This article originally appeared in the June issue of ESSENCE magazine Solo travel can be more than just an encounter with new people and places; it could present a chance for self-reflection. Entrepreneur Claire Soares experienced this firsthand when she visited Paris alone in 2011. As founder of Up in the Air Life, a luxury travel company, she says going on trips by yourself may forge a new worldview. “I went to coffee shops and sat there hearing French around me, people-watching and taking a mental break from everything in my life to be in that moment. It was amazing,” she says. An unfamiliar setting might also help heal pain and trauma, as Izmira Aitch, a legislative assistant who has visited 22 countries on her own, found out: “When you surround yourself with intrigue and new stimuli, your brain is constantly working. There’s not a lot of room for being down.” When we take a vacation alone and traverse uncharted territory, we typically end up discovering something new about ourselves. These affordable destinations provide the perfect opportunity to detach from every day and reconnect with your life.