Though Stacy Schwartz is a born-and-raised New Yorker, the urge to quit her full-time gig to travel the world—alone—for three months struck her hard and she hasn’t looked back since. Eventually, she started her own travel company, Ketanga Fitness Retreats. One trend she sees emerging is Costa Rica, where people are kind and welcoming, and weather provides a healthy blend of ease and chaos, where both sunshine and rainstorms abound. Why does it make for a great solo getaway? One word: variety. “There are options to go to highly-visible, touristy areas or explore less-traveled areas depending on your level of comfort,” she shares. Whether you stick to the shore or hike through the rainforest, pack an external battery pack because let’s be real: you’re going to kill your battery snapping pictures of monkeys, sunsets, rainbows, and more.
Mt. Koyasan Japan
To be fair, if you’re going to make the journey to Japan, you should definitely see more than just one city, but one destination you should add to your solo travel bucket list is Mt. Koyasan, according to world traveler Shannon Ullman. Sandwiched between Osaka and Kyoto, just a five-hour bullet train away from Tokyo, this small town is not only beautiful but offers a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Here, you can stay overnight in a Buddhist Temple, experiencing the traditional rituals the Japanese are known for. “You’ll sleep on a traditional floor futon and monks will deliver vegetarian meals and sake to your room. You can bathe in the traditional, shared baths, and take a guided meditation class in the mornings. If you really want to get in touch with yourself, this is the place to do it,” she explains.