How often do you get to see Asian travel bloggers being featured in this kind of article? Not often enough, I would say. Asians have been backpacking for the longest time, but for some reasons, we have never really been integrated well with the Western-dominant travel community. Could it be that some of us do not seek to be integrated, or is it the fact that we do not have enough role models to look up to?
For this article, I have featured 12 Kick-Ass Asian travel bloggers that will completely change your perspective on Asian travelers, but first, let's begin with the reason behind why I decided to write this article.
- The State of Backpacking
- Why Asian Travel Bloggers?
- 1. Nellie from Wild Junket
- 2. Aileen from I am Aileen
- 3. Christina from Happy to Wander
- 4. Daniel and Gina from Sunrise Odyssey
- 5. Lydia from Lydiascapes
- 6. Lakshmi from Travel with Lakshmi
- 7. Shivya Nath from The Shooting Star
- 8. Juno Kim from Runaway Juno
- 9. Vins and Yosh from The Poor Traveler
- 10. Esther and Jacob from Local Adventurer
The State of Backpacking
The So-Called "Global" (Western-Dominant) Travel Community
As a solo Asian backpacker, I have been trying my best to integrate with the "global" backpacking community. At times, I thought that I did quite well being among other backpackers, but sometimes, I thought to myself, "why do I have to try so hard?". I could go into more detail but my rant has been thoroughly explored in Screw Your Asian Tourist Stereotypes – Confessions From An Asian Travel Blogger article written by Christina Guan.
It all boils down to the fact that we lack a platform to show off our voice and pride of being an Asian traveler.
Though the Asian stereotypes will not disappear in a day, I hope that by featuring these awesome Asian travel bloggers that have been kicking asses all over the world will help shape the perspective of Asian travelers away from the usual none-English-speaking, selfie-stick-wielding tropes we have come to be known for.
Why Asian Travel Bloggers?
As traveling becomes more and more accessible and English is becoming more widely spoken, especially in the poorer parts of the world, we will see more people of colors (Asians, Africans etc.) participating in the backpacking/travel community which, I have to admit, has been mainly catering for the western world.
Speaking from experience as a solo Asian backpacker, it can be quite intimidating for us to walk into a hostel and start a random conversation with people like most western people do and we may feel like we don't belong there.
That is why this article is so important to us. All the travel bloggers I listed here are the living proof that we can do it as well or even better. It shows that our perspectives and our contributions to the travel community matter. It shows that we can also be a part of the community and help shape it for the future travelers that have yet to join.
This article is not just for Asians but for all who are interested to hear our perspective of traveling. I hope this article will inspire both Western and Asian travelers to create more unique travel content for the world to see. Without further ado, let's begin with the OG of travel blogging, Nelly from Wild Junket.
Nellie, a Singaporean born adventure travel blogger, has been in the traveling business since 2008. I would consider her the OG of Asian travel blogger up there with Nomadic Matt and Expert Vagabond. I have been visiting her blog, WildJunket, a popular travel source focusing on adventurous destinations like Afghanistan and Iran, for as long as I could remember.
Her goal, which I also share, is to travel to every country in the world and she is pretty damn close to achieving it with 132 countries under her belt and counting. If she isn't the most badass Asian travel blogger out there, I don't know who is!
One of my favorite Asian travel bloggers out there, Aileen has always been an inspiration to me. From the Philippines, she quits her job in 2013 and became a digital nomad ever since. Her blog, I am Aileen is proof that an Asian traveler can become a successful travel blogger, running an English travel blog that does not just cater to Asians but to the global audience.
Christina Guan, a Chinese-Canadian travel blogger from Happy to Wander was the sole reason why I decided to write this article. Her article about the Asian Tourist Stereotypes reflects exactly what I feel about being an Asian solo traveler and shed light on the need to let others hear our voices. I can relate to her struggle and I fully respect those who go against the current and prevail, and she is one of them.
Her blog, Happy to Wander has a great collection of content from all over Europe and she has plenty of things to say about traveling the world as an Asian, a great source of inspiration.
