Places I’d most like to visit WITH someone – solo travel series

Calm down, calm down solo travel advocates! I’m one of you! I’ve been solo on-the-road since May 2018 and there’s not a country on Earth I wouldn’t consider visiting alone given the right push. This title would be more accurate if it read “Places I’d most like to visit WITH someone but, given the financial capabilities, would visit solo anyway.’

You can pretty much solo backpack anywhere with a bit of research, but it’s similarly true that some places are easier to visit solo than others; Southeast Asia and Central America are key destinations for those looking to travel alone due to their solid public transport connections and a large array of budget hostel dorms. Europe too, whilst expensive depending on the part you’re going to, is popular for solos due to its extensive train network – particularly those with limited time looking for a city break.

Why would I rather visit certain places with someone?

Fear is the usual reason why people are hesitant to go somewhere solo, but this is not a blog post about places I’m afraid of. Rather, I’m concentrating on places which I CAN visit solo but would simply rather not. Usually this is for one of two reasons:

  • I think some countries would be more FUN with a friend! Perhaps because I think they might be lonely or simply they are ‘dream destinations’ I want to gawk at with someone
  • Because of practicality; it’s easier to get around by car and I can’t road trip solo (I’m on a strict budget guys – and admittedly my pesky lack of a driving license doesn’t help either) or perhaps it’s very expensive with notoriously bad dorms (I can’t pay double for a private every night, urgh).

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JAPAN

TRIED AND TESTED

A couple of places on this list are often lauded as being *amazing* solo travel destinations in articles written by people who’ve never travelled alone and solos who’ve actually gone found them difficult; this is true of no country more than Japan. Japan is always listed for feeling so safe (very true) and its great public transport (also true) yet I felt incredibly lonely when I visited Japan solo in 2018, a feeling which has been shared by others I spoke to since.

To make matters worse, Japan had been one my of two all-time dream destinations. Maybe it’s because in all my travel fantasies growing up, I imagined visiting Japan with a friend or due to the welcoming but introverted society (outside of the main cities) that contributed to me feeling isolated. I’m not sure. There are so many unique things to do here that deserve be a shared experience full of laughter, not to mention all the couples I know who rave about the ‘fun!!’ they had in Japan that emphasises the somewhat heartbreaking quality to my memories of Japan. I know it could have been so much more.

JAPAN is the only place in Asia on this list because I generally love solo travel in Asia!

Solo Travel in Kyoto

NEW ZEALAND ROAD TRIP

ALL TIME DREAM DESTINATION NUMBER TWO

As an introvert who gets her kicks from occasional but intimate friendships, I ain’t forcing myself into a car with a new mate. A road trip might not happen when I move to NZ on a WHV – I have extremely low expectations about that happening for me this time around, to be honest. It did not happen during my year in Australia either... In fact, an Aussie road trip should probably also be on this list!

Similarly, there are some crazy landscapes in America I’d love to see… and CANADA. Gosh I would absolutely love to see Canada!!

Big, sexy mountains are what get me going I guess 😉

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MONGOLIA

AND THE LANDLOCKED SILK ROAD ROUTE

Mongolia seems a little tricky to visit solo due to a distinct lack of public transport and solo accommodations, particularly as I’m particularly drawn to the more immersive cultural experiences. The historical silk route fascinates me in general and the landlocked countries that run along it have a particular draw, that’d be a cool backpacking adventure I reckon. I’m specifically intrigued by Kyrgyzstan for some reason and I have no idea why.

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Photo by Lightscape on Unsplash

ANTARCTICA or GREENLAND

OR SOME OTHER ICY WONDERLAND

Cuz they cold and I’d want someone to snuggle innit.

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FRENCH POLYNESIA

TO AN ISLAND I’VE NOT HEARD OF YET!

I just wanna make out on a beach between taking generous sips of rum punch, ‘kay?

I actually think it would be quite fun to visit a paradise island alone, staying in a homestay with friendly locals and a few good books… but why deny my imagination of the former?

IDK why I’ve decided French Polynesia is the ultimate of paradise destinations. Is it? What d’you reckon? I’m open to dream country suggestions!

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Photo by Ibrahim Egan on Unsplash

DISNEYLAND

lol

Okay so not a priority but the one place on this list I’d definitely never visit alone hahaha. Also that Harry Potter theme park place… I was a bona fide British bookworm born in 1990. Bite me. 🙂

NORTHERN LIGHTS TRIP

ICELAND LOOKS SO SEXY

(Or Lapland but only if I get to dress up as an elf.)

