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Soul-Searching Solo Trip for 33yo Female. Advice Appreciated

Tampa, Florida
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Soul-Searching Solo Trip for 33yo Female. Advice Appreciated

Hi! I recently lost my unemployment and have some extra time and money to do something really crazy. I want to find a great trip idea where I can be alone, see some amazing cities and scenery, and just escape for a while during either December, January or February (most likely). I am not looking for a trip to meet other travelers or singles so I'd like to do something that is great for a completely solo traveler and doesn't require sharing time with others or meeting people to have a good time.

I'd like to see some of the most amazing places the world has to offer. I'm not afraid of getting dirty, being very physically active, or staying in safe hostiles or possibly camping to save on money. I don't really like being cold so a southern hemisphere trip might be the best way to go for the time I have, but I'm open to suggestion.

Some ideas/areas I've considered: Japan is my #1 destination although I suppose that's not the best place to go for now, an Australian walkabout, Machu Picchu, Greece perhaps, Egypt, Thailand. Really I'm not sure. If I could only take one trip ever, what is the best experience to have? Maybe something that includes a little of many different things? I love the idea of culture, beautiful vast mind-blowing scenery, rich, lively, culturally abundant cities, and even smaller lesser known peasant towns. Either way I want to plan the most amazing trip possible where I can get the most from it. I have about $6k saved up.

Side note: I am 100% vegetarian (no fish or poultry either) so an area I can eat in would be great. I might do fish if I absolutely need to get by, but definitely not land grazing animals.

I realize this is quite a bit to take in so I really appreciate any helpful input from the experienced world travelers out there.

Cheers!

Hong Kong, China
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11. Re: Soul-Searching Solo Trip for 33yo Female. Advice Appreciated

I agree with Evamelb above that doing some volunteer work (like teaching poor children English) at some developing countries can be a very invigorating experience, and good for the souls too. You are talking about soul-searching, perhaps by that u mean you are hoping to go on a such a trip which will help you to find new focus in your life, where you are now and where you will be....etc? If that is the case, maybe go to countries with a very deep religious atmosphere such as Israel, India or Tibet. Staying in one of those monasteries, doing voluntary works to earn your accommodations, in return, you get to learn about their religious, meditate and all that. This can be a very wonderful cleansing experience for the soul. I wish you all the best, and whatever you choose, it is to your liking and helps you to find what you are looking for...

London, United...
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12. Re: Soul-Searching Solo Trip for 33yo Female. Advice Appreciated

Yours is a rather tall order, however what you seek is not impossible. I have been to Japan a couple of times and something you may have to factor is that it’s a largely an expensive country, but with some research beforehand you can actually get something from your visit. I doubt you will be able to find work, it is not so easy these days.

In 2003 I worked in Japan in January & February; hence it is for this reason that I now have a Japanese wife. Japan is northern hemisphere, therefore at the time of the year you are talking about it will be largely cold although, unlike the UK and northern Europe Japan tends to be much more brighter, but still cold.

I would suggest as you are relying on a limited budget to do something like this, a round trip to South-East Asia and Japan, start off in Singapore, travel up to Malaysia, overland and then Thailand, stopping off en-route also visit Siem Reap, Cambodia you can do this for five to six week and then visit Japan before you fly home.

http://www.seat61.com/Thailand.htm

If you do it this way, if you start off in SE Asia by February will be hot, by the time you get to Japan by say March the temperature will be manageable, but not cold. You may welcome the cooler temperatures. When in Japan you should travel overland by the Shinkensen (bullet train) but you have to purchase the rail pass beforehand.

http://www.seat61.com/Japan.htm

On flight tickets you have two options here, if you get a round ticket with someone like United that starts in Singapore and leaves from Japan.

Or the budget conscious way would be to buy a round trip ticket to SE Asia and then fly Air Asia to Japan, especially if you can find a promo flight.

http://www.airasia.com/my/en/home.html

With your budget you should easily manage two and half months seeing some interesting places and the other stuff you mentioned about, not meeting singles, most travellers I have met are travelling to see the world not too date, but you will meet people along the way in the same boat as you, so don't worry about this. Being a vegetarian in Asia is no problem and possibly one of the better places in the world to be a vegetarian.

The only problems I can foresee is the preparation time, as you have a lot of work to do if you are planning to leave for February, suggest you read up some travel guides, but good luck with that.

