Statistics show that, for the past decade or more, women are increasingly deciding to travel solo. No longer willing to wait to find the ideal partner or put their own interests on hold, they dare to travel alone, embarking on an adventure in pursuit of a personal project, be it taking up a physical challenge, meeting a spiritual master, immersing themselves in a humanitarian project, disconnecting from their daily lives, getting away before making too drastic a decision about their relationship or work situation, or as a meaningful way of celebrating their 25th, 40th, or 50th birthday.
Getting the best out of a solo journey
Preparation is important—learning to respect your current state of mind and trust your inner voice. Too often we stop to consider what people will think and let ourselves be guided by societal values. With vacation packages to suit all personalities and needs, you don’t have to rough it, if that’s not your style. Like many things in life, a little humour and humility can go a long way, and help make the experience so much more rewarding.
Whether at home or abroad, women often don’t share the same concerns as men do, especially when it comes to safety. Nothing should stop you from heading off, if that’s your heart’s desire.
When choosing the best destination for solo exploration, consider: the rights of women and the individual in society, safety, how easy it is to communicate, the availability of public transportation, and how friendly people are reported to be.
Why travel solo
- Give yourself a break from the crazy pace of daily life
- Take a healthy escape, even a short one, so you can land more firmly on your feet in better shape to take on life’s challenges when you return
- Do things your own way, without having to compromise on what your heart is telling you
- Experience moments that will forever change your way of looking at the world
- Develop new skills you don’t have the chance to use every day and learn to love yourself again
- Integrate more deeply into the soul of a country and forge closer ties with the people there
- Take the risk that you’ll come back a changed person, someone who is stronger and better prepared to make different life choices afterwards
Ariane’s top 4 solo travel destinations
Outdoor adventures in Australia & New Zealand
Without a doubt, my two favourite destinations I had the privilege of discovering—in my hiking boots—over several months. They offer a paradise of outdoor activities and water sports, not to mention a wild countryside whose beauty is absolutely unique. The landscapes are completely different from one island to the other in New Zealand, or one coast to the other in Australia, and often awe-inspiring. You will feel at home. Public transportation or shuttle services are generally well developed, depending on the region (though beware, public transportation decreases or even stops during the low tourist season in New Zealand), and you’ll be travelling in a safe environment.
When to go? Australia: Almost year-round, depending on the region. New Zealand: November to April.
What to Wear
Writing and Wellness Retreat in Bali, Indonesia
You’ll fall in love with Bali, an ideal destination for a first big jump into solo travelling or a journey to rethink your life. As stretched out as Canada is, Indonesia is a hiker and diver’s paradise of 17,000 islands, most of them volcanic, with only 2,000 inhabited. Each one is as interesting as the last, but the tourist infrastructure is better organized on Bali and Java. Bali has admittedly become very touristy, especially the cultural hub of Ubub in the center and the beaches of the south, however, it still abounds with hidden treasures where people live in a fairly traditional way. A little gem-of-a-place I once spent a month writing in the past: the rice fields of Sidemen in the East.
When to go? May to October.
What to Wear
Photo Safari in Tanzania
Serengeti, Ngorongoro, Selous… these are names synonymous with wildlife and exotic animals, and Tanzania also has Kilimanjaro and the islands of Zanzibar. These destinations are reason enough to pack your bags, but Tanzania is also the only African country that hasn’t experienced any political conflict whatsoever since gaining independence. You will feel safe in this open and warm nation. Of course, it’s a little more challenging to get around on public transportation there, and you should ideally book some services in advance at the lodges near the national parks. I return to Tanzania or East Africa every year for work.
When to go? May to October (especially from June to September) and also January and February to see newborn wildlife in the south of the Serengeti.
What to Wear
Culinary Trip on Penang Island in Malaysia
Protected by UNESCO since 2008, the city of George Town on Malaysia’s Penang Island is a jewel of colonial architecture and satirical street art, dotted with vegetation and frangipani trees. It’s also currently one of the most sought-after foodie hotspots. From “Little India” to “Little Shanghai,” and other predominantly Muslim neighbourhoods, the vibe is relaxed and harmonious, making George Town a beautiful little haven of peace with plenty of nearby options for hiking and beach stays.
When to go? November to March. February to April is also pleasant as it’s much less busy.
What to Wear
The adventure of travelling solo is all about freedom
Travel consultant, college instructor in Tourism Techniques, lecturer, author and travel writer, Ariane Arpin-Delorme is passionate about everything she does. She founded the Parfums d’Asie travel agency a few years ago, as well as Esprit d’Aventure in 2013, where she continues to work as a made-to-measure travel advisor. Having travelled in 55 countries, she has amassed a variety of experiences in the tourism industry and has undertaken numerous international cooperation projects. Her driving force: meeting people, climbing the world’s highest peaks and taking off to cruise in a sailboat…