Don’t you just wish for a stranger to be seated next to you on your travels at least once in your life? Or to be at a hilltop, all on your own, with the company of no one else but just your extraordinary self? Solo traveling is a fantasy most people harbor but very few actually go on a trip alone. The concern often is the insecurity that comes with being by yourself. The whopping budget you would have to bear all on your own or just the awkwardness of sitting alone in a craft full of families and couples enjoy one another’s company while you stare out of the window or fiddle with your phone. We realize that traveling alone is risky but also acknowledge that it is subjective to your destination. So, The Week has compiled a list of destinations should you feel the need to pack your bags and set off for a grand adventure all by yourself.
Termed as the ‘trekking capital’ of Argentina, El Chalten has more to offer (than your would-have-been travel companion). Most hikes here are a group affair and you will join a group as you would join a museum guide. Ideally, day hikes are how you enjoy the unceasing wonders of El Chalten. People climb in the day and gather in the evenings for some fun time. Here, you will also find the jump-off point for the third largest frozen mass of freshwater on earth: The Patagonian Ice Field. Brace your heart, rock climbers, for the tourist populace in El Chalten is famed to be extremely diverse and amicable. You won’t regret traveling alone here since you will definitely meet many likeminded people. There are also plenty of hostel facilities should you wish for cheaper arrangements.
Do you remember seeing an image of Japan where hundreds of people on sidewalks are waiting for their turns on crossings that are larger than any roads you have ever seen in your life? Well, that’s ‘Scramble Crossing’ for you, just besides the Shibuya station. On a weekday, this intersection sees 2.8 million people passing through. Astronomical, isn’t it? But that is one sight you are guaranteed to see on your travels to Shibuya. Also, in this area, you will find some of the most popular hipster-style clothing in Japan. Add to that, the fact that the Japanese are some of the most hospitable people on earth and are geniuses in the culinary world. Who needs a travel buddy when your bowl of ramen is waiting for you in a one-man counter in Shibuya, Japan?
Siargao is a haven for surfers. And it has attracted surfing enthusiasts from all over the world to its beaches over the years. Solo traveling is as much about new experiences as it is about pushing your boundaries. So why not consider surfing? There are over 15 different surf breaks around Siargao, meaning this is a playing ground for experts and novices alike. You could join any of the surfing classes and need not fear embarrassing yourself because you will find that you will be learning with people like yourself: All of whom have barely had a stint with the waves. And if you’re not up for surfing you couldalways submit to the relaxed vibes of Siargao, basking in the sun and listening to the sound of the waves hitting the rocks.
One thinks of Bali when Indonesia comes up for discussion. But Lombok isn’t that far from Bali. And both boast plunging cliffs, temples, and lovely beaches. But while Bali has a hint of tarnished beauty (with the influx of tourists that is bound to be the case), Lombok remains pristine, untouched. Visit the Tetebatu village as it is here where you will get to see nature at its best, as it really should be. Opt for a homestay, it is much agreeable to your pocket (not to forget safer) and you will get an authentic taste of native living. Rent a bike and course through the lush fields of the village. Also, not to be missed is Mt Rinjani, an active volcano that inspires more fondness than it does terror. The trek to Mt Rinjani is every trekkers dream come true.
Yes, thank you Ed Sheeran for bringing notice to the fantastic city of Galway. This is one city where once you enter the doors of any pub (yes, Galway is full of them), you will be sucked into a world of chatter, dance and laughs. Making friends, most travelers attest, is the simplest thing to do here. Anybody beside you will be up for a conversation. The town too is deemed remarkably safe, if the major highlight of the town being walks in the dead of night through the city square is any indication. Biking up to Dun Aengus Fort or even the Aran Islands should be fun, especially when solo. Try to squeeze into a hostel as it is here that you will meet people like yourself, traveling alone and from all parts of the world.