Some of life’s boldest memories and most valuable lessons are learned through travel. To get out of your comfort zone, to experience new cultures, flavors, perspectives, and terrains can open up the mind and significantly impact the traveler. It makes sense why we tend to travel with friends, a partner, or in large groups: We want people to share these same memories. And while we agree with that, it’s also selling short the notion that solo travel is less memorable or less important to pursue. On the contrary: Being alone out there in the world, or even a few states over from your stead, can teach you more about yourself than a trip logged with others.
Seasoned wayfarers and adventures alike know how life-changing a solo journey can be, from offering ample time for self-reflection and personal grown to providing moments of introspection and awe amidst the world’s most wild and rugged landscapes. When you’re able to travel how you want, when you want, and where you want, something magical happens. A transformational shift in perspective ensues when you venture into the unknown, especially when you’re outside your comfort zone and are immersed in deeper communion with nature and a culture different from your own.
Beyond that vital time for introspection, there’s the added requirement to put yourself out there when traveling solo—which pays you back in droves. You’ll be that much more encouraged to strike up a conversation with some wayfaring stranger at the bar—heck, you’ll be that wayfaring stranger to someone else, too. And your story will be as interesting to them as theirs is to you.
Regardless of your age or income, a solo adventure can feel daunting at the outset, especially for first-timers, but you’ll get your sea legs right quick. But before you go, there are a few things to keep in mind. Whether you prefer to travel solo for the entire journey or enjoy meeting up with like-minded travelers on group tours or in communal lodgings like hostels, it’s best to keep your family or close friends informed about your whereabouts. It’s also wise to learn a few phrases in the local language in order to ask for advice and connect with the culture.
Whether you seek to get off-the-grid in the windswept deserts of the Namib, the world’s oldest desert, on a private safari offering views of crashing ocean waves and cascading sand dunes, or prefer to hit the sun-soaked shores of Sri Lanka’s South Coast on a solo sojourn where your days are filled with made-fresh juices, surfing, and daily CrossFit classes, there’s an ideal solo adventure for you. Here are 20 places to consider for your next (or first!) solo trip. Happy planning.
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