The Pros of Living in Asia As A Solo Female11 min read

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Hi! I’m Blossom, a half Brit/American who left my career in nursing in the U.S. to backpack around the world solo. I spent over 8 months traveling alone in India, Nepal, and SE Asia, all the while living simply out of two backpacks. My first backpacking adventure was in India, where I totally fell in love with travel! My blog includes helpful travel tips for fellow fierce travelers.

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Now at this point, you probably think my perception of solo females living in Asia is negative overall. But remember that for every point made, there is an opposing point. Everything in life has it’s own opposite, its inversion. And in addition to the negative aspects of life in Asia for solo women, there are endless positives to living in Asia as a solo female. I don’t want everyone to think I’m some sort of Negative Nancy buzzkill, but at the same time the way I portray events is very raw and honest, but I can be just as raw and honest about the flip side of the matter. So without further hesitation, here are some of the benefits of living in Asia as a solo female!

THE PREFERENTIAL TREATMENT

In Asia, chivalry is definitely NOT dead. In fact, it is far from dead. It is very much still alive and thriving, and prevalent enough in countries like India to flatter the pants off any woman. In Western society, we’ve gotten way too caught up in the political correctness of gender equality, that we’ve forgotten to just chill and let each role play out naturally. In general, if you’re a female living on your own in Asia, there are many times when men will step up and randomly help you with all kinds of things, like offering to help carry your bags, or open doors for you, offer you rides, etc. When I was traveling in India I was always called either “Madaam” or “Ma’am” all the time. At first, it annoyed me, and I wanted people to just call me by my name. But then, I got sorta used to it and it became quite flattering. Men would even get up so I could sit down if there were no seats left on the bus or train. There were many times when I truly felt like a goddess in India. So, hats off to you Indian dudes who know how to talk to a lady!

There was even an instance when I’d gotten sick in Kyankumari, the Southern most tip of India. I was stuck in bed in the hotel all day, barely able to move. I’d lost a lot of weight, and could barely even make it across the street to get food. The male staff working there saw me sitting there crying one day. I just couldn’t hold it in any longer. I was alone, scared, and not getting better any time soon. They all surrounded me and comforted me during my darkest moments. Now, this is something that would NEVER happen back in the U.S. No one would get involved in your business or figure out why you are crying.

 

PROTECTIVENESS

Now, this is probably one of the sweetest and most endearing things I noticed when traveling in India. Men would come up to me and advise me where and where not to go, and say things along the lines of “I wouldn’t want my sister traveling there” and always were trying to warn me and look out for me. At first, being the slightly stubborn person I am, I thought they were just nagging. But I soon came to realize they were just being kind and having my back, which was super sweet of them. Indian men in general can be very protective of women, which to me is really great since I want to know I’m with a guy who is looking out for me and will protect me if need be. I think it’s really chivalrous of Indian guys to be this way, and it’s too bad our cultures have lost a lot of this due to modern thinking. Indian men, ya’all have big egos, but you also have big hearts, which is very much appreciated.

I don’t see anything wrong with a guy being protective of me, as long as it doesn’t reach a point where it becomes extremely controlling, I’m fine with it, and you should be, too. At least you know when you’re out in public with an Indian man he’ll be constantly on the lookout for potential threats to you, instead of walking around slovenly drunk and looking where to get his next party on. Again, hats off to you my amazing Indian men, and please keep being this way, since every time you do this you are charming the hell out of a woman.

YES, THERE IS STILL HOPE IF YOU’RE SINGLE AND OVER 30

Especially in India. I’m not sure about countries like China, which is where a lot of single solo women seem to find themselves in deep trouble in the dating world. I believe from what I saw having lived in Vietnam for several months, that dating there seemed next to impossible for Western women, for a variety of reasons, including the severe language barriers, the deeply ingrained belief systems, and the overall shyness of the locals. In fact, dating is much more complicated the further East you go, so ladies, why not take a chance and roll the dice and make your way over to India? How come you skipped over this gorgeous country with its beautiful men to go to places like Thailand and Cambodia? If it’s love you’re looking for, then India is the place to be.

There are countless Western women who moved to India and ended up meeting the love of their life, even if they’re tinkering on age 30 or even older than say, 35. It’s a common stereotype in Asia that if you’re a woman and you’re still single at age 30, then there must be something wrong with you, or that you’re considered too old and possibly “used up” to be good marriage material. So ladies, I urge you to help dismantle these stereotypes by being your bad ass lady boss selves when in India, and the men will fall and fall hard to their knees. Just keep being the boss babe you are and forget all the foolish stereotypes, these don’t even apply to you anyway. Keep in mind that Asian women age differently than you do, and also keep in mind that not long ago the life expectancies in parts of Asia were much lower, hence another reason why people got married sooner. So ladies, keep your head high, your middle finger higher (To the stereotypes that is), and let love in when it comes knocking on your door.

