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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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                      Published on November 14, 2018

                      Why You Suffer from Constant Fatigue and How to Deal with It

                      Why You Suffer from Constant Fatigue and How to Deal with It

                      With our busy, always on lives, it seems that more and more of us are facing constant tiredness and fatigue on a regular basis.

                      For many people, they just take this in their stride as part of modern life, but for others the impact can be crippling and can have a serious effect on their sense of wellbeing, health and productivity.

                      In this article, I’ll share some of the most common causes of constant tiredness and fatigue and give you some guidance and action steps you can take to overcome some of the symptoms of fatigue.

                      Why Am I Feeling Fatigued?

                      Fatigue is extreme tiredness resulting from mental or physical exertion or illness.  It is a reduction in the efficiency of a muscle or organ after prolonged activity.[1]

                      It can affect anyone, and most adults will experience fatigue at some point in their life. 

                      For many people, fatigue is caused by a combination of lifestyle, social, psychological and general wellbeing issues rather than an underlying medical condition.

                      Although fatigue is sometimes described as tiredness, it is different to just feeling tired or sleepy. Everyone feels tired at some point, but this is usually resolved with a nap or a few nights of good sleep. Someone who is sleepy may also feel temporarily refreshed after exercising. If you are getting enough sleep, good nutrition and exercising regularly but still find it hard to perform, concentrate or be motivated at your normal levels, you may be experiencing a level of fatigue that needs further investigation. 

                      Symptoms of Fatigue

                      Fatigue can cause a vast range of physical, mental and emotional symptoms including:

                      • chronic tiredness, exhaustion or sleepiness
                      • mental blocks
                      • lack of motivation
                      • headache
                      • dizziness
                      • muscle weakness
                      • slowed reflexes and responses
                      • impaired decision-making and judgement
                      • moodiness, such as irritability
                      • impaired hand-to-eye coordination
                      • reduced immune system function
                      • blurry vision
                      • short-term memory problems
                      • poor concentration
                      • reduced ability to pay attention to the situation at hand

                      Causes of Fatigue

                      The wide range of causes that can trigger fatigue include:

                      • Medical causes: Constant exhaustion, tiredness and fatigue may be a sign of an underlying illness, such as a thyroid disorder, heart disease, anemia or diabetes.
                      • Lifestyle-related causes: Being overweight and a lack of regular exercise can lead to feelings of fatigue.  Lack of sleep and overcommitting can also create feelings of excessive tiredness and fatigue.
                      • Workplace-related causes: Workplace and financial stress in a variety of forms can lead to feelings of fatigue.
                      • Emotional concerns and stress: Fatigue is a common symptom of mental health problems, such as depression and grief, and may be accompanied by other signs and symptoms, including irritability and lack of motivation.

                      Fatigue can also be caused by a number of factors working in combination.

                      Medical Causes of Fatigue

                      If you have made lifestyle changes to increase your energy and still feel exhausted and fatigued, it may be time to seek guidance from your doctor.

                      Here are a few examples of illnesses that can cause ongoing fatigue. Seek medical advice if you suspect you have a health problem:

                      Anemia

                      Anemia is a condition in which you don’t have enough healthy red blood cells to carry adequate oxygen to the body’s tissues. It is a common cause of fatigue in women.

                      Having anemia may make you feel tired and weak.

                      There are many forms of anemia, each with its own cause. Anemia can be temporary or long term, and it can range from mild to severe.[2]

                      Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS)

                      Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) is a condition that can cause persistent, unexplained fatigue that interferes with daily activities for more than six months.

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                      This is a chronic condition with no one-size-fits-all treatment, but lifestyle changes can often help ease some symptoms of fatigue.[3]

                      Diabetes

                      Diabetes can cause fatigue with either high or low blood sugars. When your sugars are high, they remain in the bloodstream instead of being used for energy, which makes you feel fatigued. Low blood sugar (glucose) means you may not have enough fuel for energy, also causing fatigue.[4]

                      Sleep Apnea

                      Sleep apnea is a serious sleep disorder where sufferers briefly stop breathing for short periods during sleep. Most people are not aware this is happening, but it can cause loud snoring, and daytime fatigue.

