Are you ready to take some time for yourself this year? Don’t wait for your friends to clear their calendars. Now is the time to embrace your wanderlust and go solo. From Costa Rica to Quebec, Arizona to Bhutan, we have curated a collection of seven spots that are sure to entice your inner student. Whether you are looking for a tropical respite or a wild and woolly learning adventure, there’s something waiting for every woman who wants to go it alone in 2024.
It’s always a great time to soak up the sunshine in the Golden State, nicknamed for its long history with the Gold Rush and a perennial carpet of native golden orange poppies every spring. Whether you want to explore redwood forests, desert landscapes, or some of the country’s most fascinating cities, there’s something for everyone. Have you ever been on a women-only retreat? Try the relaxing and healing movements of Qigong to strengthen and stretch your body gently. Immerse yourself in nature as you wander redwood forests with your small group. Rebalance with expert-led meditations and indulge in heart-healthy vegetarian cooking.
If Costa Rica isn’t on your radar, it should be! This biodiverse paradise is known for its beauty and wildlife, including more than 900 species of birds and 9,000 species of flowering plants. A tapestry of rain and cloud forests, volcanic terrain, rivers and coffee plantations, Costa Rica’s rich landscapes and flora and fauna will engage all of your senses. Consider traveling with a small group to explore this peaceful nation, meet the people who call it home, savor traditional meals and learn Latin dances, including the Merengue, Salsa and Cumbia.
The largest island in the world that is not a continent, Greenland consists of vast tundra and enormous glaciers. So why is it called Greenland? The island was named by Erik the Red in hopes the name would attract settlers. However, according to a new study, an international team of scientists discovered that Greenland was green 416,000 years ago. If you’re an adventurer at heart, you might want to explore Greenland’s wild coastlines, complex waterways, glaciers, islands and fjords with a local expert onboard an expedition ship.
Arizona, the 48th state in the Union, is home to some of the most breathtaking natural beauty in the world. Here, the Grand Canyon’s mile-high walls expose an undisturbed cross-section of the Earth’s crust extending back two billion years. You won’t need to be a geologist to appreciate the beauty of this natural wonder, historically recognized as the largest canyon on our planet. No travel companion? No worries! Treat yourself to the journey of a lifetime and check out the Grand Canyon’s south rim. While you are in the area, don’t miss Sedona’s Red Rock Country, just over two hours to the south. Learn about this remarkable landscape’s history, geology, flora and fauna from local experts.
If you haven’t heard, our neighbor to the north —Québec — has much more to offer than crêpes and poutine. In addition to being a world-class foodie destination, this city is designated as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. This welcoming metropolis is brimming with European charm, cobblestone streets, vibrant culture and stunningly beautiful parks. If you want an engaging experience, explore the city on foot as part of a small group of learners who love hoofing it as much as you do — walking five to eight miles daily on varied terrain. Hikes will span four centuries of history, including the storied urban park, Plaines of Abraham; Montmorency Fall, a 272-foot waterfall and Old Québec City on the banks of the St. Lawrence River.
The tiny Kingdom of Bhutan, perched among the mountainous Himalayas, offers travelers the pinnacle of learning adventures. Secluded from the world, Bhutan is the world’s only carbon-negative country, consuming more carbon dioxide than it emits. Rich in culture and heritage, this primarily Buddhist Kingdom is deeply superstitious. For example, one law prohibits mountaineers from climbing any mountain higher than 19,685 feet, as these elevations are considered a home for gods and spirits. If you want to get out of Dodge, a 17-day adventure in Bhutan should do the trick. Along the way, you’ll take in breathtaking panoramic views and Bhutanese architecture, hike to the Taktsang Monastery and meet the Takin – Bhutan’s national animal.
Did you know that Georgia is the world’s earliest known location for winemaking? Dating back to 6000 B.C., this tiny country — nestled between Russia to the north, Turkey to the south and the Black Sea to its west — is home to the earliest evidence of viniculture. Here, fertile soils nourish 525 indigenous grape varieties. In addition, an eclectic mix of Soviet-era architecture, cobblestone streets, lush botanical gardens and vineyards punctuate this rich landscape. This often-overlooked destination has a lot to offer. In addition to fine wine, museums, gardens and history, city centers like Tbilisi are well-lit at night and filled with bustling cafés and friendly people. Enjoy the camaraderie of learning with others while having the luxury of making your own choices along the way in Georgia. It’s easy to be a solo traveler within the comfort and guidance of your group. Enjoy alone time or join a conversation — it’s your choice. It’s your turn to have the time of your life!