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10 Destinations Every Woman Should Travel To—Alone

10 Destinations Every Woman Should Travel To—Alone

Traveling alone is a liberating experience that promotes self-discovery, stretches your comfort zone and feeds your passions. You have the freedom to create your own schedule, be social when you want and relax when you want. Traveling alone also opens you up to meeting people and forming stronger connections than you would if you were with a travel mate.

Whether it’s by choice or because your schedule doesn’t line up with someone else, solo travel is an experience every woman should experience at least once in her life.

As a woman who has traveled to dozens of cities and countries alone, I often get asked if I feel safe. Not a surprising question considering 47% of travel agents noted the greatest concern of their solo women travel clients is encountering a dangerous situation.

I believe whether you are at home, traveling with others, or traveling alone you need to be aware of your surroundings. Applying a balance of caution and trust, being sensible, and using your gut instinct to make decisions goes a long way wherever you are and whomever you are with. Check out some tips for solo women travelers to stay safe on WholesomeTravel.

Here is a list of destinations that are my personal favorite to travel to alone. In each of these scenically beautiful places I felt safe, made friends easy, and found a lot of fulfilling activities to do.

1. Rome, Italy

rome

    The capital of a country known for romance, delicious food, beautiful people and inspiring fashion, Rome is an experience that indulges all five senses. Walking around this vibrant city as a woman alone allows you to feel fully present and empowered, plus you may even get a marriage proposal.

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    When you aren’t taste-testing each gelato flavor and wondering how pasta made so simple can taste so good, explore Rome on a guided bike tour. Visualize the Roman Empire in its full glory while visiting the ancient Roman sites of the Coliseum, Roman Forum and Pantheon. See the home of the pope at St Peter’s Basilica and The Vatican City. Put on some comfortable shoes and explore the cobble laneways and piazzas while drinking clean water from the fountains.

    2. Chiang Mai, Thailand

    ChiangMai

      Nestled in the foothills of northern Thailand just a one-hour flight from Bangkok, Chiang Mai showcases traditional Thai culture while also allowing you to find your zen. With its abundance of vegetarian dishes, array of yoga styles, and over 300 Buddhist temples sprinkled throughout the city, Chiang Mai is the perfect destination for both the seeker and health-conscious traveler.

      Chiang Mai is a safe city to walk around the back streets discovering hidden temples and healthy restaurants. When you feel like meeting others hop on a single or multi-day trek for some bamboo rafting, elephant riding and a visit to long neck villages. To get your shopping fix don’t miss the Sunday night market showcasing local artisan wares and exquisite Northern Thai food.

      3. Goa, India

      Goa

        Warm all year, with palm trees dotting its 30 beaches, Goa receives over two million visitors annually. This beach state provides a more western and relaxed atmosphere where the usual modest clothing rule that applies to the rest of India can be dropped. It’s also the place women feel safe and can travel around more freely.

        Arambol and Mandrem beaches in the north, and Palolem and Patnem beaches in the south are great places to chill on sun beds listening to tunes, while sipping mango lassies. Meditate, take yoga classes and enjoy international cuisines while watching the sun set over the ocean.

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        When in the north don’t miss the weekly Anjuna Flea Market on Wednesdays, and while visiting the more laid back south, enjoy dancing at Palolem Beach’s Silent Noise headphone party held every Saturday night.

        4. Melbourne, Australia

        melbourne

          Known for it’s artistic culture, award-winning food, live music and the best shopping in Australia, Melbourne is a safe, interesting, and lively city for women traveling alone.

          Take advantage of the city’s efficient public transport system and hop on a tram to the hipster St. Kilda neighborhood where you can cozy up in a cafe with a good book or jump on a ride at Luna Park. Get your shopping fix at Chapel Street in Prahran or the funky Brunswick Street in Collingwood and Fitzroy. Check out one of the many free festivals, or if visiting in January watch the tennis live at the Australian Open.

