Whether you’re embarking on an Eat Pray Love–inspired pilgrimage, or jet-setting to a faraway land sans plus-one to shake up your everyday routine, every woman should experience the joys and freedom of traveling alone at least once. “The number one common misconception about solo travel is that you get lonely,” says travel writer and expert Lesley Murphy, who documents her experiences abroad via her blog, The Road Les Traveled. “Let me tell you: One is not the loneliest number. I meet more people when I’m traveling by myself than when I’m traveling with a buddy or group. I’m forced to break out of my comfort zone. Also, I can be extremely selfish in times like these: going where I want, when I want, all in the name of freedom.” Bidding adieu to 2016, we’ve rounded up the best spots to travel to alone in 2017, so you can start mapping out your vacation time now.
“Thailand has come out of a tough time,” says Pauline Frommer of famed travel guidebook and media company Frommer’s. “Two years ago, people weren’t visiting Thailand because of the military coup, but I think any fears of danger have now lifted.” The stunning country has long been a post-college backpacker destination, but 2017 likely promises a major marketing shift toward more experiential-based adventures over its former budget-friendly draw. Given the sudden death of King Bhumibol Adulyadej in mid-October—one of the longest-reigning monarchs in Thai history—the entire country recently entered into a yearlong mourning period, during which civil servants are expected to wear black. Despite this setback, tourists can expect to be welcomed into the country with open arms—especially in late 2017. “In Thailand, there’s a tradition of people traveling alone being seen as pilgrims, as seekers,” says Frommer. “Those traveling alone are often treated with the respect accorded to these seekers. Anyone going to Thailand for the first time must see Bangkok, a wondrous city both for its historic sights and temples, as well as for the modern city. Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai and the smaller towns surrounding them are also well worth visiting.”
Post-election getaway spot or otherwise, Canada is a beautiful, friendly country to visit alone year-round, with 2017 marking a special celebration for the Great White North.
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