As an occasional solo traveler, picking the right destination to explore is not quite as easy as one would imagine. As much as I enjoy the prospects of meeting more people and having the freedom to do whatever I want, solo travel can be a little daunting at times. Especially for a solo female traveler, it’s wise not to be wary of your surroundings. In this post, I share with you some of my suggestions for the best adventurous destinations for solo travelers.
1. Australia For the ultimate adventurous holidays, Australia definitely wouldn’t disappoint. Few places in the world can beat Australia’s myriad of natural spots and adventurous activities – scuba dive the Great Barrier Reef, then skydive in Sydney, and go bush-walking in the outback – Kakadu National Park. Besides world-class infrastructure and some of the friendliest people in the world, Austalia makes for a safe and easy destination for solo travelers.
2. Tanzania Although African capitals can be slightly intimidating, venture out to the savannas and wild lands and you’ll find the warmest people who are more curious about you than anything else. This East African nation is bursting with thrilling outdoors opportunities ideal for the solo traveler. Sign yourself up for an adventure tour – from the Kilimanjaro trek to a wildlife safari or scuba-diving trip on Zanzibar island – you’re sure to meet fellow travelers and have a wild time. Unlike the usual stereotype view, Tanzania is relatively safe to travel alone, just try to avoid dodgy areas in the capital
3. Malaysia Being a Muslim country, Malaysia is often misunderstood by many as conservative and unwelcoming. But adventure travelers who have given it a shot all leave with a big smile – Malaysia is packed to the brim with raw, unexplored natural spots and bewitchingly beautiful terrain. Explore its acres of dense rainforest and mingle with orang utans or live with ancient tribes, then emerge out of the forest to find clear, turquoise waters, home to some of the world’s best dive sites. And its people – you can hardly find such genuine and hospitable people elsewhere.
4. Ecuador A small nation chocked full of rare and endemic wildlife and nature, Ecuador is a country only worthy of superlative descriptions. With natural wonders that hit the right sensory glands, you can feed your craving for all things natural here in one small country. Swim with sea lions, sharks and penguins on the Galapagos Islands, hike through the culturally-rich Amazon Rainforest or climb the Cotopaxi Mountain – you could easily do all that in one week. What’s more, Ecuador is one of the better-off countries in South America, equipped with better tourism infrastructure than its neighboring nations.
5. Jordan Amongst the Arabic nations, Jordan is tops on my list – especially in terms of ease of travel, security and sights to see. Float in the Dead Sea in the north and then head down south to explore the archaeological sites of Petra and then hop on a camel safari through Wadi Rum desert. Unlike neighboring Egypt or Israel, the country is not overrun with tourism and dominated by foreigners. To see a real peek into the Middle Eastern world, Jordan would be a great start.
Photograph courtesy of Nellie Huang of Wild Junket
6. Macedonia During my recent solo jaunt in the Balkans, Macedonia definitely left a deep impression on me: Not only were the locals helpful and forthcoming, the country is also shaped perfectly for intrepid adventure travelers looking to get off the beaten path. Composing of a multitude of mountains and emerald lakes, Macedonia is favored by outdoor lovers who enjoy hiking, climbing and boating. Be sure to check out Lake Ohrid and the Bitola Mountains.
~~~ About the contributor ~~~
With an eye for adventure and a love for the unknown, Nellie Huang is a Singaporean travel writer whose work has appeared in National Geographic IT blog, CNN Go, Luxury Travel magazine, Travel+Leisure Asia and Jetstar in-flight magazine. From volunteering in East Africa to writing a guidebook in Guatemala, she has traipsed continents to find home in Spain. She blogs about her adventures at Wild Junket.