Solo traveling is an adventure that every woman should try at least once in her lifetime. Not only do you get to experience independence and freedom, but you also get time to reflect on your life. Who knows, you may end up forming long lasting friendships and connections with different people across the world.
Just like any other traveler, if you embark on a solo epic adventure, you’re bound to have worries and concerns regarding safety, cultural shock, loneliness, or just being homesick. However, there is something unique about these three destinations. Let’s have a look.
Thailand’s Phi Phi Island
Sandwiched between Phuket Island and Strait of Malacca mainland, this paradise is an archipelago of six islands. It gained its fame in the year 2000 after the filming of the movie “The Beach” featuring Leonardo Di Caprio at Maya Bay (one of the six islands). You can access Phi Phi Island via a ferry from Phuket mainland or any of the four other mainland points nearest to you.
The ferry trip alone is a great sightseeing opportunity. You will see the limestone cliffs, the nodding palms, abundant coral reef systems, and the vibrant sea life. The ferries do a short stopover at Maya bay to give you an opportunity for snorkeling. The brightly colored fish will definitely warm you up as you marvel at the beauty of the colorful coral. Remember to ask your tour operator for a mask and fins.
Spend your first day on the island sunbathing and relaxing at the beach. I recommend tantalizing your taste buds at Anna’s Restaurant with a variety of flawless traditional Thai dishes. A day at the island always ends with a spectacular transformation of the beach into an open-air disco. Mingle in the crowd and find the perfect spot to dance to the tunes and enjoy the fireworks.
If you prefer a secluded, quiet beach experience, try the Sun Flower Bar and Restaurant. Alternatively, sample Thai boxing at the Phi Phi Reggae Bar.
On your second day, grab your camera and jog up to the Phi Phi Viewpoint to witness the magic of the island at dawn. On this high point, you will see the dumbbell shape of the island with all its colors. The island comprises of two rock formations connected by a large strip of sand. No need to carry drinks or snacks, there are several stopover kiosks for that along the trek.
Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way
Why visit one town when you can visit several? If you love getting behind the wheels, then set aside a few weeks to sample new food and meet new people on the Wild Atlantic Way road trip. Be spontaneous. Stretching over 2,500 kilometers, the Wild Atlantic Way is the longest defined coastal route in the world.
Along this route, grab a drink at the Farrens Bar, sunbathe at Portsalon Beach, witness ‘prowlers’ at Mullaghmore Head, have a quick picnic at the deserted Achill Islands, and watch the sun go down at the Cliffs of Moher.
Visit Skellig Michael, a 1300 years old monastery that is named a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Visit Kinsale, the gourmet capital of Ireland. And finally, sample various restaurants, bars, and cafes.
Italians have a welcoming culture. When you sit down at a café to sip your coffee, you are likely to exchange a few pleasantries with total strangers. Learn a few Italian words to help you easily interact with locals.
Visit the fairytale Italian city of Venice and fall in love with its romantic vibe. Start by hiring a gondola and cruise down the Grand Canal. Pass by the Venice’s art galleries including the Peggy Guggenheim Collection, the Punta della Dogana, Titian’s glorious ‘Assumption, Tintoretto’s ‘Crucifixion’, and Tiepolo’s monumental frescos.
Take a wine tour and discover the wine cellars of Venice. While at it, sample the Ombra and spritz, the best of Italian wines. Alternatively, get a bird’s view of the whole city at the top of Campanile, the tallest building in Venice.
The Venice Baroque Orchestra performs their seasonal concerts mostly at a church or a scuole. During the event, sample traditional dishes from Veneto including antipasti, the formal Italian appetizer.
Whether you are traveling on a budget or just pursuing your interests, solo traveling, though daunting for a first-timer, is a fulfilling experience when well planned. Whichever destination you choose, make sure you pack all that you need for the trip. Work with a local tour operator to know how to maneuver your way around for a fulfilling experience.
Image credit: Photo by Guilherme Stecanella via Unsplash