** Open Colleges does not currently offer any Travel courses **
Women are travelling solo more than ever, shunning their plus ones for a little ‘me’ time, unhindered expeditions, and in the name of glorious adventure. Kate Gibbs names her favourite spots to go rogue, alone.
Wanderlust needn’t turn to dust when we don’t have a companion. I’ve been around the world with both mon amour and a best mate or five, and both types of travel have their laughs and companionship and thrills to recommend them.
But there’s something about going it alone, making your way with only your thoughts, plans, a diary maybe, some people you pick up momentarily on the road, that has me always dreaming up where to go next, solo. Here are my top picks for the best places to travel alone.
The safest place in the world
I refuse to think of female travel as safe-only travel; it seems a shame to miss out on parts of the world just because you were born a member of the fairer sex and so need to use your wits in the back alleys.
The world had better get used to the idea of strong, independent women travelling unattached, right? So Scandinavia, including Norway, Sweden and Denmark, may have been ranked the safest region in the world, but there’s more to recommend.
Sweden’s Stockholm is known for its designer boutiques and shopping, with home-grown designer brands such as Acne Studios and the high-street classic H&M. There’s no time for a plus one when you’re traipsing these Paris-meets-Copenhagen streets.
The perfectly preserved Gamla Stan, or the “Old Town” in the heart of Stockholm, is lined with colourful baroque buildings, gothic churches and world-class boutiques, making it a must-see destination for savvy Instagrammers keen to make their friends left at home jealous.
Eat, pray and love being solo in Bali
Elizabeth Gilbert was on to something with her trek to Bali, where she found love in her best-selling book Eat Pray Love. She needn’t have travelled much further, though, as Bali is also a place for food lovers and allows the solo traveller much time for meditation, mindfulness, and body rejuvenation.
It’s a gritty backpacker’s paradise but Bali also delivers off-the-beaten track and nature’s best, as well as high end. Bali is a place to rejuvenate, to recover, and bring mind, body and soul into harmony.
There’s a host of bootcamp style retreats, surf camps, or stays close to world-famous surf spots such as Uluwatu Surf Villas [pictured] where you wake up to ocean views and daily yoga.
A place to get lost
As a city where eating solo is the norm, where there’s nothing more gorgeous than getting completely tangled in the intricate back alleys, where most of the top hotels offer startlingly beautiful views across the city and cocktails on the roof (what a place to get your bearings), Tokyo is the ultimate destination to travel alone.
It’s not uncommon to sit across from the sushi or yakitori chef behind the counter making your meal and chat, or slurp a bowl of ramen with the wave of businessmen who eat Japan’s favourite fast food soup on the commute home.
Broken English is totally acceptable here, making it every new visitor’s most foreign but totally doable place to go.
Every experienced solo traveller knows there are rules for travelling alone. Do you tick all the boxes?** Open Colleges does not currently offer any Travel courses **