Meet Sabrina Chunyan Zhang – Chinese Female Solo Traveller

07 March, 2024 | Blog, Interviews

Meet Sabrina, a Chinese solo female traveller, who breaks stereotypes about her nation preferring to travel in big groups and who embraces the world on her own terms. With 47 countries under her belt, Sabrina talks about her unique experiences and the challenges she faces both travelling with her Chinese passport and solo as a woman.

Sabrina, Chinese solo female traveller smiling and posing in the coffee shop in Myanmar

This interview serves also as an introduction to the diverse world of the Chinese travel community and an invitation to the upcoming NomadMania Envoy Meeting in Shanghai. The event will take place on Saturday, March 9.

NomadMania’s Managing Partner Orest Zub met Sabrina in Bagan, Myanmar and simply couldn’t miss the opportunity to learn more about the life and adventures of such an inspiring traveller.

You can also watch the interview in the video form on our  NomadMania YouTube channel.


Greetings from Myanmar, Sabrina! It’s exciting to have you here. Can you share with us the places you’ve visited?

Hello! I’ve travelled to the Middle East, Central Asia, Africa, Venezuela, and South Asia, visiting over forty-seven countries.

Sabrina, Chinese female solo traveller visiting Madagascar, posing in the blue waters of the Indian Ocean.

Sabrina visited 47 countries and travelled solo to different continents. Here during her visit to Madagascar.


You have been travelling non-stop for over two years. How did you start? How do you manage to fund your travels?

I worked for a national railway company in China. They were selling the railway and trains outside, to another government, for example, Venezuela or Colombia. So I combined my work with travel at some point. The job allowed me to save money and, eventually, I decided to travel full-time, especially after feeling stressed during the pandemic.


That’s impressive! What inspired you to travel solo, especially when it’s more common to see Chinese travellers in groups? How do you feel about breaking this stereotype?

Many people think Chinese travellers prefer groups, but I’ve met many who, like me, travel solo. It’s about curiosity and a different perspective on life. Many young people in China focus on acquiring material possessions, but I chose to explore the world, to learn and grow from my travels. I noticed a change in mindset among the young generation globally though, including China. Once basic needs are met, there’s a shift towards seeking knowledge and experiences. And for me, travel enriches you, offering experiences and memories that no money can buy.

Sabrina visiting Kathmandu, Nepal

Sabrina travels solo, challenging the stereotype of Chinese travellers preferring to explore places in bigger groups.


How do you document your travels?

I keep a journal in Chinese characters. It’s not just about taking photos; It’s more than capturing moments. Writing helps me reflect and understand my travels deeply.


You share your travels on Xiaohongshu, right? How do followers engage with your content?

Yes, I post videos and stories, mostly about my travel experiences and my passion for coffee. It’s a platform where I connect with others who share my interests. My followers are curious about my travels.

Sabrina's profile on Xiaohongshu - Chinese SOcial Media platform

Sabrina shares her travels and her love for coffee with her Chinese followers on Xiaohongshu


What challenges have you faced as a solo female traveller? And what are the unique travel challenges faced by Chinese explorers? According to NomadMania, China qualifies as what we call a Low Passport Index (LPI) country.

Being a woman on the road requires awareness and caution. I’m always alert to my surroundings, which helps me stay safe and avoid trouble. It’s about smart travelling, understanding risks, and enjoying the beauty of solo exploration. As a Chinese traveller, I face visa challenges and, in some countries, unique social circumstances due to my nationality. I’ve faced rejections and had to navigate various bureaucratic processes. But overcoming these obstacles makes the journey even more rewarding.


Are there any specific incidents where being a woman or being Chinese impacted your travels?

In Pakistan, I encountered cultural challenges, especially as a female traveller. It taught me resilience and the importance of understanding local customs and regulations. My nationality posed many challenges when travelling there too. But generally, I’ve been welcomed worldwide.

Smiling Sabrina Chunyan Zhang, a female solo traveller exploring the world on her Chinese passport

Sabrina stresses that travelling solo as a woman is rewarding, but also requires awareness and caution.


And what’s been the easiest country to get into visa-wise?

Countries like Morocco, Kazakhstan or Serbia are visa-free for Chinese travellers. They’re great starting points. Then the problems begin. I’ve faced many rejections when applying for visas. Spain three times, France two times, USA three times. Once I was even rejected applying for my visa to go to the Philippines.


How does your family feel about your unconventional path?

They support me because they see my happiness and growth through my travels. I always share my experiences with them, which brings us closer.


What’s next on your travel list?

I plan to explore Latin America next, starting with Argentina or Brazil. It’s about continuously learning and experiencing new cultures.

Sabrina Zhang and her travel buddy posing in front of a car during a road trip.

Sabrina is planning to explore more of Latin America, her dream is a road trip starting from Argentina or Brazil.


What’s your message to other solo female travellers? What would be your advice to your fellow adventurers from China?

Don’t let fear hold you back. The world is full of kind people and incredible experiences. Stay aware, trust your instincts, and embrace the journey.


Thank you, Sabrina, for sharing your inspiring story. Safe travels on your next adventure!

Thank you for having me. Happy travels to everyone!


Sabrina’s story is a testament to the adventurous spirit of travellers from China. If you are in Shanghai and would like to get to know the Chinese travel community better, join our NomadMania Envoy Meeting in Shanghai and  meet other like-minded travellers in person!

Don’t forget to follow Sabrina’s journey on her social media!