Edited: 06 December 2011, 15:55
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13. Re: Soul-Searching Solo Trip for 33yo Female. Advice Appreciated

Cairns is where I would start and take a trip down the Sunshine coast of Austrailia

Hong Kong, China
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14. Re: Soul-Searching Solo Trip for 33yo Female. Advice Appreciated

Bali is a therapeutic place if you want to chill, relax and recharge...

detroit
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15. Re: Soul-Searching Solo Trip for 33yo Female. Advice Appreciated

Personally I would just head to Jamaica since its close by you from Tampa and lay on the beach and play with the jet skis or rent a boat. But I'm not female and not soul-searching, just relaxing and having fun.

I gotta agree the media is downplaying Japan, the radiation is now showing up in baby powered milk over there...what other foods is it in ? Now we aren't babies and are not going to live for the next 80-90 years, perhaps for most adults its no worry and if your just visiting you should be fine.

But if its one chance out of 100,000 you will be harm by the slight increase in radiation--radiation is now found everywhere on Earth, just different types and levels, well even 1 chance out of 100,000....still, it means 1 person out of every 100,000 will be harm by it....If that 1 person is you then yuck.

If I really wanted to visit Japan and had the means, I would not let a 1 in 100,000 chance stop me ! Hope you have a blast where ever you go.

London, England
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16. Re: Soul-Searching Solo Trip for 33yo Female. Advice Appreciated

I'm going to Japan for the third time in the summer of 2012 for a month to escape the Olympics. The only reason I am not going sooner is work, finances and a general reluctance to go back to places I have been when there are so many places I haven't seen yet.

I am a bit concerned about the heat, so I will head for the mountains where possible, but I am not particulaly worried about the radiation.

There are all sorts of things in the food we eat. The US permits things that aren't allowed in Europe and, I suspect, vice versa. I were taking a very small child with me I might be more cautious (but then there are lots of favourite destinations to which I wouldn't take a small child) but I look at the FCO website (which IME tends to be fairly balanced) and take that into my calculations.

fco.gov.uk/en/…japan

The idea of missing time staying on Mount Koya because many many miles away there is a problem seems excessive.

It is possible to have a fantastic and varied view of Japan staying in Kyoto and points south of there. (My favourite cities are on the west coast anyway). if you really felt that was necessary.

Every place has its risks (I would be a bit wary of Athens right now and the prevalence of guns in the US certainly gives me pause for thought) Japan is an incredibly safe place for a solo female traveller who keeps a modicum of wits about her and I find the sense of safety, the clenliness and the efficiency with which the country works very relaxing.

Most of Japan will be cold in winter (certainly compared to Florida) but Okinawa will have rather Floridian weather if you need a break from the cold.

.But Australia will feel much more familiar and is a wonderful place to visit. The only drawback for a spiritual exploration is that it will be summer and visiting Uluruh and Katatuja will difficult in the heat. of course your wouln't climb Uluruh (would you absail down St. Perter's?) but even walking around it in the desert heat could be uncomfortable.

Please let us know what you decide. You have a wonderful opportunity.

detroit
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17. Re: Soul-Searching Solo Trip for 33yo Female. Advice Appreciated

That is so true on the meat we eat. The USA doesn't want British meat and the Brits don't want the USA meat, lol

All because of that Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease which must be as scary as any radiation threat, yet I still eat meat in the USA--I do try to buy the better grades but still its USA beef.

Just go anywhere and don't be so worry, no place is 100% safe.

18. Re: Soul-Searching Solo Trip for 33yo Female. Advice Appreciated

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19. Re: Soul-Searching Solo Trip for 33yo Female. Advice Appreciated

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Royal Oak, MI
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20. Re: Soul-Searching Solo Trip for 33yo Female. Advice Appreciated

It's interesting that you feel you must run off to some other place to search your soul. You live in an area that many people go to for a "vacation" or “trip” away from home. Have you considered treating your home town as a destination? Do you even know the Tampa or West Coast of Florida area that well? How about getting up early every day and going to the Library and reading everything and anything that might be of interest to you until the Library closes for the day. Do that for a week and wander around in your downtown as you wonder around in your soul. Find the special places right there outside your door. You do not have to go half way around the world to have an adventure. Walk or bike or drive in ever increasing circles from your front door with a mind of the traveler. You will find that your City has great food: Thai or Cuban food, or for that matter, any world food you want, and restaurants that are operated and staffed by people from that county. The “most amazing places the world has to offer”, can be viewed in a post card. It is in the mind set of the traveler, that the place that is visited becomes something special. Find that mind set and your own backyard becomes one of those “most amazing places the world has to offer”. Give it little practice around the old home town before flying off to someone else’s backyard.