There are many solo sisters in Asia who tend to feel disillusioned with loneliness and anger that an obese, balding 70 year-old male can date young Asian women freely, but a thirty-five year old female doesn’t have a chance in the dating pool due to her age and all the cultural friction that happens when you mix East & West. Again, it all boils down to stereotypes that have no place in our modern era. Western men are seen as good catches by many Asian girls, for various reasons, the main one being they’re seen as being more faithful than their Asian counterparts, whereas if a woman who’s 30+ years old tries to go out into the dating scene, the first question she’ll be asked is what her age is. Listen to your gut ladies, and realize your beautiful selves and that if you work on the cultural friction, you’ll certainly meet someone and have some amazing friction..erm, I don’t think I even need to finish this sentence!

 

RESPECT

Solo sisters can expect to receive a lot more respect in general when living in Asia, especially India. For Shiva’s sake, they WORSHIP females as goddesses in their culture. Look at Durga, and Lakshmi, and look no further. I didn’t have to face the same in your face harassment and objectification in India as I did when I was living in Miami, where guys weren’t afraid to comment on my body parts out in the open.

In Asia there’s an unspoken rule: Kiss but don’t tell. It seems everything sexual happens behind closed doors, everything on a sexual level is done in private, so I never saw things like people kissing in public, or men coming up to me acting like perverted creeps (For the most part). About the worst thing that happened was all the staring, but in general men acted more respectfully towards women and wouldn’t dream of hitting them up for a one night stand (As is common in the West). If anything, they would probably be too sensitive to do such a thing, and would probably fall madly in love with the girl within minutes of catching a rickshaw ride with them, and start talking marriage within the first hour as you stroll through the romantic ancient ruins of Red Fort. Indian dudes, I heart you.

CELEBRITY STATUS

When you’re a foreign female living solo in Asia, expect locals to come up and ask for a photo with you nearly every day. They will be obsessed with your different hair and eye color, and they are especially interested in women with blonde hair and blue/green eyes. You will receive a lot of attention, mostly they are just curious, since in some places in Asia they may have never seen a blonde haired blue eyed person up close in real life. The curiosity is seriously adorbs, and made my heart melt every time I saw some curiously shy locals approach me.

Whenever I would show up to teach class in Vietnam, I couldn’t walk across the playground without groups of children running up to me giggling and asking me all kinds of questions, the biggest one being “Do you have a boyfriend?” and “Where are you from?”. At that point I just wanted to wear a T-shirt to school every day that answered all those questions on the back of it. Where are you from? Miami. Do you have a boyfriend? Hell to the no. Are you married? B*tch, does it look like I’m married?

Lots of locals would take photos or videos of me without my knowing, then laugh and say something in their language then show the people next to them. At times this was flattering, at other times it got a little creepy. But in general you will be showered with attention every day if you’re a solo woman living in Asia. You will be treated like you’re a celebrity, unlike back home where you look just like everyone else.

 

SAFETY

For the most part I felt super safe walking around Asia, even at 3 in the morning in a neighbourhood with no one else out on the streets. Why? Because mostly people there are non violent, it’s just a way of life over there and has a lot to do with their religions and practices of non violence, unlike in America where it’s basically the Wild West and people still sort things out using pistols, unlike the civilized world that talks things through first. I hardly experienced any sort of threat, such as someone trying to get in my face and start anything, attacking me in the street, and I’d never see anything like knife or gun fights, let alone fist fights – this was all quite rare.

 

In Vietnam, most people go to bed super early and aren’t out partying till 5 in the morning. Most people there work pretty hard, and go to bed at an early hour, waking up fresh at 7 AM or earlier to start their day. Even though most people would advise against a female walking around by herself in the middle of the night, I can honestly say I never felt a hint of danger when walking around Vietnam alone at night. If anything, it was quite the opposite. These reasons and many more are why I fell in love with Asia, particularly India, and particularly Indian men.

So, there you have it, the pros of life in Asia as a solo female! Your thoughts? I’d love to hear what your experiences were like living solo in Asia in the comments! What were the positive aspects of your time living in Asia? Don’t forget to like and share my article with the social media links. I’d love to keep giving you travel tips and advice, so feel free to follow me by clicking the Follow Box below. And don’t forget you can also follow me on Facebook and Youtube and Twitter!

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Blossom O'Bradovich

Hi! I’m Blossom, a half Brit/American who left my career in nursing in the U.S. to backpack around the world solo. I spent over 8 months traveling alone in India, Nepal, and SE Asia, all the while living simply out of two backpacks. My first backpacking adventure was in India, where I totally fell in love with travel! My blog includes helpful travel tips for fellow fierce travelers.

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