Solo Transformative: 6 Transformative Travel Destinations

waist down view of woman with her backpack besides her on a countryside road

In 2019 solo travelers made up 18% of global bookings, which is an increase of 7% over the previous year. From unique experiences that help change your perspective to one-of-a-kind adventures that have you seeing the world in a whole new light, solo travel can be as empowering as it is invigorating. More and more people are turning to transformative wellness travel to help restore their mind, body, and soul. We’ve put together a few locations that will help you reconnect and rediscover yourself.


Want to stretch your thoughts past the day-to-day? These places will not only expand your horizons but your appreciation for past cultures.

Ayacucho, Peru

Machu Picchu gets most of the attention and deservedly so, but if you’ve traveled this far, we say travel a little farther and visit this town in the awe-inducing Andes Mountains. You won’t find the hordes of tourists of Cusco nor the refinement of Lima, but you will find well-preserved colonial Spanish architecture, artisanal folk art, and ancient Wari ruins. You may also find that you’re the only visitor in town.

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Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Although Cambodia is no stranger to tourism, it’s still far removed from the bustle of other Asian cities. And sites like the Killing Fields have taken on new life as a memorial for those who were affected by the Khmer Rouge regime. Nearby Angkor Wat is worth exploring for the mere fact that this 12th-century structure’s purpose and demise is still a mystery to archeologists.

If you want to see a side of Cambodia that most tourists don’t, venture to Kratie, where you’ll find an almost unspoiled town along the Mekong River. You may even get a glimpse of the rare Irrawaddy river dolphins.

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These areas are rich with culture and history, but they also allow you to stretch your legs and your mind outside your comfort zone.

Asheville, North Carolina

Nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains, Asheville is an easygoing art-focused mountain town where you can get lost for a while in the best possible way. When you aren’t sipping on local craft beers, perusing art boutiques, and dining at fun, funky restaurants, you can see the wilder side of Asheville. You’ll find incredible hikes less than an hour from the city. The Daniel Ridge Loop Trail will have you chasing waterfall after waterfall. For something truly special, we say head to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Pick a spot for a picnic in the Cataloochee Valley and wait for the area’s majestic elk to enter the meadows.

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Tui, Spain

The Camino Portugués is an iconic walking tour through some of the most beautiful countryside in all of Europe. If you don’t have a month to walk The Way in its entirety, you can still travel the 66-mile portion between Tui and Santiago de Compostela. Even walking a small portion is worth it for traversing through woodlands, across rich farmlands, and along coastal routes where you can see the Atlantic crash against the rocky shores.

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These two cities aren’t just a long way from the United States, but also far from the way of life that you’re most familiar with. But it’s these types of experiences that can transform the way you view the world, and, more importantly, the way you view yourself.

Rishikesh, India

This city holds significant religious importance in Hinduism and strictly prohibits non-vegetarian food and alcohol. Excursions that tour ghats, temples, and ashrams draw people from all over the world and all walks of life, like The Beatles (yes, those Beatles), that want to meditate and grow spiritually through yoga. With a trip here, you’ll have ample opportunities to cleanse your mind, body, and soul.

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Isle of Arran Scotland

You may not think that Scotland would boast one of the leading meditation centers, but actually the Holy Isle, a rugged, sparsely populated, and private 2-mile long satellite island off Arran’s east coast, is just the place to recharge, refresh, and rediscover yourself. The Holy Isle Centre for World Peace and Health offers several courses and retreats that will help you reconnect with yourself.

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There are more places out there that are perfect for women solo travelers that want to experience more than just popular tourist attractions or luxury resorts. With a little know-how on solo traveling and immersing yourself in different cultures, you may find that your next journey is more transformative than you could have imagined.

Header image via weedezign/Shutterstock

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