Aziza Aznizan is the definition of Miss Tourism, as the philanthropist enjoys travelling around the world. She will compete in the Miss Tourism World 2022 pageant in Vietnam.
Miss Tourism and her love for the world
Aziza Aznizan, a traveller at heart, can be found everywhere but at home. Her adventures around the world are limitless, whether in the Middle East or at the African savannah. She loved seeing the unique features that each country has to offer that aren’t always publicised.
When she was given the opportunity to compete in Miss Tourism Borneo, which was recently held in Serian, Sarawak, she jumped at the chance and won! The victory reflected her soul, as the title reflects her globetrotter energy.
“I only entered this pageant because it had the word “tourism” in it. Everything about travel and tourism appeals to me. I would be honoured to represent not only Malaysia, but also Borneo to the rest of the world.”
Aziza is now set to represent Malaysia in the international arena as Miss Tourism World 2022, which will be held in Vietnam on December 10.
“Despite the fact that I am representing Malaysia, I will continue to emphasise that I am from the island of Borneo.”
When she travels, the bubbly lass, who is passionate about her hometown, always makes sure that people are aware of the island where she was raised.
“I am not ashamed to admit that I am extremely proud to be a Bornean. Because I talk about Borneo so much when I’m abroad, I feel like I’m representing it all the time. I also want to set a good example as a Bornean.”
Aziza added that people will judge a person’s country based on what they hear and who they meet. Thus, she always ensures a good representation.
“It is not difficult to love and appreciate your country,” she said, lamenting those who criticise Malaysia when overseas.
“Every country has its flaws, but how can we attract tourists if we don’t highlight what we have? The more I travel, the more I appreciate home and the more I want the rest of the world to see it through my eyes. I believe that the Miss Tourism platform will allow me to meet other girls from different countries, and that by working together, we will be able to raise awareness about our country around the world.”
Travel with a purpose
Since 18, Aziza has travelled to many different countries. She has travelled the world with her non-governmental organisation (NGO) Paint the World, along with counterparts from the United Kingdom and Georgia, organising charity programmes on every continent.
“That was the beginning of my wanderlust. I get to see both sides of each country when I do this. The glamorous city life and the depressing slumps. I began to realise that each country has unique characteristics that the media and people do not bring up. The more I travelled, the more I realised that the places that no one talked about were where I had the best experiences and adventures.”
Aziza, through her NGO, would visit orphanages all over the world to spend the day with the children. The list of activities was endless, as were the memories shared.
“Naturally, I became more interested in what Malaysia and Borneo had to offer. So, I began exploring every corner of our country. I travelled from Mulu to the West Malaysian islands. I even discovered a sunset dolphin cruise in Kuching, Sarawak, and was surprised that not many people were aware of it.
“Many of my friends from other countries would eventually visit me. When they do, my cousin Nazreen and I will serve as unofficial tour guides for our international youth visitors. We plan the itineraries, know the timings, and have contacts with the longhouses and tour guides.”
Preparation for Vietnam
As she attends multiple fitting sessions and practises, Aziza manages to sneak in solo travels, including trips to Tanzania, Africa, and Laos. Despite her hectic schedule, she never stops preparing for the upcoming Miss Tourism World pageant. As a multitasker, the 26-year-old expressed a desire to do something extraordinary.
Despite competing in beauty pageants, Aziza admits to not being a makeup fan.
“I only have one type of lipstick. I have no idea how to put on makeup. Even when I was younger, I never liked it. This was one of the reasons I never thought pageants were for me.
“Not that I am arrogant or believe I am already beautiful, but I prefer my natural look because I grew up with a mother who rarely wears makeup. She is the epitome of a beautiful woman in my opinion. She was the one who taught me that beauty is in simplicity. She made me feel comfortable in my own skin,” Aziza added.
Nonetheless, she enjoys wearing makeup on occasion because it can be fun and trendy.
“However, I will never let it undermine my confidence or let it become a necessity. After all, I’m a solo traveller. I can’t have too many things in my backpack.”
The future for Miss Tourism Borneo
Aziza’s passion for the world grows as she prioritises travel over everything else. Sharing her future, she revealed a travel company that offers travel from Malaysia to Africa.
“I’m always in Africa, and I had a great time there. I hope everyone can feel the same way I do. What motivated me to visit the country for the first time was how everyone was against me going there. I would go on safari with friends in Kenya or Tanzania whenever I was there. We also pay visits to the orphanages.”
Apart from that, Aziza is in the process of opening her second academy for refugee children in Kuala Lumpur.
“I hope to have it fully operational by January 2023. Every day, there are refugee children who are not learning in a safe environment. No matter where my body is, this will be my top priority. I want to ensure that children attend school regardless of their background or whether they have a passport or not. That is a global priority for me.”