Solo Sabbaticals For the Solitary Sightseer

by Julia on March 23, 2009

If your plans involve adventure, nature, ice and beer, then we have some perfect locations for you. We’re about to take you to seven places around the globe that perhaps never grabbed at your attention before and also happen to be ideal for those who are traveling solo. We’ve got seven out-of-way places that will get you in-the-way of some great solo getaways.

7. Thailand, Southeast Asia – For whatever reason you may be alone, when you step off the plane in Bangkok, your loneliness will dissipate with the humid, evening air. A former rice paddy among trading posts, Bangkok is now the capital of “anything goes” the world over. If there is something you’d like to see or do, most likely it’s a thriving industry here. Never went to college? Well, just acquire a degree and transcripts on Khao San Road. You can even procure Rolex watches, designer clothing and jewelry, shoes and all sorts of high class, perhaps reproduced, merchandise. If buying things doesn’t fulfill your heart, then head to the beaches of Phuket, Koh Samui, Koh Tao and Koh Phangan, where other solo travelers meet to enjoy a bit of beach life, with a pineapple on a stick, together.

6. Guatemala, Central America – Unless you’re a hermit, misanthrope or a fire-breathing dragon, it would be impossible to come to Guatemala and be alone. The locals are friendly and backpackers congregate on terraces and rooftops. You may arrive as a loner but you’ll leave with a group. If you would like to backpack or even travel alone, there are heaps to do. Mayan ruins pixel the countryside for one. Remote hikes taking in these ruins and jungle hikes around Tikal are also favorites. You can always meet up with people taking an adventure tour, such as trekking, cycling, boating and so forth. If you prefer open scenery, the lake at Peten Itza brings together foreigners and local residents alike. If you would sooner have cities, take Spanish classes in Antigua, Guatemala City or Quetzaltenango (Xela).

5. Australia, Asia – If you came independently to the land of Oz, you’d be following in the footsteps of the first Irish political prisoners disembarked in 1795. A lively group to say the least, many escaped single-handedly inshore. When most solo travelers come by choice, however, they typically head for the coastlines or bars, not necessarily mutually exclusive. Many of the beaches offer sailing, parasailing, fishing, snorkeling, scuba diving, beach walking, surfing, and kayaking among other activities. If you came to find a mate to hook up with, then adventure sports and drinking beer (and a mélange of the two) is one sure way to make friends. The most popular beaches include Manly, Glenelg, Bondi, St Kilda, Surfers Paradise and Cottesloe.

4. Argentina, South America – If you really are a loner at heart but have a hankering for adventure, then Argentina is calling your name. There are a plethora of tour adventure companies, too, set up for single travelers. Puerto Iguazu has waterfalls and hiking, San Luis has spelunking and Tinogasta has rappelling, sand boarding, volcanoes, hang gliding, canoeing, fishing, hiking, paragliding and more, with places like Capilla del Monte offering great natural and uncrowded escapes.

3. Antarctica, Way South – Probably nowhere else on earth is as lonely as Antarctica. If you’re getting over a relationship and your heart is ice, traveling to Antarctica might actually help the thawing process. Unless you have scientific research, a job, a cruise, a good reason or are part of a tour, it’s near impossible to travel unchaperoned – Yes, like your middle school dances. Most tours, then, stay aboard comfortable vessels, where mainland, inland, island and ice trips become daily outings. Solo travelers don’t have to be alone, and can mingle aboard a comfy, floating hotel. Zodiacs often take you closer to land, where wildlife, volcanoes and all sorts of anomalies await.

2. Canada, North America – If you like geese, cold winter temperatures and ending all your sentences with the invariant question word “eh?” then Canada will be your home away from home. If you’re an outdoor lone lover, then Canada offers lakes, trails, mountains and coasts to get lost among. Some of the most popular solo adventurer itineraries allow for train rides through the Canadian Rockies, fly fishing, Ottawa canal ice skating, wine touring, cycle touring, hockey game watching, skiing in Whistler, cross country skiing, Quebec Carnival, polar bear spotting and taking in the Haida Totem Poles. All better with a beer in hand, of course.

1. Spain, Western Europe – Sangria, late nights, tapas, paella, beaches, cities, landscapes and sunny weather makes Spain one of the most ideal year-round solo holiday destinations. Who wouldn’t love free food (tapas) at the bar with sangria well into the night, every night? If you’re the solo traveler who wants life fairly easy, then Spain offers everything from adventure to lackadaisical days. With cities such as Granada, Seville and Barcelona that never sleep, you’ll go home a bit sleep deprived but it’s all worth it. Plus, the sun doesn’t set until 11pm in the summer, making 4am an early bedtime!

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