I like being a solo female traveler. People think this makes me weird. Or that I must not have friends. Or I’ve lost my mind. Particularly because I happen to travel while female.
Flying solo can be a remarkable experience. You get to travel on your terms and no one else’s.
But the biggest reason I like it is because I get to reflect and practice self-awareness. I find it easier to recharge by myself than in big groups.
Although, let’s be honest, sometimes it’s just nice to be whoever you want. No one you met on the road knows anything about you. One time, I had a Danish guy convinced I trained bears in the circus for a living. Someone has that job…
Eventually I told the truth, but it was fun for an hour.
When I travel alone, I always feel like I not only take things in and carry memories with me, but also leave a little piece of me behind.
Plus I like myself. I’m good company. The only people who ever judged me for being alone were usually single men traveling alone. Some would treat me as if I had some contagious disease they didn’t want to catch. Hypocrites.
Although I’ve been a lot of places by myself, there were a few trips that were really magical…
3 Amazing Places to be a Solo Female Traveler:
1. Mindo – Ecuador
This was the perfect place to relax and write and be alone.
I went here by myself and decided to get a private room for myself in La Casa de Cecilia. Such a wonderful idea, because I could sleep naked and sleep in. It felt super restorative and dreamlike.
I went to the waterfalls while I was here and ended up spending the day with a Dutch family. (Being alone almost never means being lonely!) Because I was a solo female traveler, I couldn’t afford to book an entire truck to take me to the park alone, but the helpful travel agent in town booked me on the tour with this family. Cost me about $2 roundtrip.
Don’t ever be shy about asking to hop on a tour that’s already booked when you’re traveling alone.
I also went to the butterfly farm near town. That I loved, because I was the only person in the pavilion. All the butterflies flying around, sipping nectar and generally being awesome made me feel like I was in my own private fairyland.
La Casa de Cecilia is also on the river, so you could easily spend all your time here reading books and drinking tea. Book in advance, as it’s very popular.
2. Dubrovnik – Croatia
If you never considered Croatia as a solo female traveler destination, start researching.
I spent two weeks in Croatia alone, but my favorite time was in the city of Dubrovnik. It’s a beautiful walled, contained city that is easy to walk around, which I always appreciate when I’m alone. And I never felt unsafe. (Of course, always take precautions)
You can jump off the rocks at Cafe Buja, or “Hole in the Wall”, a bar 5 minutes from town. The other bars in town are full of other travelers having a good time if you feel like being social. Or you can walk around the top of the wall and admire the view of the ocean. Or write in your journal. Or practice your opera singing. All fair game.
The city is stunning and a perfect place to hang out, relax and perfect your photo taking skills. There’s an opportunity at every turn!
If you’re taking a bus Dubrovnik from the north, make sure to sit on the right. There are absolutely stunning views of the ocean.
3. Mekong River – Laos to Thailand
This trip started with a lot of grumbling and ended with me really connecting with myself. Solo female traveler for the win!
I booked the slow boat from Luang Prabang in Laos to Huay Xai in Thailand because it was supposedly safer, and I wasn’t in a hurry. When I woke up the morning of my trip however, I discovered both my camera and my iPod had died in the middle of the night. Never to be heard from again.
I also only had about 20 pages left in my book. I was full of frustration and annoyance. What as I going to do with 16 hours on a boat alone?
So I looked out onto the river and reflected on my adventures thus far. This trip on the Mekong is some of my most vivid memories because I had no distractions. I had no camera at the time to help me remember, so I focused on remembering each individual feature of the river.
A dragonfly landed on my toe at one point and I watched it for 10 minutes opening and closing it’s wings, marveled by the details.
There’s no food on the boat, so make sure to pack snacks and share with others.
Anywhere can be an adventure when you’re a traveling alone! I’d say nowhere is off limits, but these were 3 of my favorite experiences.
Where are your favorite places to be a solo female traveler?
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