Daniel and Gina is the couple behind Sunrise Odyssey, a travel blog I am always delighted to read. Both born in Singapore, they are as adventurous as they come. They started their journey in China in 2014 and managed to travel all the way through Mongolia, Central Asia, Caucasus, Iran and ended their journey in Istanbul, Turkey over a span of 279 days.
Along the way, they have captured many stunning photos, videos, and have created useful content for those who are planning to follow their footsteps and visit remote parts of the world. I can not wait for them to start another epic journey and do the travel community another favor by writing more about off-the-beaten-path places again.
Lydia is a Singaporean travel blogger who ditched her high heels for hiking boots and becomes a full-time traveler and a digital nomad. She is the owner of Lydiascapes, a blog that has attracted many adventurers, outdoor goers, and backpackers from all over the world. She has traveled to over 47 countries around the world bringing stunning landscape and adventure-focused content to her readers.
If you are into rock-climbing or any adventure activities, Lydiascapes is the blog to follow.
Lakshmi Sharath, the owner of Travel with Lakshmi, is an experienced travel blogger and photographer from India who writes about her extensive travels in her own country and around the world. She started her blog in 2005, which makes her one of the OG in the travel blogging industry, and has since grown it into an award-winning travel platform that provides her readers with extensive travel write-ups together with stunning photography.
She is one of the most established and successful Asian travel bloggers out there and I wish I could be half as successful as her with my blog!
Shivya Nath is a successful travel writer turned blogger who has traveled around the world for 7 years, written a book about it, and earned plenty of awards throughout her career as a travel blogger.
Born in a small town at the foothill of the Indian Himalayas, her journey began in 2011, when she quit her job, gave up her home and sold all her belongings to begin her nomadic journey. She began writing about her encounters on the road, improving her writing skills and catapulted The Shooting Star blog into a successful business.
Besides under-the-radar destinations, she is now focusing on promoting responsible travel and working on creative passion projects to raise awareness and action for the causes close to her heart.
Runaway Juno is another of my favorite travel blog full of interesting travel stories and colorful photos. The blog was founded by Juno Kim, a South Korea born travel blogger who left her job as a mechanical engineer in Seoul in 2011 and has since traveled to more than 50 countries. As with all of us, travel changed her which in turn inspired her to take the leap and started a successful blog we know and love today.
I believe as an Asian that we all share the struggles to break away from the norm and live an unconventional life and Juno has gone through all of that and succeeded. That is why she is such an inspiring blogger to follow.
The Poor Traveler has a humble beginning that began with a disastrous first trip between Vins and Yosh. Both born in the Philippines, they were able to grow their followings through their stories of mistakes they made on the road and all the things they had to do to keep their trips on a budget. Now they have become one of the biggest travel bloggers out there with over 600,000 followers on Facebook alone, and have received countless awards from outlets like USA Today and Tripadvisor. Talk about a success story as Asian travel bloggers!
Last but not least, Esther and Jacob from Local Adventurer. You may know them already as they are very well established in the travel blogging community, but if not, they both run Local Adventurer, a blog that began exploring all the stunning landscapes of the US and has since expanded internationally to places like Southeast Asia and South America.
Esther, born in Korea and Jacob, born in Atlanta, began their journey when they moved across the country to the west and start blogging about their trips on their wedding website that has since grown into this amazing travel blog. They work full-time now and has since established the blog as a go-to adventure travel blog in the US, earning 5-digit income per month from it alone. They are the proof that you can have a successful blog that earns more than a living wage.
And there you have it, my personal pick for the best 10 kick-ass Asian travel bloggers you should follow. It is time for us to embrace our Asian heritage and travel the world, gracefully in our own awesome ways, and become the voice for future travelers. What do you think of the list? Do you have any more Asian travelers to recommend? Feel free to let me know in the comments below and I will consider them for the next article.
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Looking for more inspirational articles? Check out The Solo Traveler’s Inspiration section where we will discuss topics related to the nomadic and traveling lifestyle and shower-thoughts that will invoke wanderlust in all of us.
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