The world's ultimate travel destinations are too good to miss just because you're travelling solo. Here are my 10 places you should see before you die, and how to get there.
1. Explore the Silk Road
One of the world's greatest travel adventures, following the Silk Route is like walking through history and fable, passing desert, mountains and the ancient cities of Samarkand and Tashkent. Adventure Worldwide's Silk Road Safari lets you experience some of Uzbekistan's traditions including riding camels and spending the night in a yurt.
2. Meet gorillas in the mist
Watching any wild animals in their natural habitat is an incredible experience, but venturing into Africa's mountain forests to spend time with gorillas, one of our closest cousins, tops any classic safari. Rainbow Tours has eight-day small group trips to Uganda to track both chimps and gorillas, with low single supplements.
3. Watch the sun rise at Angkor Wat
Perhaps the world's most famous temple complex, it's worth getting up early to see the carvings of Angkor Wat emerging as dawn breaks - even better to travel with an expert guide who can take you to a little-known entrance so you won't be sharing the sight with hordes of others. Insider Journeys has an 11-day tour of Cambodia visiting Phnom Penh and the south as well as Angkor, with around a third of guests travelling solo.
4. Dive in the Galapagos
No bucket list would be complete without a mention of the wonders of the underwater world, and it's hard to beat the Galapagos for a once-in-a-lifetime diving experience. Scuba specialist Regaldive has liveaboard dive boats which sail the islands to see a mix of fish found nowhere else, and get up close and personal with sharks, rays, turtles, seals and penguins.
5. Drink Cuba Libre in Cuba
It's only a matter of time before Cuba emerges from its fascinating mini time-warp, so don't pass up the chance to discover historic Havana and further afield before it changes - Cuba Libre in hand. To really get under the skin of the country, head off the beaten track with Explore's small group tours. Around half of its guests are solo travellers.
6. Marvel at Machu Picchu
Whether you choose to trek the Inca trail or arrive by train, your first sight of the lost city of Machu Picchu amid the mountains of Peru will blow your mind. Around half those on Journey Latin America's Condor tour are travelling alone, and you'll also visit the Amazon, as well as Lima, Lake Titicaca, La Paz and the floating Uros Islands.
7. Hit the high seas
With water covering so much of the planet, you can't call yourself a true explorer without hitting the high seas at least once. So go where the wind takes you and sail away on a real adventure. Don't worry if you don't know a mainsail from a yardarm because G Adventures has a series of small group trips, from the tropical beaches of the Maldives and British Virgin Islands to the ultimate expedition to Antarctica.
8. Travel Route 66
The classic American road trip, Route 66 might not officially exist any more but it's still a great way to travel from the Great Lakes in the east through America's heartland and cowboy country to the beaches of California, enjoying Chicago, Vegas and LA along the way. A classic convertible might be the dream, but Intrepid Travel will take all the map-reading out of your hands with their coast-to-coast trips.
9. Climb Kilimanjaro
Whether you'd prefer to tackle a peak closer to home, amble in the Alps or scale one of the world's greatest mountains, there's nothing like (metaphorically) planting a flag on the summit. For a challenge that's as memorable as it's rewarding, head to the Roof of Africa, climbing Kilimanjaro by a less-visited mountain route led by an expert guide with Walks Worldwide.
10. See the Taj Mahal
India should be on every traveller's bucket list - but for a real Indian adventure, try the Taj Mahal with a twist. Wild Frontiers has a new horse riding holiday in Rajasthan, which takes you through deserts, past ancient temples, searching for tigers as well as the iconic marble monument to love. Around 70% of guests travel solo, so you won't feel like a gooseberry.
Cathy Winston is editor of 101 Singles HolidaysSuggest a correction