                      Being overweight, smoking, and drinking alcohol can all worsen the symptoms of sleep apnea.[5]

                      Thyroid disease

                      An underactive thyroid gland means you have too little thyroid hormone (thyroxine) in your body. This makes you feel tired and you could also put on weight and have aching muscles and dry skin.[6]

                      Common lifestyle factors that can cause fatigue include:

                      • Lack of sleep
                      • Too much sleep 
                      • Alcohol and drugs 
                      • Sleep disturbances 
                      • Lack of regular exercise and sedentary behaviour 
                      • Poor diet 

                      Common workplace issues that can cause fatigue include:

                      • Shift work: Our body is designed to sleep during the night. A shift worker may confuse their circadian clock by working when their body is programmed to be asleep.
                      • Poor workplace practices: This may include long work hours, hard physical labour, irregular working hours (such as rotating shifts), a stressful work environment, boredom or working alone. 
                      • Workplace stress – This can be caused by a wide range of factors including job dissatisfaction, heavy workload, conflicts with bosses or colleagues, bullying, or threats to job security.
                      • Burnout: This could be striving too hard on one area of your life while neglecting others, which leads to a life that feels out of balance.

                      Psychological Causes of Fatigue

                      Psychological factors are present in many cases of extreme tiredness and fatigue.  These may include:

                      • Depression: Depression is characterised by severe and prolonged feelings of sadness, dejection and hopelessness. People who are depressed commonly experience chronic fatigue.
                      • Anxiety and stress: Someone who is constantly anxious or stressed keeps their body in overdrive. The constant flooding of adrenaline exhausts the body, and fatigue sets in.
                      • Grief: Losing a loved one causes a wide range of emotions including shock, guilt, depression, despair and loneliness.

                      How to Tackle Constant Fatigue

                      Here are 12 ways you can start tackling the causes of fatigue and start feeling more energetic.

                      1. Tell The Truth

                      Some people can numb themselves to the fact that they are overtired or fatigued all the time. In the long run, this won’t help you.

                      To give you the best chance to overcome or eliminate fatigue, you must diagnose and tell the truth about the things that are draining your energy, making you tired or causing constant fatigue.

                      Once you’re honest with yourself about the activities you’re doing in your life that you find irritating, energy-draining, and make you tired on a regular basis you can make a commitment to stop doing them.

                      The help that you need to overcome fatigue is available to you, but not until you tell the truth about it. The first person you have to sell on getting rid of the causes of fatigue is yourself.

                      One starting point is to diagnose the symptoms. When you start feeling stressed, overtired or just not operating at your normal energy levels make a note of:

                      • How you feel
                      • What time of day it is
                      • What may have contributed to your fatigue
                      • How your mind and body reacts

                      This analysis may help you identify, understand and then eliminate very specific causes.

                      2. Reduce Your Commitments

                      When we have too many things on our plate personally and professionally, we can feel overstretched, causing physical and mental fatigue.

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                      If you have committed to things you really don’t want to do, this causes irritability and low emotional engagement. Stack these up throughout your day and week, then your stress levels will rise.

                      When these commitments have deadlines associated with them, you may be trying to cram in far too much in a short period of time.  This creates more stress and can affect your decision making ability.

                      Start being realistic about how much you can get done. Either reduce the commitments you have or give yourself more time to complete them in.

                      3. Get Clear On Your Priorities

                      If working on your list of to-do’s or goals becomes too overwhelming, start reducing and prioritizing the things that matter most.

                      Start with prioritizing just 3 things every day. When you complete those 3 things, you’ll get a rush of energy and your confidence will grow.

                      If you’re trying to juggle too many things and are multi-tasking, your energy levels will drop and you’ll struggle to maintain focus.

                      Unfinished projects can make you self-critical and feel guilty which drops energy levels further, creating inaction.

                      Make a list of your 3 MIT (Most Important Tasks) for the next day before you go to bed. This will stop you overcommitting and get you excited about what the next day can bring.

                      4. Express More Gratitude

                      Gratitude and confidence are heavily linked. Just being thankful for what you have and what you’ve achieved increases confidence and makes you feel more optimistic.

                      It can help you improve your sense of wellbeing, which can bring on feelings of joy and enthusiasm.

                      Try starting a gratitude journal or just note down 3 things you’re grateful for every day.

                      5. Focus On Yourself

                      Exhaustion and fatigue can arrive by focusing solely on other people’s needs all the time, rather than worrying about and focusing on what you need (and want).

                      There are work commitments, family commitments, social commitments. You may start with the best intentions, to put in your best performance at work, to be an amazing parent and friend, to simply help others.

