Backpacking is considered to be a rite of passage for many who are in their early 20s, usually before moving on to the next phase of life. It is common among teenagers everywhere else around the world..... but Asia (especially Southeast Asia). This comes as a very interesting (and at the same time, disappointing) revelation to me because since I was little, I have always been fascinated by the thoughts of being able to travel solo inexpensively around the world, and still be able to enjoy the journey and familiarize myself with all the foreign cultures that I have yet to see. But I can't - not by choice, but by the objections of others.

1. Family

Be it the parents, grandparents, older siblings, younger siblings, family friends, family friends' friends, they all have only one thing to say to your face when you mention the word 'travelling alone' to them - "Cannot lahhhhh too dangerous lah ah girl! Must go meh? So young, stay at home and study lah. Go out travel for what? Later get raped and killed how? No one will be there for you. Don't try to be smart okay? Now go back to your room and study. Don't think too much. Study hard! Focus on nothing else but your studies! STUDY!!!!!"

It is really, very, extremely, exceedingly and intensely frustrating to have a conversation with an Asian family, or any Asian people for that matter (myself included, teehee). I shall now narrow down my focus to Malaysian families only, since I have not witnessed any sort of family conflict or confrontation among other Asian families (Well I did, but I couldn't understand the languages in which they were screaming in)

Admit it, if you are an S.E. Asian kid, and you still live with your parents, you would perhaps find some of the following "rules" pretty relatable:

  • No drinking and smoking
  • No drugs
  • No coming home after midnight
  • No miniskirts or revealing dresses
  • No boyfriends
  • Stay a virgin till marriage
  • NEVER get pregnant before marriage
  • But yes, you have to marry before you get too old
It doesn't matter at all because most Asian kids still do a lot of nasty things behind their parents back. The generation gap is getting increasingly intricate - so complex that sometimes you really just don't know what to do anymore. To keep quiet and comply or to stand up and bring your inner masculinity to light?

Travelling solo is an offence considered by the society to be greater than any of the points stated above, because you risk the chance of breaching all the rules at a go. And you might get raped. And killed. And one side of your boobs sent to your parents' house in a parcel. Yeap, welcome to Asia :)

2. Friends

Sometimes travelling alone could only aggravate your miseries, so why not ask a few buddies along and make the trip a memorable one? Oh sorry you can't, BECAUSE THEIR PARENTS SAID SO. Refer to point #1

3. We are Puny

Undersized, undernourished, little, small, cute - We have heard it all. In fact I have seen backpacks larger and heavier than 70% of my friends, so incontrovertibly, we puny people need to find other means to get our stuffs across.

4. Conversion-fucking-rate

Nope, God did not only decide to compress our sizes and make us very lightweight and easy-to-carry (ohhhh, so that was how the British got so many of us Chinese and Indians to Malaysia.... those bastards), but even the value of our currencies is pee-wee. So while teenage Europeans, Australians, Americans, Canadians etc find it really cheap to travel in S.E. Asia, us high school/university students, on the other hand, could only either rely on our parents (fat chance) or work our asses off just to earn enough to get ourselves out of Asia.

With that being said, I am going on a solo, soul-searching, mind-easing, stress-relieving trip tomorrow (if everything goes accordingly to the plan which I have just made five minutes ago). Lol I know, I always contradict what I write.

Destination: Unknown. Hope I can figure out where to go before sleeping tonight.