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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

                      More by this author

                      Kelly Weiss

                      Purpose-driven business + lifestyle coach

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                      Last Updated on January 15, 2019

                      8 Simple Mindfulness Exercises to Bring Peace and Happiness to Your Life

                      8 Simple Mindfulness Exercises to Bring Peace and Happiness to Your Life

                      In life, we all need to be conscientious of what we are doing. You don’t need to live a life of stress if you don’t want to. You can achieve peace and happiness in life by carefully building mindfulness exercises into your life’s routine.

                      Exercising mindfulness isn’t rocket science and as importantly, you can do it. It will, however, take a few tries to get into the groove of things but once you get it, it is like riding a bike, you will never lose it.

                      Trust me. It’s in your best interest to learn and put these mindfulness exercises into practice. In this article, I will share with you 8 mindfulness exercises that will help you to boost your energy, vitality and live a more peaceful and happier life.

                      Why Is It Hard to Live A Peaceful And Happy Life?

                      Our Habitat Has Become Too Technological

                      The world has accepted the idea that technology is often the cure for all evil. We have accepted, as a society, that everything technological will make us live a better life without fully investigating the many side effects that modernity brings.

                      There are a number of technological side effects that have a tremendous impact on your life that the media rarely tells you about.[1] Some of them include self-harm, economic inequality, having less sex, and even suicide. The global community is becoming less happy because of technology.

                      How can anybody live a peaceful and happy life when they are depressed? Technology advancements, ladies and gents, is a major reason for why we are living a poor life because it has infiltrated our lives too much.

                      According to my research, Americans spend an average of 8 hours a day looking at the computer screen — The average screen time spent on smartphones alone is about 20 hours per week. That’s a lot! No wonder why living a happy and peaceful life is so difficult these days.

                      Too Many People Don’t Want to Unplug

                      Americans check their phones an average of 80 times during vacation.[2] Some admit to checking their smartphones 300 times every single day. In countries like Brazil, India and China, the situation is no different.

                      The reality is that people are constantly plugged into technological devices and this behavior is literally making people all over the globe fight an inner war with themselves, which consequently makes them very sad. As we know, war is the enemy of peace which won’t make anybody happy.

                      Listen carefully:

                      We have a global anxiety epidemic because people don’t want to unplug from their smartphones and most people aren’t doing anything to fix it. It is a sad state of affairs but very real. This obsession with technology is turning us into perishable robots who live terrible lives.

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                      The era of anxiety is here to stay. There is little doubt about it. We can, however, fight back with the best remedy of all — We call it mindfulness!

                      Thank God there is an antidote to this whole technological madness. Without further ado, let’s go straight to the mindful exercises.

                      8 Mindfulness Exercises to Start Practicing

                      There are tons of mindfulness exercises available for you to engage with out there.[3] In the paragraphs below, I will include the best ones I’ve personally tried or have seen my close friends and family members try.

                      Are you ready for it? Let’s go!

                      1. Pray Daily

                      You should pray on a daily basis. Why is that you may ask — Well, because science has told us to do so.

                      When people pray, they feel peaceful, almost eliminating anxiety. Worries become secondary, and often gives people energy and hope to cope with the difficulties of life.

                      Prayer can make you more confident and focused. Prayer also helps you with self-control, helps to control pain, and can protect you against illnesses and disorders like cancer and high blood pressure. At least, this is what researchers from Harvard Medical School have said.[4]

                      Pray. You won’t regret it.[5]

                      2. Pay Attention to Your Inner Thoughts

                      A lot of people allow themselves to be influenced by their negative thoughts. Be different and resist believing in them. It is a bad habit that can lead to unhappiness.

                      By the way, if you do feel this way, chances are high that somebody other than you put these thoughts into your head.

                      Here is my secret to combat this cancer — look at things objectively. I bet that if you look at things as they are, you will realize that most if not all of your negative thoughts are only inside of your head.

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                      If you pay close attention, you will quickly realize that these voices aren’t worth your time. Believe me — Ignoring them and looking at things with objectivity is often the best course of action.

