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Updated on Aug 31, 2020. Posted on Oct 29, 2015

A 29-Year-Old Woman Spent Three Years Traveling The World By Herself And Here Are Her Favorite Places

You ~go~ girl.

Amy Sefton

Meet Kristin Addis, 29. For the past three years, she's been traveling the world by herself and documenting her journey on her travel blog Be My Travel Muse.

Kristin Addis

"Solo traveling is the greatest gift, because you learn so much about yourself. I learned how strong and capable I am, how brave I can be, how amazing and not scary the world is, and how easy it truly is to make friends all over the world," she tells BuzzFeed Life. "And that's not just unique to me. Every woman can discover this about herself if she takes the chance."

Addis also recently published a book about her journey, Conquering Mountains: A Guide To Solo Female Travel. So we asked her to list her all-time favorite spots in the world to go alone.

Kristin Addis

(Be sure to check out how to find the cheapest flight ever before you go, so you can actually afford to buy your ticket!)

1. Reykjavik, Iceland

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Kristin Addis

Reason it's amazing for solo female travel: Reykjavik is one of the safest places in the world. In fact, it is ranked number one on the Global Peace Index, a report published by the Institute for Economics and Peace about the the peacefulness of nations and regions around the world. "People leave their cars running when they go to the grocery store, because they know people won't steal it," reveals Addis. "If you commit a crime there, everyone is going to know, so it's just not common to commit them."

The one thing you must do: Go for a drive on the Golden Circle. It's a popular route in Iceland that covers three main must-see attractions: the waterfall Gullfoss, Pingvellir National Park, and Haukadalur, which contains many geysers. "It's a day trip from the city, and easy enough to do with a cheap car rental," she says.

2. Taipei, Taiwan

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Reason it's amazing for solo female travel: Friendliness. "The locals are super welcoming," says Addis, who lived there for a year. "Anytime I ever had a problem or looked lost, people would come help. When I was there, Bush was president, and our reputation overseas wasn't that great — but people didn't have any judgments," she explains.

The one thing you must do: Eat at the city's night markets.

3. Zermatt, Switzerland

Kristin Addis

Reason it's amazing for solo female travel: The mountains. "Outdoorsy girls will love Switzerland," Addis swears. "You stay in little huts in the mountains that are owned by families. And if you don't want to hike alone, there are hostels where you can join a day trip," she says. Also, many places in Switzerland are pricey — but hiking is free. And the area is safe, too.

The one thing you must do: Go for a hike on the Edelweiss Trail. "It gives you an amazing view of the Matterhorn."

4. Melbourne, Australia

Annie Daly
Annie Daly

Reason it's amazing for solo female travel: The ease. "It's an English-speaking country, so it's easy to navigate and get around. And if you ever need help, you can ask anyone walking by and they're more than happy to help you. You can walk around alone at night and it's fine," advises Addis.


The one thing you must do:
Brunswick Street. "It's a hippie hipster area, filled with lots of travelers and young people. There are tons of bars, restaurants, and vintage shops," she says. Be sure to take in your fair share of coffee — Melbourne is known for their roasts. And their espresso martinis are to die for.

5. Ella, Sri Lanka

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Reason it's amazing for solo female travel: The greenery. "It's soooo beautiful," gushes Addis. "The vibe there is like a little hippie area. It's this stretch of road that's no more than 10 huts on each side of the road," she says. Not surprisingly, it's a backpacker's paradise. "You meet other people easily because there aren't many places to hang out. It draws the backpacker crowd because it has a reputation of being pretty and laid-back."


The one thing you must do:
Take the train from Colombo (the capital) to Ella. "It's really cheap, and the scenery is breathtaking. Hang out the door when you're on the train, too. It's the most popular spot, and no one is telling you not to," recommends Addis. "It's a truly local experience that's cheap and you can feel safe doing it, even by yourself."

6. Swakopmund, Namibia

Kristin Addis

Reason it's amazing for solo female travel: The warmth — both temperature-wise and people-wise. In the summertime, it's in the 80s or 90s, and there's so much to do. "The place is an adventure junkie's dream," says Addis.

The one thing you must do: Go sandboarding! It's like snowboarding, but you go down a sand dune. "I'd only gone snowboarding once in my life, and told the guy how terrified I was, but I was fine. The sand is really soft, and it doesn't hurt to fall!" says Addis.

7. Waiheke Island, New Zealand

Kristin Addis

Reason it's amazing for solo female travel: The beauty. It's a quiet island close to Auckland (you take a ferry from the city to get there). And when you're traveling alone, you have more time to stop and reflect and appreciate your surroundings.

The one thing you must do: Go on any of the hikes there. "You basically can have a trail all to yourself, since it's an island. It's so peaceful."