The reason for this one is simple:

My best friend and I have dreamed of this trip since we were at school together and are now in ourour late-twenties. It would be a dream come true to see the Northern Lights… but the dream wouldn’t be complete if my best mate wasn’t gushing at them alongside me.

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GREEK ISLANDS & ITALIAN COUNTRYSIDE

DISCUSSING ANCIENT STORIES OVER PIZZA

When I was growing up and had never left Britain, it felt like all the fanciest people went to places like Italy and Greece. I was obsessed with Greek mythology and later by Western philosophy and theater – much of which originates in Italy and Greece. If money was no object, I’d happily arrange a solo trip that allowed me to step back in time, cowering over old books as I went. But there’s a major issue with this trip; philosophers remind us how important it is to be challenged. Where better to escape the historical cities and debate ideologies than over Mediterranean food and good wine in one of the beautiful places on Earth?

There are many places in Europe I’d love to explore but mostly I don’t mind if I visited them solo or with a friend. 🙂

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Photo by Reuben Teo on Unsplash

BRITAIN

YEAH, SO…

I left London for good because I was lonely and I’m not going back to my home country alone. That’s too ‘full circle’ for my liking. Not happening. Nah.

But it’s on this list because I probably should go back… at some point… one day. Not least because the Scottish Highlands and Snowdonia are two of my favourite places on Earth.

BOLIVIA AND PATAGONIA

FINALLY, MY CURRENT DREAM DESTINATIONS…

Central America seems like the perfect place to SOLO backpack so none of those countries make this list. Same goes for Peru & Colombia and, well, most of South America. I’ve heard a few horror stories that would make me vigilant and cautious, but mostly I’ve heard only glowing reports of the locals here and amazing landscapes.

However, Bolivia and Patagonia are particular dreams of mine. And if Japan taught me anything, it’s that some memories are most special when shared with someone… and visiting your dream country alone can leave a hole in your heart where that special memory is meant to be.

Mount Bromo at Sunrise Guide – An Otherworldly Experience

I mean, that’s the reason this list exists right? There are some destinations where you need a little extra motivation for the hardest hikes, someone to make jokes with to keep you grounded while viewing the most stunning landscapes on earth or simply to have their arm around you when you look up at the stars. For me, Bolivia and Patagonia are those kinda destinations.

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Photo by Eduardo Gutiérrez on Unsplash

p.s.

Oh, and I didn’t mention AFRICA because I’ve not researched it enough and just don’t know where to start! The places I want to see here are countless and far apart; Rhumsiki Rock (Cameroon), Abu Simbel (Egypt), Hoggar Mountains (Algeria), Sossusvlei Namib Desert (Namibia)… the list goes on forever! I can’t narrow down the list, let alone work out where would be more appropriate for solo versus couple travel. (And as an animal lover, don’t even get me started.)

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Photo by Jonatan Pie on Unsplash

Just to reiterate… this won’t stop me from going to any of these countries – I expect to be solo for a long time and can’t let that tiny detail hold me back! (If money allowed at least! I can’t imagine funding any of those Winter wonderlands listed.)
Firstly, because I might be pleasantly surprised by how fun it is solo, and secondly? Well, just because I go solo now doesn’t mean I can’t come back later WITH someone does it? 😉

What country would you most like to visit with a partner?

What sort of place would you rather visit with your mates than solo?

6 Comments

  1. Right, I’m finally responding to this. I know it’s going to be long … lol.

    Most of my travels have been solo, across the world (six continents, “quite a few” countries); usually it’s been absolutely great, but just occasionally I do get those ‘pangs’ of loneliness (usually when I’m already feeling a bit low for other reasons, or because it’s been three days since I’ve been online ands I’m getting angsty lol.

    This year though I’ve had two trips travelling with a friend; one to Philippines for two weeks with someone I know from Twitter, and one of 57 days walking across Great Britain with a local hiking friend. Over both of them I’ve grown to accept that I’m actually okay with it most of the time, and sometimes it is actually quite nice to have someone to share times with.

    That said, they have to be the right sort of person. Both of the people I travelled with are themselves mostly solo travellers, and furthermore knew exactly what sort of person I am before they agreed to travel with me (which, ya know, surprised me that they still chose to!). That’s probably the most important thing I think – find someone who understands introversion and/or solo travel, so that way even before you start you know what the limits are and you know you’ll both be comfortable if either or both of you feel you need time apart. And that fits regardless of the destination – hopefully it’s big enough for you to be able to this lol.

