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).
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!
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 😉
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.
ANTARCTICA or GREENLAND
OR SOME OTHER ICY WONDERLAND
Cuz they cold and I’d want someone to snuggle innit.
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!
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.
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. 🙂
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.
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.
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.)
What country would you most like to visit with a partner?
What sort of place would you rather visit with your mates than solo?
Hi, I’m Cassie, and I’ve been solo travelling the globe since May 2018. In this time, I’ve backpacked around Southeast Asia, Japan and The Balkans, alongside spending a year living in Australia. Currently isolating in New Zealand.