Malaysians Top The Chart As One Of The Most “Wanderlost” Souls In Asia Pacific

Malaysians are feeling the travel withdrawal blues more than ever now, especially when travelling abroad has been used as an escape mechanism and even to avoid relationship dry spells. 

malaysians top the chart as one of the most “wanderlost” souls in asia pacific

Travelling abroad has always been something that many Malaysians look forward to every year end. However, with international travel restrictions in place, people are unable to travel freely and this has impacted peoples’ happiness in terms of work, family, and relationships. 

Klook coins this ‘The Wanderlost Syndrome’, a collection of wanderlust withdrawal symptoms experienced by individuals due to the lack of travel. 

To unpack this, Klook commissioned a study with YouGov across 15,323 individuals in 13 markets in the Asia Pacific region. 

In Malaysia, a total of 1,117 individuals participated in the survey, unveiling the five (5) main Wanderlost symptoms that are impacting them. 

malaysians top the chart as one of the most “wanderlost” souls in asia pacific

Wanderlost Symptoms #1: Malaysians are torn between visiting family and escaping from them 

87% of the local respondents are unhappy about not being able to reunite with their families this year due to Wanderlost, making Malaysia the second top-ranking market after the Philippines (89%). 

On the flip side, 60% of the local respondents also admit that they are keen to escape from their families, to skip family gatherings and potential nosy questions from their relatives while 79% of respondents who are in a relationship but not yet married feel the most strongly about this. 

This can be attributed to individuals being confined with family members for months during the Conditional Movement Control Order. 

Wanderlost Symptoms #2: Malaysians are experiencing romantic dry spells

Many in the region are keen to travel to find romance.

Due to international travel restrictions, more than half of the local respondents, 55% of them feel that their dating pool has been affected as they now have a lesser chance to meet and date new people. 

Across all markets except for Taiwan and Vietnam, 65% of the single males tend to be unhappier about being unable to make new friends and date different people, compared to their female counterparts of 56%. 

Alarmingly, higher unhappiness is seen among those married with children, with about 6 in 10 of the total respondents feeling unhappy because of Wanderlost. This is especially felt in markets such as Hong Kong (87%) and Malaysia (84%). 

Wanderlost Symptoms #3: Malaysians find de-stressing from work is now tougher 

malaysians top the chart as one of the most “wanderlost” souls in asia pacific

In a recent report, titled “Cities with the Best Work-Life Balance 2020”  by Kisi, Kuala Lumpur, the capital of Malaysia was ranked as one of the top 5 overworked cities when using the index of 19 factors determining the work-life balance of 50 cities worldwide. 

Klook’s ‘The Wanderlost Syndrome’ survey result shares similar sentiments as Malaysia is ranked number one in comparison to the rest of the 13 markets with 85% of respondents stressing that without the ability to travel further this year, they are not able to unplug from work completely. 

In addition, 73% of respondents don’t believe in spending time in their home country - Malaysia as the best way to utilise annual leaves. 

They think it is wasteful to use up precious day offs when they can't travel abroad. 

Wanderlost Symptoms #4: Malaysians find it harder to create happy memories with friends and family with travelling abroad out of the picture 

In comparison to the rest of the 13 Asia Pacific markets, Malaysia ranks the highest in this category with 92% of local respondents view travel as one of the most crucial ways to create happy memories with friends and family. 

Millennial singles also tend to be more unhappy about this situation than any other age group: A total of 95% of Malaysian singles are unhappy with not being able to create experiences and memories through travel with friends and loved ones in 2020. 

Wanderlost Symptoms #5: Malaysians are feeling frustrated about having to stay at home and not able to travel 

While there are many entertainment options, 79% of the local respondents - the highest among the rest of the 13 markets, have expressed that they are tired of watching yet another TV show or YouTube video instead of travelling. 

80% of the local respondents have also admitted that they find themselves looking at past travel photos to reminisce since they can’t travel. 

Emily Tan, Marketing Lead of Klook Malaysia shared, “Klook’s ‘The Wanderlost Syndrome’ survey has shown that Malaysians have a huge desire to reconnect, explore and enjoy themselves again through travel. 

“While international travel is halted, an easy remedy is to head out and explore our own backyard. If there’s anything I learned this year, is to be grateful for the things that we do have - good health, a comfortable home, and the beauty of our own tanah air. So why not use the year end to recharge and rediscover Malaysia now that interstate travel has been lifted earlier this month.”

We can’t wait for this to be over so that we can travel with our family and friends again! 

By: Aishah Akashah Ahadiat