You've already made the decision to embark on an adventure by yourself, so why not go big or go home? Australia is a fantastic destination for solo travelers. Australians are travelers by nature and understand the call of the road, so they are more than welcoming to solo adventurers. Australia is also one of the safest countries in the world, and the elimination of a language barrier for English-speaking travelers is a great selling point.
The "Land of Smiles" sounds like a wonderful place for travelers hitting the road on their own. In addition to having some of the warmest people in the world, and being a very affordable destination, Thailand packs a punch to the senses. From colorful street markets, frenetic urban scenes and sizzling street food to calming, electric-blue water dotted with limestone cliffs and lush jungles surrounding rice paddies, Thailand delivers. As a bonus, the country preaches equality for the sexes, and English is also widely spoken.
For city lovers, it's difficult to beat Santiago. This sophisticated and chic city is easy to navigate. Solo travelers ought to make a beeline for the Bellavista or Lastarria neighborhoods, which are packed with trendy bars, restaurants and street cafes for people watching. Head south to Patagonia for stunning hiking or boat cruising along the fjords to marvel at towering glaciers.
Feeling lonely in Costa Rica is just not possible because there's too much to do. Jungles and beaches provide just the right amount of alone time when you aren't zip lining, hiking volcanoes or soaking in hot springs. Try one of the many yoga retreats or learn to surf at a surf school (or find a combo of both!). Costa Rica is one of the world's most peaceful countries, as well. It doesn't even have an army because, frankly, it doesn't need one.
A perfect combination of city and rural life, Ireland is both visually stunning and culturally rich. Visit Dublin's famed pub scene for a pint and a live, traditional Irish music session. Make your way to the west coast of the country and drive the Wild Atlantic Way, a beautiful coastal driving route that hugs the western part of the island. Ireland is packed with friendly B&Bs, which makes impromptu overnights for solo travelers easy and safe.
On Mexico's Pacific Coast is this energetic and charming beachside city. Book a hotel in the Zona Romantica, which is just steps from the palapa-packed beach. Opt for one of the many beach bars where you can hole up on a lounge chair for the entire day, or reserve a day pass at a more exclusive beach clubs that have private pools in addition to direct beach access. Consider taking a water taxi to nearby Yelapa, a small, sleepy beach town in the Bahia de Banderas. At night Puerto Vallarta's Malecón comes alive with bars and restaurants. Don't call it a night without tasting the best tacos in town at Pancho's Takos.
With an easy-to-navigate public transportation system, Barcelona is a simple city for solos to get around. Take yourself on an architectural tour of Antoni Gaudi's Barcelona. The city is home to nine UNESCO World Heritage Sites, seven of which were designed by Gaudi. Barcelona will keep your stomach busy as well, and the eating culture is a wonderful way for solo travelers to make friends. Grab a bar stool at one of the many tapas establishments and get ready to make friends, or visit the Boqueria Market for a meal that is all your own.
Despite the nasty rumor that New Yorkers are unfriendly (it's not true!), they are actually some of the friendliest and most helpful around, which is perfect for solo travelers. New York is a dizzying array of stimulation, from fantastic theater and concerts to restaurants that span from ultra-chic to the divey-est of dives, and all are delicious. Sit at the local bar and get ready to watch the characters stream in and out. Hit the art scene, whether that's the latest exhibition at the MoMA or the eclectic graffiti murals out in Brooklyn's gritty Bushwick neighborhood. Need a moment of peace? Take the Staten Island Ferry to Staten Island and back. Not only is it free, but you have one of the best views of the Statue of Liberty, without having to spend a dime. Whatever you pick, solo travelers are bound to make friends in NYC.