What are the benefits of travelling alone?
Well, the most obvious one plus when it comes to the solo journey is simply this: the world is your oyster. No friends holding you back, no compromises to make, nobody else to think about. You can literally go where you want, when you want. Fancy a spot of hiking, go for it! Want to try local delicacy, but your mate wants a McDonald’s? No issues here!
If it’s a case of new year, new you, then why not make 2018 the year you brave is as a lone wolf traveller. Here are our favourite places to do it.
Ko Pha-Ngan, Thailand
Thailand is known as one of the friendliest countries in the world in hospitality terms – you definitely won’t feel alone here. Millions of backpackers end up on one of its many paradise islands every year, so even if you want the space of travelling alone, you’re likely to meet like-minded people. Away from the party destinations (Bangkok, etc), this country offers plenty of areas for relaxation too. Take Koh Phangan for example, backed with beautiful beaches and peaceful retreats by day, and full moon parties by night.
Tamarindo, Costa Rica
For those looking for adventure, Costa Rica might just be for you. Packed with activities and sights to see, you can climb active volcanoes, go wind surfing and cross rocky jungle bridges – at your peril. On the other hand, Costa Rica is also a beautifully peaceful country, whose locals welcome travellers with open arms. Tamarindo, known for its surfing beaches, is also perfect for animal lovers thanks to its nesting leatherback turtles and wildlife refuges.
Generally known as one of the most spiritual places in the world, solo travellers often like to come here to indulge in a more relaxing side of life. Pack a bag and head to Bali for an abundance of spas, yoga sessions and organic dining.
South Island, New Zealand
New Zealand is a beautiful country at the far end of the world – but South Island in particular houses an abundance of lone wolf travellers. Plenty of activities in this area of New Zealand are perfect for trips alone: think skiing, kayaking, abseiling, bungee jumping – the list goes on. The scenery is pretty spectacular, too.
Galle, Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka’s coasts are laden with unspoiled, sandy beaches and beautifully clear waters: you simply won’t want to leave. Take the south-costal city of Galle for example, home to Galle Fort, a fortified, 16th century city and Dutch sea fort preserved for travellers to explore. When you’re done exploring Galle’s history, you’ll find other solo travellers around the nearby Galle Harbor and Bonavista Beach.
Loch Ness, Scottish Highlands
No trip to the UK is complete without a visit to northern tip of the country, Scotland. Often used in various film production sets, the winding roads and cliff edges of Scottish folklore are a dream to witness. Head north of the capital, Glasgow, and you’ll find Inverness with its Loch, famous for its eponymous Monster. With such beautiful scenery that allows you to forget your worries, you’d be mad not to take a trip to Scotland.
One of the most beautiful European cities, Budapest is packed with history and beautiful sights. Its reliable tram system means you can hop on and off the city with ease – don’t forget to pick up a Budapest Card for free travel and entry to attractions. For local eats, head to its famous market hall.
New York City, USA
Ah, where do we begin? There’s so much to do here, it’s probably best to travel alone for arguments sake. You could visit Times Square, head to Central Park or simply roam the streets of Manhattan without a care in the world. C’mon, you know the drill.
Barcelona’s transport system is so reliable, it’s a doddle for any solo traveller looking to get around. For sports fans, head to a football match at the Nou Camp, or for some relaxation, head to one of its many coastal areas.
Annapurna circuit, Nepal
For the hiking types, Nepal is perfect for solo travelling. If experienced, take in the Annapurna circuit: a three week trek across some of Nepal’s most beautiful landscapes. Though you can tackle this hike alone, it would be advised to join an organised group as you’ll need to stop off in the region’s teahouses on the way for food and rest.
Ireland is a beauty to be seen. Dublin, the country’s capital, is party central pretty much any night of the week, which makes meeting people a doddle. For a break from the capital, head to the south coast. Though travelling around the coast may be difficult without a car, public transport is cheap and a coach from Dublin to southern areas like Waterford can be caught for a few euros if booked in advance.
One of the easiest cities to navigate in Europe, Amsterdam offers an abundance of experiences and a terrific nightlife, too. The city is famous for its bikes; look in to renting one and glide around the city at your leisure. To escape the hustle and bustle head to Vondelpark, a peaceful green space in the heart of town.
** Words by Richard Franks **
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Words by HQ