Traveling abroad solo as an almost empty nester

I’ll soon be divorced from my partner of 25 years. We traveled a great deal together, and I hope to do more on my own after my youngest goes to college, but I have never traveled abroad alone. I would love to hear your advice for solo travel, especially from middle-aged women of color. While I’ve never traveled with a tour group, I would consider it if it’s a good match for my new stage of life (ideally some middle-aged, not mainly couples, etc.). Any recommendations? Thanks for sharing! 

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I was single until my late 30s and traveled places like Kathmandu and Shanghai by myself with wonderful results.  But I did have to build my confidence and solo travel skills.  At first I was afraid to make long car trips by myself!  Each time I made a stretch, I was then able take on more the next trip.  I just finished reading _The Catch Me if You Can:  One Woman's Journey to Every Country in the World_ by Jessica Nabongo.  Being a woman and a person of color is addressed in her text.  She is very encouraging!  (  I love travel books and blogs.  They encourage me to keep exploring and growing.  Best wishes for exciting new chapters in your life!

I recently went to Galapagos on my own, and had a great time. I was on a small expedition cruise that offered a “no single supplement” deal, and as such there were tons of solo travelers so you might want to look for that kind of offer if you do go the tour group route. I also went to Cuba on my own some years ago. It was a small group and I was the only solo traveler, but everyone was very welcoming. That’s the only group travel I’ve ever done in my life, but like you, I’m cautiously open to doing more after two amazing experiences. 

There are tour groups for every demographic and every budget - that’s a great first step. Have fun doing the research! Taking a class or volunteering somewhere could also be fun and offer community. If you ask around you may find friends who’d love to join you. You can travel solo but arrange for home stays, so you’re not really alone. Or there are travel adventures that tend to bring people together - like trekking in Peru or doing the Camino in Spain, etc, even if you’re on your own - you’re likely to be chatting the whole time. Good luck!

There is a Face Book Group Solo Women Travelers, and its companion group Solo Women Travelers Over 40. The women of all ages, shapes, and races travel to amazing places. One older woman just posted about her motor cycle trip through West Africa with a small group. One can ask questions, get support and recommendations. Actually many of the younger women have more anxiety about stepping out on their own than us older women. Try it.

This isn't for everyone, but it was great for me so I'll go ahead and share (FWIW).  I recently took my teen on a service trip to Quito, Ecuador, arranged with an excellent program ( that cost far less than others I researched.  We stayed in what I'd call a hostel (private room but shared bath) and had community meals with the other volunteers, most who were there alone.  My son does not socialize, so I was able to connect with the others to do local outings after our volunteer "work" ended each day. Those that stayed longer (we had only 1 week) did lots of interesting weekend trips together.  While most of the travelers were college students, the program is for everybody and folks at IVHQ would be happy to help you find trips with people closer to your age.  And they have programs much all around the world.

Happy travels!!