The scariest part is during take off, as you watch your hometown fade into blue and you slowly realize that you’re alone. You’re alone with no idea of what is to come when that jet touches down on the other side of the world. You get that "What the hell am I thinking" voice in your heard, yet, you go for it anyways. That scary feeling slowly turns into the most liberating moment you can experience, and it just gets better from there. Every girl should travel solo at least once in her life.
For the better part of 6 years, I’ve been traveling around the world completely on my own. It’s been empowering, it’s been challenging, and it’s given me the chance to learn what I’m truly capable of. Along the way, I’ve met other fearless girls traveling solo and paving their own paths. They’ve shared stories that have inspired me to hop on a plane here and catch a bus there. Each time a new country pops up on my radar, I consider it carefully with my trusty travel checklist:
While not every country I’ve been to has ticked all three boxes, but the ones that do have been pure magic. Here are my top 5 countries that every girl should travel to solo!
Literally, thousands of girls backpack around Thailand every year. With extremely social hostels and many organized group tours, solo travelers don’t stay solo for long. Almost as soon as you touch down in the kingdom, you'll make fast friends that turn into travel partners. You’ll go island hopping, food touring, and elephant trekking together for a couple weeks, then head back on your own solo venture until the next new friend comes along.
4. South Korea
The beauty capitol of the world is calling! The skin and makeup industry in South Korea is the leader in wonderfully weird and expertly effective products. With snail serum face masks, tinted eyebrow stains, and 3-D manicures, this country is every girly-girl's dream. Girls can easily explore the big cities with super convenient and safe public transport. With random street crime practically non-existent, go get lost on your own!
3. New Zealand
Update your iPod and stock up on snacks, because New Zealand is the mecca of solo traveler road trips! The scenery is absolutely stunning in New Zealand where roads wind and turn around mountains, glaciers, lakes and wildlife- but you have to be willing to travel the distance to see them. Total beauty in isolation requires a camper. Many solo girl travelers will buy an old car and turn it into a sleeper; or rent a decked out camper like these ones from JUCY.
For the 2nd year in a row, Iceland has been named the safest country in the world. With minimal violence and very little petty crime- a solo girl’s biggest concern here will be how to see all of its beauty in so little time! There are volcanoes to visit, Northern Lights to gaze, and mystical elves to chase…I’m not kidding. A visit to Iceland is made even easier with a FREE 7-day stop over between North America and Europe when you travel with Icelandair. Take advantage!
Girl-only tattoo shops, badass female pop groups that rule the music scene, and a female president- Taiwan screams girl power! Taiwan is extremely safe, to the point where women can walk alone at night without a care in the world. Visit the hotsprings in Wulai, visit the geo park in Keelung, and go surfing in Kenting. The culture, the food, and the scenery make this underrated country one of the best-kept traveler secrets around. All of this combined makes Taiwan my number 1 top-pick.
Girls, you can go solo! Millions of girls travel across the globe all by themselves every day and you can, too! You are just as capable, just as smart, and just as brave as the rest of us. You don’t need permission- this is your life. Listen to your gut, follow your heart, and just book that ticket already!