8. Otres Beach, Cambodia

Reason it's amazing for solo female travel: The open beaches. "Unlike a lot of beachy places, this one isn't overly populated with couples — it's actually filled with solo travelers. People go to Thai islands on a honeymoon because it's what they know, but this place is way more off-the-beaten-path," explains Addis. Plus, it's cheap: You can spend about $10 a day, and be pretty happy.

The one thing you must do: Chill on the beach. "It's so so pretty, and so cheap. And the people are so smiley."

9. Berlin, Germany

Kristin Addis

Reason it's amazing for solo female travel: The street art, and the people. "Berlin has such a cool underground scene," says Addis. "Germans aren't the kind of people who smile at you on the sidewalk, but they are interested in Americans once you talk to them, and they are good at English — really good. You will have no problem navigating around without knowing German."

The one thing you must do: A walking tour of the street art. "It gives you such a great sense of the history there," says Addis.

10. Palawan, Philippines

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Reason it's amazing for solo female travel: The islands. "They're so beautiful, and the water is clear and pretty." Plus, the people are really friendly. "They are famous for being friendly, and I found that to be true," Addis reflects.

The one thing you must do: Take a boat tour around the islands. "It's a $30 day trip, and definitely worth the money. You'll meet other people on the boat, too," says Addis. Also, you can jump off the boat and go swimming. "The water is so clear, so you can see the bottom — and you see tons of fish."

11. Singapore

Kristin Addis

Reason it's amazing for solo female travel: The cleanliness. "They have so many rules — no littering, spitting, or chewing gum — and they enforce them. So you feel nice walking around," says Addis. Also, English is one of their languages, so you can go and speak just fine.


The one thing you must do:
See the supertrees at Supertree Grove. "They're these giant trees that light up at night, and they sync them to music. And they're open anytime. I had no reservations about walking up to them at 4 a.m. — Singapore is so safe."

12. Gili Trawangan, Indonesia

Reason it's amazing for solo female travel: The underwater world — diving and snorkeling is really popular there. Plus, you'll meet lots of other solo travelers: "Anywhere that diving and snorkeling is popular attracts lots of solo travelers. There are tons of people to meet, and it's very social."

The one thing you must do: Go snorkeling or diving. "You're going to see awesome stuff, like sea turtles," advises Addis.

13. Chiang Mai, Thailand

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Reason it's amazing for solo female travel: It's budget-friendly without being shady. "It's popular with digital nomads who live there full-time, so you'll be able to hang out with lots of foreigners," explains Addis.

The one thing you must do: Hit up the Sunday night market. "You can find dresses, jewelry, and good food. I walked around alone all the time at night there, and I was totally fine," Addis continues.

14. Belfast, Ireland

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Reason it's amazing for solo female travel: The hospitality. "Northern Irish people are so friendly and welcoming. You walk into a pub, and you've made a roomful of friends," says Addis. "Some people are surprised that a place in Northern Ireland would be safe for solo female travelers, but it's super safe now — the problems are in the past," she continues.

Plus, it's a lot more manageable than Dublin. "It's just calmer and less overwhelming. When you're by yourself, you don't need all the constant stimulation, and in Belfast, you feel more at ease."

The one thing you must do: The Titanic Museum. "I don't have much interest in the Titanic, but the museum was so well done and interesting and interactive!"

15. Granada, Spain

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Reason it's amazing for solo female travel: The architecture. "You don't need to be with anyone else to enjoy beautiful architecture. It's a cool mix of Eastern and Christian influence," says Addis. Also, it's safer than Madrid and Barcelona. "In those places, you have to be constantly watching your back for pick-pocketers. But Granada is one of the more solo travel-friendly places."


The one thing you must do:
Go to Alhambra Palace, an old fortress that was originally constructed all the way back in 889.

16. Hoi An, Vietnam

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Reason it's amazing for solo female travel: The custom clothing. "It's cheap, and they do a fabulous job. I got leather boots made there for $50, and they lasted through two years of constant abuse," says Addis. Hoi An is also safer than the bigger Vietnamese cities, as far as pick-pocketing goes. And it's quite beautiful, too.

The one thing you must do: Get shoes made!

17. Chengdu, China

Kristin Addis

Reason it's amazing for solo female travel: The culture. "A lot of China can be confusing and hard to navigate, but this place feels good enough to stick around. A lot of expats live there, because the place feels really homey and friendly," says Addis. "Also, most of the food we get in the U.S. is from this province; it's really spicy."


The one thing you must do:
Visit the Panda Breeding Center (Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding). "Pandas are native here," says Addis.

So, inspired to head out on a solo adventure yet? Ready, go!

Fatchoi / Getty Images

For more info on Kristin Addis, follow her on Instagram, read her blog, and check out her column on solo female travel on fellow travel writer Matt Kepnes' website Nomadic Matt.

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