Are some destinations more alluring to single women? Author of Destination Desire, The Global Goddess – A Single Woman’s Journey, Christine Retschlag, thinks so! Here are her recommendations on places to travel alone – 10 solo travel destinations for single women.
This one falls more into the “not” than the “hot” category, unless you are referring to the weather. The humidity in Singapore is so pervasive that you could have been born with porcelain doll skin, and still break out in pimples like a pubescent teenager.
Which is about the only interesting thing that will happen in your entire dating life if you are a white, western woman here.
Unfortunately, the numbers are against you in this equatorial nation, as Singaporean men and western men both appear to have a penchant for the classic Singapore girl.
You’ll spot these blokes wandering down Orchard Road, curiously carrying their girlfriend’s designer handbags.
There is some hope, however, over in the colourful corner of Little India where the food is spicy and some of the men think western women are too.
If you’re trying to figure out where to travel alone, think no more and head straight to Long Shan Temple in the Taiwanese capital of Taipei. Here, you can gamble on God, dice with Dharma and bet on Buddha all at once.
In what is essentially a game of Taiwanese two-up, you first take a stick with a number on it and (in your head) tell Buddha your name, where you come from and and what you are asking for (eg: the love of your life). Then you take two blocks of wood and toss them.
If both blocks land face up, Buddha is still considering your request. If they both land face down, you’re out of luck. If one is face down and one lands face up, your wish will be granted.
The good news is one of mine landed face up and the other face down. The bad news is that I’m still waiting to meet my “man of honour”. But if I do, I am told I must return to the temple with him.
In Saigon I managed to attract lots of love interest. Just none of it from members of the opposite sex. Rather, it was older Vietnamese women who appeared enamoured by me here, something which became apparent from my first night.
While enjoying a Vietnamese omelette stuffed full of prawns, pork and spices, an old lady, who was at least 100, walked into the restaurant carrying a pile of books as high as her head. She pointed to Fifty Shades of Grey, asked, “You want to read” and then punched her first into the air, laughed and said “Boom, Boom!”
In the beach resort town of Nha Trang I had a Vietnamese massage where my masseuse slathered me in oil and then proceeded to slap me hard on the buttocks.
At one point I thought I’d entered the Red Room of Pain in Fifty Shades. Back in Saigon, I was befriended by a 9-year-old Vietnamese girl who gave me a small doll as a gift, before telling me that her ageing aunt thought I was “beautiful”.
You can guarantee seduction in Samoa, at least by this Pacific island nation if nothing else. For this is a land of tsunamis, tragedy and triumph. Of man over Mother Nature. And it’s also about tribal tattoos, tradition and testosterone.
Head to the Samoan Tourism Association Cultural Village in the capital of Apia and you can witness local men partaking in the manhood-testing tradition of a tribal tattoo.
I was reliably informed that the only part of a man’s body from his middle back to his knees that is not tattooed is his penis.
Curious types like me can go there hoping for a gentle breeze to lift a lava lava to prove this point. You’ll fall in love with this country, which has survived its share of cyclones and a devastating tsunami in 2009 which claimed 189 lives in the South Pacific, many of them children.
This is a land of loss, lore and love. And the men are handsome too. Samoa is certainly one of the top solo travel destinations on my list.
One of the greatest love stories of modern time, and which I’ve been furiously following, exists along the River Kwai in Thailand, better known for its war history.
Here, overlooking the emerald mountains of Kanchanburi exists a young man named Sam. 22-year-old Sam works as a tour guide at River Kwai Jungle Rafts.
A Mon man, from the displaced Mon people, who are considered one of the earliest tribes to live in southeast Asia, Sam, is in love with a girl called Jaytarmon in a neighbouring village but he doesn’t own a boat, so access isn’t easy. And then there’s a girl from his own village who is also keen on Sam. Yes, even in the jungle, love is complicated.
While you may not find your own love story along the River Kwai and her floating raft hotels, you’ll adore this bridge between the old and new worlds, and this enduring and evolving tale of the heart.
I’m reliably informed that Bali is a hunting ground for cougars but if you’re a reformed cougar, like me, then all hope is not lost.
I was once accosted by a Balinese waiter who asked from where I hailed, to which he replied: “Oh, Australia, kangaroo, kangaroo very sexy.”
When he saw my baffled expression at the thought of Skippy being a sex God, he proceeded to draw an invisible outline in the air of a curvy bottle of Coca Cola.
He then pointed at me and said: “Coca Cola, very sexy.” While my outrageous laughing may have put paid to any love interest, for the rest of my stay, if my girlfriend was looking for me in a crowded pool, she only needed to visualise a kangaroo drinking Coca Cola and up I’d pop. Or should that be hop?
It took me all of five minutes upon arriving at Queen Alia Airport in Amman, Jordan, to realise that Arab men are as sexy as their reputation.
I don’t believe I’ve floated through airport immigration anywhere in the world with such outrageous flirts. At my hotel every morning, three young waiters would actually argue over who got to bring me my morning coffee, and be rewarded with a smile.
In the end, all three each brought me a cuppa, so it was more like a maniacal grin from me. Charm is everywhere here, with male shopkeepers saying things like “Your lips are like honey”, or “I can see Sydney in your eyes” despite the fact you live in Brisbane.
Back on home soil I’d love to say I’ve cracked the code to attracting an awesome Aussie male, but that would be a lie.
However last year I did go to the Whitsundays for the annual Airlie Beach Race Week. Think: 74 islands and 800 horny sailors in town.
Unfortunately I didn’t read the fine print, which states that old salts like their calamari young, so to speak, and I’m more of a barracuda.
When not staring out at the horizon, I’m told sailors have quite the roving eye.
Airlie Beach itself is a backpacker party town, so should you wish to meet a hot, young man you’ll never see again, and are prepared to spend the night in a bunk bed, this is the place for you.
Like her Samoan sister, Fiji is teeming with attractive people, including the women.
Which is just as well, as a woman twice the size of both my mate and me dragged us both up onto the dance floor, and then watched our inherent lack of white girl rhythm as they played the funky music.
A much better bet, and a lovely day trip, is out in the Sigatoka Valley and to Naihehe Cave. Here, you wade through cool water.
You pass through three chambers, including a tight spot known as the pregnancy passage. If you get stuck, it means you are pregnant. Which makes for an interesting souvenir to take home.
Every time I skip across the ditch to New Zealand something strange happens. Last year I went into a Wellington prisoner to interview six “lifers” who were involved in a Prison Gate to Plate cooking event.
Yes, the only thing standing between me finding true love was the New Zealand parole office. The earth did move for me there, but that’s only because there was also an earthquake.
A few years prior I was in Queenstown researching what non-adventurous souls such as myself could do in the world’s adventure capital.
Adventure ended up finding me, and caught in a white out somewhere up on The Remarkables, I managed to enlist two kiwi men to actually carry me down the slippery mountain while I cried hysterically. Needless to say, there’s nothing attractive about a woman with frozen ice tears on her face.
The above is an overview of the travel and dating adventures (disasters) of The Global Goddess. The stories have been adapted from her book Destination Desire, The Global Goddess – A Single Woman’s Journey.