                      But sometimes, we extend ourselves too much and go beyond our personal limits to help others. That’s when constant exhaustion can creep up on us.  Which can make us more fatigued.

                      We all want to help and do our best for others, but there needs to be some balance. We also need to take some time out just for ourselves to recharge and rejuvenate.

                      6. Set Aside Rest and Recovery Time

                      Whether it’s a couple of hours, a day off, a mini-break or a proper holiday, time off is essential to help us recover, recharge and refocus.

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                      Recovery time helps fend off mental fatigue and allows us to simply kick back and relax.

                      The key here, though, is to remove ourselves from the daily challenges that bring on tiredness and fatigue. Here’s how.

                      Can you free yourself up completely from work and personal obligations to just rest and recover?

                      7. Take a Power Nap

                      When you’re feeling tired or fatigued and you have the ability to take a quick 20-minute nap, it could make a big difference to your performance for the rest of the day.

                      Napping can improve learning, memory and boost your energy levels quickly.

                      This article on the benefit of napping is a useful place to start if you want to learn more: How a 20-Minute Nap at Work Makes You Awake and Productive the Whole Day

                      8. Take More Exercise

                      The simple act of introducing some form of physical activity into your day can make a huge difference. It can boost energy levels, make you feel much better about yourself and can help you avoid fatigue.

                      Find something that fits into your life, be that walking, going to the gym, running or swimming. 

                      The key is to ensure the exercise is regular and that you are emotionally engaged and committed to stick with it.

                      You could also walk more which will help clear your head and shift your focus away from stressful thoughts.

                      9. Get More Quality Sleep

                      To avoid tiredness, exhaustion and fatigue, getting enough quality sleep matters. 

                      Your body needs sleep to recharge.  Getting the right amount of sleep every night can improve your health, reduce stress levels and help us improve our memory and learning skills.

                      My previous article on The Benefits of Sleep You Need to Know will give you some action steps to start improving your sleep. 

                      10. Improve Your Diet

                      Heavy or fatty meals can make you feel sluggish and tired, whilst some foods or eating strategies do just the opposite.

                      Our always on lives have us reaching for sweets or other sugary snacks to give us a burst of energy to keep going. Unfortunately, that boost fades quickly which can leave you feeling depleted and wanting more.

                      On the other hand, whole grains and healthy unsaturated fats supply the reserves you can draw on throughout the day.

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                      To keep energy up and steady, it’s a good idea to limit refined sugar and starches.

                      Eating small meals and healthy snacks every few hours throughout the day provides a steady supply of nutrients to body and brain. It’s also important not to skip breakfast.

                      Eating a balanced diet helps keep your blood sugar in a normal range and prevents that sluggish feeling when your blood sugar drops.

                      11. Manage Your Stress Levels

                      Stress is one of the leading causes of exhaustion and fatigue, and can seriously affect your health.

                      When you have increased levels of stress at work and at home, it’s easy to feel exhausted all the time. 

                      Identifying the causes of stress and then tackling the problems should be a priority. 

                      My article on How to Help Anxiety When Life is Stressing You Out shares 16 strategies you can use to overcome stress.

                      12. Get Hydrated

                      Sometimes we can be so busy that we forget to keep ourselves fully hydrated.

                      Water makes up about 60 percent of your body weight and is essential in maintaining our body’s basic functions.

                      If we don’t have enough water, it can adversely affect our mental and physical performance, which leads to tiredness and fatigue.

                      The recommended daily amount is around two litres a day, so to stay well hydrated keep a water bottle with you as much as possible.

                      The Bottom Line

                      These 12 tips can help you reduce your tiredness and feeling of fatigue.  Some will work better than others as we are all different, whilst others can be incorporated together in your daily life.

                      If you’ve tried to make positive changes to reduce fatigue and you still feel tired and exhausted, it may be time to consider making an appointment with your doctor to discuss your condition.

                      Featured photo credit: Annie Spratt via unsplash.com

                      Reference

                      [1]Oxford English Dictionary: Definition of fatigue
                      [2]NHS Choices: 10 Reasons for feeling tired
                      [3]Verywellhealth: What is chronic fatigue syndrome
                      [4]Everyday Health: Why does type 2 diabetes make you feel tired
                      [5]Mayo Clinic: Sleep apnea
                      [6]Harvard Health: The lowdown on thyroid slowdown

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