If pushing yourself out of your comfort zone is at the top of your agenda this year, booking a solo travel experience might be a good place to start. Friends weekends and romantic getaways are great—and often very necessary—but there’s something potentially life-changing about testing your own boundaries by exploring new places on your own.
“Solo travel makes you more outgoing. It requires you to engage with people you normally may not need to speak to and can open your mind to all different types,” says Dr. Magdalena Swierczewski, the founder of ExplorerMD. “You also learn more about yourself, as you have time to observe, reflect, and learn who you are and how you react to certain situations. Solo travel makes you feel strong.”
Where to start? If you’re planning to go abroad, Dr. Swierczewski suggests spending time researching areas of interest and familiarizing yourself with the culture and customs, specifically as they pertain to women, since safety should always be a first priority.
Still, solo travel doesn’t always mean hightailing it to faraway lands or planning a once-in-a-lifetime voyage.
“If you have the travel bug and want to [go] solo, a good way to start is short-distance domestic travel,” says Dr. Swierczewski. “You have the language down, which gives you more confidence, and after a few trips, you can graduate to international solo travel.” Plus, trips around the country can also be shorter—even if just a long weekend—making them ideal for those of us who can’t duck out of work for weeks on end.
Read on for eight cool, unexpected American destinations to consider this year.
This mid-Atlantic destination is often overlooked and ripe for entourage-free exploration. Art enthusiasts will love strolling through the NEON district, a mural-filled neighborhood where you can visit the Glass Wheel Studio, catch a comedy show, or attend an opera performance. Later, head to the cozy bar at Todd Jurich’s Bistro for drinks and some hand-harvested Eastern Shore oysters.
Courtesy of Pearson’s Pond Luxury Inn