Adulting may be hard at times, but it definitely comes with its perks. Like solo travel.
Traveling on our own abroad allows us to see the places in the world we’ve been dreaming about, follow our own schedule, meet people who are different from us, and develop our social, organizational, and creative skills. It can also serve as an opportunity to ponder what’s important to us in life and ensure that we’re staying true to our heart’s desires.
For some, foreign travel might involve “dabbling” in drug use, such as using cocaine to stay awake. However, any drug use comes with the risk of addiction. If you are worried about symptoms of cocaine abuse, an addiction treatment program can help you get on the road to recovery.
Whether you’re new to solo travel abroad or an old pro, here are some places to consider based on their level of adventurousness.
For the Less Adventurous: Canada, Costa Rica, Tulum
Tulum is a town on the Yucatán Peninsula in the Mexican state of Quintana Roo that’s easy to get to and affordable. The same goes for parts of Canada like Vancouver Island and other areas of British Columbia for West Coasters and Québec and Nova Scotia for East Coasters. Costa Rica is just a 3.5-hour flight from Houston.
Another thing these places have in common is that either you can blend in fairly easily or the locals in general like (or at least, don’t mind) American tourists and are happy to speak English with you if it’s not their first language.
They are also known for their culture, awe-inspiring landscapes and seascapes, and diverse flora and fauna. In Tulum, you might get to see spider monkeys and loggerhead turtles. In Costa Rica, toucans and pumas. Many coastal cities and towns in Canada offer whale-watching, and you might also see bears, caribou, and cougars when traveling north of the border.
Of course, not all accommodations will be affordable, and sometimes you have to splurge, like on this world-famous artistic hotel in Tulum.
For the Mid-Level Adventurous: Belize, Iceland, South of France
Those looking to travel somewhere that feels a little more “foreign” to the U.S. might want to consider Belize, Iceland, or the South of France, all of which are still fairly easy to access but can feel a world away.
Though you are much more likely to come across foreign languages in these breathtakingly beautiful places, people are still, for the most part, able and happy to speak English, which can add a level of comfort when traveling farther from home.
That said, locals will appreciate any effort you make to speak their native language. Even learning simple phrases like “Hello, how are you today?” and “Sorry, I don’t speak French” can go a long way in bringing a smile to people’s faces. And if they’re laughing at you a little, consider it a great ice-breaker. Check out language learning apps like Babbel and Pimsleur. You can even choose your app based on your style of learning.
For the Most Adventurous: Japan, New Zealand, Slovenia
Then there are those of you who won’t be satisfied until you are about as far away from home as you can get, or you at least feel that way. Japan, New Zealand, and Slovenia are sure to satisfy even the most wanderlustful among us.
For those looking for an outdoor adventure that involves a physical challenge, consider scaling Japan’s Mount Fuji in Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park. In New Zealand, hike the Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Park to see volcanic craters, bubbling mud pools, and luminous natural lakes of vivid blue, green, and orange. Slovenia offers Vintgar Gorge, with wooden boardwalks built into cliff sides along the meandering Radovna River.
These countries are just as famous for their culture as they are for their natural beauty. Visit castles, palaces, and temples in Japan, and Hobbiton in New Zealand: the rolling hillside transformed into the hobbit shire for the Lord of the Rings movies. Slovenia’s capital city, Ljubljana, is colorful, lively yet quaint, and filled with dragons — the symbol of the city — of all different shapes and sizes.
Although safety is always a concern when traveling solo, rest assured that you’ll be out of harm’s way when visiting Slovenia, New Zealand, and Japan. All three rank among the top 10 most peaceful countries in the world.
If you enjoy your own company, traveling solo abroad can be a fun opportunity to explore your interests as you chart your own course. Keep in mind what matters to you when you travel, such as photo opportunities or outdoor adventures, but stay open to new experiences. There’s so much out there about the world and about yourself just waiting to be discovered.