          5. Tulum, Mexico

          Tulum

            Set on the Caribbean Sea, just a few hours south of Cancun and Playa Del Carmen, Tulum’s white sandy beaches and aquamarine waters are enough to relax anyone into a state of bliss. Beautiful, safe and quieter than surrounding tourist areas, Tulum is a tropical hideaway that gives solo travelers the choice to have a relaxing beach or yoga vacation, or mingle with other travelers and friendly locals.

            Explore the Tulum Ruins and swim in local cenotes (water holes). Hang by your beach bungalow during the day and head into town at night for cheap eats and live music. Rent a car and go meditate at the Chichen Itza Mayan ruins or swim with the turtles at Akumal beach.

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            6. Maui, Hawaii

            Maui

              Bring the spirit of Aloha into your life and let Maui capture your heart with its beautiful coastline and abundance of colorful flowers. As a safe and laid back island, Maui has a lot of adventures women can embark on alone. Wrap a sarong around your waist and pin a frangipani in your hair to embrace your full femininity.

              Load up on healthy food at Mana Foods groceries in Maui’s surfing suburb of Paia and don’t miss the nearby town of Makawao’s free street party on every third Friday of the month. Drive the scenic road to Hana and indulge in the waterfalls and swimming pools on the way. Set your alarm clock and get up early to watch the sunrise from Haleakala Crater. Boost your fitness by renting a road bike from Maui Cyclery and explore the sights in a more intimate way.

              7. Ubud, Bali

              Ubud

                Surrounded by rice paddies and lush forest just a stone’s throw away from the ocean, Ubud is a solo traveler’s paradise. Easy to walk everywhere safely and meet others, the town of Ubud boasts some of the most delicious and healthy meals for under five dollars. Shop at high quality local designer fashion stores, and load up on yoga clothes and mala beads on Hanuman street.

                Say hello to the local monkeys at the Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary, explore luscious rice paddies on the Camphuan Ridge Walk and glimpse into local village life on a downhill bike tour. Don’t miss taking a yoga class and getting a luxury massage for a fraction of the price at home.

                8. Santa Monica, U.S

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                Santa Monica

                  Set on the Pacific West Coast of Southern California, Santa Monica has a beach culture and vibe unique to its own. Neighboring the hipster suburb of Venice, Santa Monica offers an abundance of activities and sites for all types of travelers, including women traveling alone.

                  When you’re not tanning on the beach enjoying the year-round warm temperatures, hit the 26-mile bike path going from Santa Monica to Redondo Beach for some biking, jogging or roller-skating. You may even see a celebrity. Grab an organic juice on Main Street from one of the many juice bars before hitting a yoga class and grabbing a vegan lunch at the famous Cafe Gratitude. For some fresh local food and entertainment, check out the local farmers market every Sunday.

                  9. Amsterdam, The Netherlands

                  Amsterdam

                    Surrounded by beautiful architecture, world-famous museums and canals, Amsterdam is a safe, friendly, and vibrant city with so much to explore on your own, you’ll never feel bored.

                    If you aren’t on a city walking tour, do as locals do and hop on a bike while you explore some history at the Van Gogh museum and the Anne Frank House. Explore the city by water on a canal cruise, smell some beautiful tulips at the Amsterdam Tulip museum, and hit the city center shops of Kalverstraat and the Leidsestraat for some retail therapy.

                    10. Cusco, Peru

                    Peru

                      Sitting at 11,200 feet (3,400 meters) above sea level, Cusco is the cosmopolitan Inca capital of Peru and gateway to Machu Picchu. As a city booming with tourism and home to many expats, Cusco is a safe destination for solo female travelers and offers a throng of fun activities to do before you embark on the epic Inca Trail.

