There is something to be said for solo travel. While I love the sister-time of traveling with a girlfriend and the allure of #baecation, solo travel definitely has that X factor, that certain something that you can’t replicate by traveling with another person. There are a million and one reasons why people put off traveling alone, but here are a few reasons to “Just Do It” and a few tips to help you get through your first solo adventure.
Growing up the youngest child, the only girl in my family, heck, the only girl in four generations of my paternal lineage, bestows upon you an incredible feeling of luck, like the gods are watching over you and you are supposed to be here. Living in New York off an on for the last 20 years gives you the sense that you’ve amassed some street smarts over these past two decades. Or I could just be crazy…all are probably true to some degree. Whatever the reason, I have stopped looking for the answer and just accepted, to the horror of friends and family that I am somewhat of a travel danger junkie. Not in the bungee jumping adrenaline junkie kind of way, but my travel choices over the past few years have raised more than a few eyebrows and questions peppered with the phrase “Are you crazy?” have been lobbied at me more times than I can remember.
There is no doubt that for many people, Paris is the darling of France. Rich in culture, draped in gorgeous architecture, and haute couture, what’s not to love? But if you’ve been there done that, here’s a newsflash: there’s so much more to France than just Paris and the Eiffel Tower–like wine, lots and lots of wine.
South Africa may seem like the impossible trip of a lifetime, that one you’re saving for your honeymoon, or saving those coins hoping that someday, maybe, kinda sorta you might find a way to get there. Indeed, halfway across the globe, South Africa seems like a world away, but thanks to the Rand (R) to Dollar exchange rate (at press time, the exchange rate is nearly R15 to $1.00) and summer airfare sales, that illusive trip just got that much closer.
As the southernmost point in the United States, Key West has always been a top tourist destination. An easy three-and-a-half hour drive from Miami, it’s peppered with pastel hued Victorian style houses and has a distinctly Caribbean vibe. Park your car for the weekend; Key West is 4.5 miles long and one mile wide so it’s easily walkable–and that’s a good thing, because Open Bottle laws don’t apply here. If you load up on shopping from many of the cute boutiques on Duvall Street, rent a bike from your hotel or any of the street vendors to explore this little slice of island heaven.
Maybe you’ve heard about this little island in the Caribbean, but in case you haven’t, get ready to add yet another destination to your must-see list. This island is currently having a major PR moment, and for good reason. Guadeloupe is affordable, easy to get to, and a little slice of European heaven set in the crystal waters of the Caribbean.
After being wowed by the ancient pagodas across the plains of Bagan, Myanmar, I headed back to Southeast Asia, this time to Siem Reap, Cambodia to visit the religious, spiritual, and artistic highlights the city had to offer.
Somewhere between the news about the danger of Syria, their neighbors to the north, and the threat of ISIS, Beirut has gotten a bad rap. Not many Americans dare visit, and while hesitant at first, I’m glad I did. Located on a peninsula of the Mediterranean Sea, Beirut is the capital of Lebanon, and also its largest city. Once referred to as the “Paris of the Middle East,” Beirut is recovering from a 16-year civil war (1975-1990) that destroyed much of its infrastructure and pitted Muslims against Christians. But this city is definitely on the come up.
I'm back in Bagan, a place in Central Myanmar (formerly Burma), that I’d fallen in love with on my first trip in 2013. Prior to 2012, tourism to Myanmar had been severely restricted because of the country’s political unrest. There were few ATMs, and even fewer hotels catering to American expectations. But how times have changed.
I was sitting in the U.S. Passport Office in downtown New York having a déjà vu.
Under the florescent lights waiting for my number to be called, my mind was trying to think of a way that governments could eliminate these annoying passport booklets. “There has to be an app for this,” I thought.