                      This article can guide you to beat negative thoughts:

                      How to Stop Automatic Negative Thoughts When You’re Overwhelmed

                      3. Smile Often

                      Smiling will slow down your heart. It will also relax your body because when you smile, your body releases endorphins which in itself has a number of positive benefits for you as a person.

                      Smile often! You may want to smile early in the morning, during the day, and late in the evening. It is amazing what happens to you when you decide to smile instead of being grumpy.

                      Surrender your problems to a nice smile. You will notice two things. First, most people just don’t which makes them live a miserable life. Second, if you decide to smile often, you will eventually smile unconsciously which is the ideal.

                      The moment that you smile unconsciously, you then know that you are truly happy.

                      4. Organize Your Working Desk

                      A messy desk will make you less productive and can agitate and overstimulate you. You don’t want that.

                      When you clear your desk, you engage in deep inner-thinking and your systematic decision making ends up becoming therapeutic.

                      Most people realize that they are most creative when their creative space is clean and organized. The former often makes people more aware of what they are doing which lends to less stress and more productivity.

                      Organizing your desk will also make you more energetic and focused because order often decreases chaos which is a condition that often slows down daily progress.

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                      5. Celebrate Your Friend’s Victories

                      I love this mindful exercise. One of the best ways to live a happy and peaceful life is to celebrate the victories of others. When you do that, you automatically make your friends in a better mood which makes you in a better mood, as well.

                      Happiness is contagious! We might as well celebrate others as much as we can. If you find out that your peer has won an award, celebrate with him! If your friend is the recipient of a local charity award, celebrate with her!

                      What is also awesome is that when you celebrate with others, they often celebrate with you in return. This, ladies and gentleman, will make you feel fantastic. You can’t go wrong with this one, period.

                      6. Listen to Your Spouse/Partner

                      God put someone in your life for a reason. You might as well listen to him or her.

                      I listen to my wife everyday. In fact, I often ask the following question to her, “Amanda, what are your thoughts about…” or “What am I missing about…” It is shocking what I hear back from her. Without her having much context and perspective, by the art of observation in my own nonverbal behavior and the behavior of others, she accurately gives me incredible insights which helps me out with living my life to the fullest.

                      I’m a firm believer that spouses are supposed to engage in interpersonal communication every day. I most definitely do and will continue doing it. You should do the same.

                      7. Give Yourself a Break from Technology

                      You can’t be in total equilibrium if your computerized devices control your life. You must get away from technology on a daily basis.[6]

                      How do you do that? This is my formula:

                      First, go to my website (find my website here in my profile) and take the smartphone control test. It is only ten questions but this test will place you somewhere in the human robot cycle continuum.

                      If your score is between 25-30, take a break from the computer (or smartphone, pad, laptop/desktop) every twenty minutes and stop being on a computerized device after 8:00pm.

                      If you score between 30-35, still take a break every 20 minutes but stop being on these devices at 5:00pm.

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                      If you score more than 35, you need to take action immediately.

                      Limit computer use as much as possible throughout the day. Give yourself as many breaks from the computer as possible. Are you ready for the challenge?

                      8. Go Exercise

                      Go exercise at least three times a week. I don’t care if you need to workout early in the morning, late in the evening, on the weekends or during work days. Working out is absolutely imperative for you to live happy and peaceful life.

                      The stresses of the modern world are too much for you to neglect this important mindfulness exercise. When you go to the gym, you burn calories, focus on activities one step at a time, your mind relaxes, anxiety decreases, you sweat and often think about topics unrelated to your work place among many other benefits.

                      You must exercise at least three hours each week for optimum results. Why? Just take a look at all the benefits of regular exercising:

                      12 Benefits of Regular Exercise You Should Know

                      The Bottom Line

                      It’s in your best interest to learn and put these mindfulness exercises into practice. Now that our habitat has become too technological and many people just don’t want to unplug, engaging in daily prayer, celebrate your friends’ victories, and listening to your spouse are among the best ways to be mindful about what you are doing and how you are living.

                      It is possible to live a happy and peaceful life. It only depends on you.

                      Go exercise! Take a break from technology and invest in you! Life is too short for distractions.

                      More Resources About Mindfulness

                      Featured photo credit: Lesly Juarez via unsplash.com

                      Reference

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