                      Admire the Andean baroque architecture as you walk through the cobblestone streets on a free walking tour. Indulge in delicious local cuisine in the colorful Plaza de Armas and pick up a llama wool scarf and local handicraft in the Mercado central market. Explore nature on a mystical horseback riding trip and visit the astrologically fascinating Incan ruins at nearby Sacsayhuaman (pronounced like “sexy woman”). Observe local culture and buy gifts from local women handicraft cooperatives during a day tour of the Sacred Valley.

                      Photo Credits: Rome Coliseum, Chiang Mai Buddha, Goa Cow, Melbourne Tram, Tulum Beach, Road to Hana in Maui, Ubud Sculpture, Santa Monica Lifeguard Tower, Amsterdam Bike, Cusco Woman via Creative Commons

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                      Kelly Weiss

                      Purpose-driven business + lifestyle coach

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                      Last Updated on September 10, 2019

                      7 Morning Rituals to Empower Your Day And Change Your Life

                      7 Morning Rituals to Empower Your Day And Change Your Life

                      Most of your reality is not a given. It is shaped by your expectations, beliefs and thoughts you have formed about it. A big chunk of these beliefs and expectations are encoded into habits you integrate in your daily life.

                      Yes, some of these habits are formed unconsciously and can be counter-productive or limiting but conversely, you can consciously form positive habits that will transform and empower your life significantly.

                      This is a powerful point of departure that more and more people are becoming aware of. The most common trait of highly successful people is the recognition of the power they have in co-creating their reality through changing the way they think, believe or expect their reality to be.

                      One of the most effective ways of changing our belief patterns is through practising and maintaining daily rituals. Ancient traditions had clearly understood the power of rituals in reinforcing habits and changing the way we see and create our reality a long, long time ago.

                      Once again, if you look into the life history of any highly successful individual, you will find some form of ritual in their daily routine. Some of these rituals may seem banal or eccentric but don’t be deceived by appearances. Rituals are one of the most effective self-empowering tools freely available at the practitioner’s disposal – that is, you!

                      Below are some the easiest yet life-changing morning rituals you can do every day. Of course, you can have your own afternoon or bed-time rituals but morning rituals are extremely effective in empowering your day since they help you charge yourself before it all starts.

                      1. Gratitude

                      Feeling gratitude and appreciation for those little signs and moments of joy happening in your life is probably one of the most overlooked or underestimated rituals. It is a perfect morning ritual to start your day on a very positive key.

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                      The real power of gratitude is that it makes you pick out and focus on what is working in your life – what is in tune with your being as a whole. It is selectively positive. It reinforces happiness and positivity by shedding light on those awesome things, small or big, that grace your everyday living.

                      Quite often, we just pick out the pain points, the problems, the bottle necks, whatever it is that is not working in our life and causing friction, anxiety and unhappiness. This is like constantly rewriting the script of your life with a negative or tragic overtone. Your subconscious mind follows faithfully that script you write whether it is a negative or positive one.

                      So feeling gratitude is undoubtedly an immensely empowering ritual. Start your day by being thankful for those positive things that happened the previous day or throughout the week. It could be something really petty and small. It doesn’t matter. You might be grateful for an unexpected visit from an old friend, a beautiful encounter with a kind stranger, a new opportunity or whatever it is that shines your way. Do it every morning and see what happens during the day.

                      Gratitude-Quotes

                        2. Writing Down Your Most Important Tasks

                        This is a very practical ritual. Start your day by identifying and writing down from one to three of the most important tasks you need to complete during that day. These tasks are ones which support important long term goals that are aligned to your purpose, passion or general direction in life.

                        For example, if writing a book or building an online community are important long term goals which are aligned to your personal growth, then an important task for the day might be finishing off a particular page or two of the book or coming up with fresh content ideas for the online community.

                        What is important with this ritual is that you identify these tasks and complete them as early in the day as possible. Of course, you will have other tasks apart from the ones you will write down but, these are tasks which can be tackled later or batched up and carried out in one go.