    I’ve been known to meet people when travelling and join them for a couple of days where it’s appropriate to do so; I did this visiting the Aral Sea because getting there off my own back would have been horrendously expensive. That’s the other main drawback to solo travel to the places I tend to visit. It’s not so much of an issue travelling Europe, but head off the beaten track in Central Asia or Africa and it gets really pricy to go everywhere on your own, as you have to rely on taxis.

    Just looking at some your countries listed:

    Japan -> I’ve gone on record as saying it’s a country I’ll probably never visit, mainly because of what you say; many people have said it’s a great country for an introvert because everyone there is, so there’s no problem with personal space or anything like that. But that’s partly the problem for me; a quiet nation means I have to physically approach people to talk to them – add in the language barrier (both written and verbal) and I think it’s a place that would just give me so much personal stress.

    Kyrgyzstan is a wonderful country, btw: the people are curious in a friendly way, and it’s one of those places where, once they find out you’re a native English speaker, try to talk to you to practice. This can get a bit taxing after a while as an introvert, but it’s never unduly stressful.

    French Polynesia -> for me this is the same as Seychelles etc. I did a blog and podcast post on ‘Places I’ll probably never visit’ (the anti-bucket list) and while it was a very short list, most of the places on it were small hot honeymoon islands. I’d just find them booooooring! That’s not to say all small hot island destinations are off my list (I’m intrigued by Kiribati, for instance), but where the dominant industry is honeymoon tourism, that’s kind of a switch-off for me (for price reasons as well as content ones).

    Bolivia -> has been on my (very short) bucket list since 2012. I will make it there one day. My fear though is slightly different; it’s one of language. I know to get the best out of it I’d have to know a bit of Spanish. I’m pretty awful at languages and the idea of communicating *in bad Spanish* with locals just … drives my anxiety through the roof! I so much want to go there but I keep putting it off! [I have been contemplating going there to *learn* Spanish, but I’m still pondering that one!]

    As for me; there are a couple of countries I really want to visit, but which I’m reluctant to do solo. One of them is India. I’ve been to Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, and Nepal all solo, and they were all fine, but I feel from what I’ve heard about India is that it’s just another level of intensity, and I fear being overwhelmed by it all.

    The other place(s) I’d love to go but not necessarily solo are Russia and China; this is more because of admin/language barriers than personal space (I have been to China twice and through Russia once, never solo). I feel I’d be less stressed about things if I had someone or some people with me who either knew what they were doing, or were just as confuzzled as I was (like, buying train tickets) – if there’s one thing even I like to know when I’m feeling utterly lost and helpless, and that’s that I’m not the only one to be feeling it!

    Note that I’m not differentiating between travel with friends or partners. The odds on me ever even having a partner are ridiculously low so it makes no odds either way :p

    1. Totally agree with it being the right sort of person. Overall, I’d rather be solo than with a random person I met. But the right person can just make things very special. Glad Japan is making sense as a struggle for other introverts and solos across the board!

      Would love to visit kryg even more now!

      Haha yeah the island sort of places could be soo boring in the wrong circumstances… Maybe even in the rigtt circumstances hahaha

      Yeah I worried about language barrier too, and India would be hard solo. I’ve heard China is Hard so that’s interesting to hear. Agree when things are disorientating it can be even more frustrating solo!

      Haha yes I meant anyone here too! Not just a partner other than when I made a joke about it hehe.

      So good to hear your thoughts! Made me feel better and like less of a weirdo 🙂

  2. I haven’t really travelled solo yet, especially since I started really going around after I was in a relationship. Some places are really too wonderful to experience them alone and I am always so happy when I get to show my boyfriend some of the places that I love and have visited without him.

    1. I’ve found it hard to express what you say hear as I don’t want to seem negative! But it really is better to share an experience with someone special ❤️❤️

  3. Cassie have you considered group travel? I definitely have my own list I’ve been compiling as I go along of places I would like to visit with a partner someday, but given my longtime lack of one I have gotten around the trouble of solo travels by just doing some of these places with a group. Plus I’ve made a lot of good friends that way that I may travel with again someday

    1. I’m happy with solo travel for now, I don’t enjoy travelling in groups as I find it a bit overwhelming! Though have met some amaazing friends along the way. I just wrote this list for fun and as I say here, nothing will stop me from going solo anyway 😉 xx

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