk to me in their language leaving me in awe because I have no idea what they are saying.
  2. Stereotyped.  This is the worst whenever I am hanging out fellow backpackers at the lake, at the temples, people that look me especially when it seems like it just me and a ‘white guy’ (even if there are other people walking with ahead or behind us), they look at me either I’m a prostitute or I am in a relationship with the guy I’m just walking with.
  3. They think I’m rich or a rebel.  You see, I came from the Philippines and so this is not the normal things women back home are expected to do.  They would think I am rich and selfish, or just a plain rebel doing things on my own.
  4. Being Ignored.  Well, most of the time traveling in Asia I am ignored and taken for granted.  Locals think I’m a local so they don’t exert any special treatment they do to  other foreign guests.
  5. Gender matters.  There are some places that women can’t go to or do in some countries.  Like how women should brave India to see their wonders but the locals are not open to treat their women from everywhere how they should be treated.  What do you do in that situation? You think safety for your own sake. Decide for the best.

These are just the few, it sounds like I really hate it didn’t I? Well, I did.  Time have changed my views, instead of procrastinating about all of these I think of what I get from these!  I think I get more out of it that not.

“What about you, what the things you’ve gotten used to that you didn’t like when you first started traveling?”

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6 thoughts on “5 Things I’ve Gotten Used to Traveling As An Asian

  1. I’ve noticed this as well. I can see it being frustrating. I hosted an Indonesian girl earlier this year in Bangkok and all the locals spoke Thai to her, instead of just talking to me. She was like “what?”. On a similar note, if you’re a white man in Asia, you have similar stereotypes – you’re rich, your gf is a prostitute, you don’t speak the local language, etc. I guess that is life when you live in a foreign place. Humanity does make far too many assumptions. (note: read “Freakonomics” if you like that topic).

    ps. “Notify me of follow-up comments via e-mail” shows up twice below this box.

    1. That’s true, when I was traveling in Cambodia. I saw one of the people who was with me at the lake, because he was German shaking his head to the tourists staring at us, its because we were talking alone while the others are swimming. I turned around to see who is he referring to and it was bunch of old ‘farangs’ walking along the lake. He then said to me, “I can tell what they’re thinking just by how they look and stare…tsk tsk!”.

      I was like, “Oh well, it shouldn’t be my issue.” Not my problem anymore whatever they think, if I keep worrying about them, I would be miserable.

  2. It probably happens to everyone though perhaps differently to women? I have to admit that I love when people talk to me thinking that I speak their language. Usually it means that I can walk around without getting bothered by local product sellers. I am more interested in persons than places and it is a wonderful way to make new friends.

    However, as you have written Lyndsay, things are more complicated when I am with a “white” person – my wife, in places that are relatively unused to mixed couples! 🙂

    1. Hahaha true, I forgot mentioning about how different men and women’s experiences on the road… It’s basically based on mine and some of the female Asian solo travelers I met. It’s true but, like I said, I use those things now to my advantage (except the ‘prostitute thing’lol). I actually found out how these people won’t see me as one and that’s acting confident about yourself and looking them in the eye. 😀

  3. Haha, yes this is true. I have not travelled alone in India but I can totally empathise with what you say. But sometimes, it really depends on the country. I had recently travelled to Jordan and I got the general feeling that they were so happy to see Asians (partly bcos they dont encounter so many travellers from our side of the world)!

    1. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve adjusted to it. I appreciate the fact now that I don’t get bugged whenever vendors are harassing others and they leave me alone. lol Wow, Jordan! I wanna go there one day too! I wanna see Petra…You are right that it depends where you are, like they love us in Asian-Middle Eastern places like Turkey and Israel too. 🙂

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