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                        Writing down your most important tasks in the morning helps you focus your day and life according to what is essential. It helps you prioritize and manage your time better. As a result, you simplify your life by applying your focus and energy on what really counts for your overall life progress.

                        3. Affirm Your Goals in Writing or Drawing

                        This is similar to the previous idea but different in its application and purpose. Writing down your most important tasks of the day is a way to have a concrete structure of action to follow. Affirming your goals, on the other hand, is a very powerful way of crystallizing your vision and goals in life into your everyday mental space.

                        Writing down or doodling your goals on a piece of paper helps you externalize those goals by giving them form. In return, they are reflected back in your subconscious mind and thus, reinforcing them and integrating them more wholly.

                        An example of this would be writing down “I am achieving greater success in my career” or “I am becoming healthier and stronger through my exercise.” Notice the present tense being used as a way to tell yourself you are in the process already. Remember the life script we subconsciously follow? You are basically modifying the script to be applied now in the present.

                        Drawing or doodling can be equally, or even more, effective  (if you are more of a visual person) as it summarizes a graphical representation of your goals. For example, if your goal is to build a new house or live in another country, you can draw the house or draw things that symbolise the country you want to live in.

                        write down goals

                          4. Practice Qi Gong Exercises

                          According to Chinese philosophy, Qi (pronounced ‘Chee’) means the life force or energy inherent in all things;[1] and Qi Gong is the practice to cultivate and circulate that energy in your body. This may sound esoteric or complicated but actually, Qi Gong is really a set of simple exercises aimed at increasing your health and vitality.

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                          There are numerous forms and practices available for free through the online media. As a morning ritual, I recommend following these simple exercises by Qi Gong master Lee Holden:

                          5. Drink Hot Water with Lemon

                          Simply add a slice of lemon in a glass of hot water and drink one every morning. This is a very simple ritual I follow faithfully every morning.

                          Apart from being a good source of vitamin C and a great way of flushing out toxins in the morning, it balances and maintains the PH levels in the body, reduces pain and inflammation in joints and knees and helps nourishing brain and nerve cells. Here are some more benefits of drinking hot water with lemon.

                          6. Rise Earlier

                          The practical advantages of waking up early are obvious.

                          For example, you gain more time for doing exercise such as walking, cycling or Qi Gong as suggested above. You gain more time to be with yourself to reflect, meditate or, more importantly, carry out the other morning rituals.

                          So rising early can be seen as a foundation for all the other morning rituals. Many, like myself, find that they are more productive in the early hours of the day.

                          Also, various studies have shown that there are many other benefits from waking up an hour or two earlier in the morning. Sleeping early and waking up early helps the body attune with the earth’s circadian rhythms thus, promoting more restorative sleep. Other curious results from such studies show, for instance, that early risers tend to be more optimistic and can anticipate and solve problems more efficiently than the norm.[2]

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                          7. Listen to Uplifting Music

                          Uplifting music can have a direct impact on our mood, especially in the morning. It charges us emotionally and tunes us into a more positive outlook of the day ahead.

                          Most people wake up to music or listen to music as they commute to work. Very often, however, they tune in to a radio or randomly pick a playlist from their device. Being more selective and conscious of the music you listen to in the morning can have a great impact on your day and life in general.

                          It’s funny how we try to choose music according to our mood. For example if you are feeling down or disappointed by something, you are more prone to listen to music that reflects that mood – for instance blues, sad songs or downtempo music. This has the effect of reinforcing that mood. What you need to do is the exact opposite and retune your mood by listening to music that beats to a different tune than that mood.

                          Try to listen to more uplifting music in the morning even if, or especially if, your mood does not dictate so.

                          More About Energetic Habits & Rituals

                          Featured photo credit: Carli Jeen via unsplash.com

                          Reference

                          [1] Live Science: What Is Qi Gong
                          [2] Harvard Business Review: Defend Your Research: The Early Bird Really Does Get the Worm

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