SOLO traveling is reminiscent of Julia Roberts cycling along the grassy roads in Ubud while she was sad in the film Eat, Pray, Love, or Diane Lane dragging her suitcase to a Tuscan villa in the film Under the Tuscan Sun. Traveling alone like them is sometimes needed to find freedom and cure sadness or calm oneself, as long as the goal is right.

When it comes to deciding on a destination, Ubud and Tuscany in Italy are two great choices. However, currently there are many choices of solo traveling destinations abroad that are no less interesting.

The founder of the Black Tomato travel agency, Tom Marchant, said that one of the criteria for a solo traveling destination is a train, ferry and bus transportation system that is easy to use, especially if you don’t feel comfortable renting a car. He also suggested looking for friendly countries.

“The thing that brings together so many diverse cultures [that are] great for solo travel is that they love to invite travelers into their world, their communities, and their extended families,” says Marchant.

Vogue has collected several destinations that are considered the best for solo traveling this year, see the list:
1. Health Care in Thailand
Koh Samui Island is a popular wellness tourism destination. With mountain rainforests, hidden waterfalls and pristine beaches, this destination delights tourists’ senses. Enjoy a day alone with treatments like Ayurvedic massage and acupressure facials with beautiful views.

2. Enjoy culinary delights in Japan
Famous for its world-class cuisine, Japan is a paradise for solo travelers looking to satisfy any appetite. Elizabeth Harvey from Indagare, suggests Tokyo and Kyoto, which are frequented by solo travelers. Apart from its culinary culture, Japan is a country famous for its friendly local people.

“There is a deep sense of mutual responsibility and accountability that governs everyday life in Japan, meaning solo travelers will feel safe and cared for,” she said.

3. Retreat in Mexico
Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula is filled with natural beauty and ancient history. The region is revered for its Mayan culture, which is the basis of the four- to six-night retreat program. The program takes tourists on a journey of self-reflection with experiences such as sound healing in a limestone cenote, a private Temazcal ceremony with a spiritual leader, and excursions to archaeological ruins.

4. Enjoy a train journey in Portugal
Portugal’s train routes make it seem like cars are no longer needed there, says Essentialist Founder and CEO Joan Roca. She suggests starting in Porto and stopping in Lisbon before taking the ferry to Comporta to relax on the beach.

“A solo trip here is easy thanks to the many great dining options, city tours and cultural discovery options.” The main rail providers in the country are the Combios de Portugal and the Douro Line which offers beautiful river and valley views.

5. Spiritual Introspection in Bhutan
A common intention for planning a solo trip is a desire for spiritual introspection. “Despite being a difficult destination to reach, Bhutan is known as a pleasant and peaceful place to be alone,” said Roca. Bhutan is over 70% forested and is the world’s first carbon negative country, so hiking and wildlife watching are part of everyday life.

6. Island Hopping in the Philippines
The Philippine tropical archipelago consists of more than seven thousand islands in the Pacific Ocean. For solo travelers, island-hopping itineraries are a breeze thanks to the network of ferries and flights that strategically connect the country. “The Philippines is safe, friendly, and easy to find English speakers,” said Roca.

7. Search for ancient wisdom in Greece
Greece’s islands attract tourists with their views and turquoise waters, but if you don’t like crowds, head to the Peloponnese peninsula. This little-known region is rich in natural beauty and home to Euphoria Retreat, a luxury wellness resort located within the Unesco World Heritage site of Mystras.

8. Adventures in New Zealand
The otherworldly landscapes combined with the laid-back locals make New Zealand an attractive choice for solo travel, especially for travelers looking for a life-changing trip. “This country has some of the most memorable adventure accommodations in the world,” concluded Harvey. [sources/photo special]