Flying solo: Journeys of self-discovery

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A Chinese visitor at a beach of the Maldives. Surveys find many travelers, especially women, prefer solo trips. (Photo provided to China Daily) She rode the rails and lived on the road.

For a while, at least.


It was a journey of self-discovery.

She was happy to be on her own.


Ting Lan is a white-collar version of China's contemporary hobo.

Sort of.

This year, she traveled thousands of kilometers by train from Sichuan province's capital, Chengdu, to Hainan province's Sanya. The 22-year-old stopped to explore different cities.

By herself.

She says she felt a little lonely-at first.

Then, she didn't.

At least, not too much.

She met folks along the way.

Some became friends.

But Ting is far from alone in traveling without companions.

Nearly 54 percent of Chinese preferred to travel on their own during the 2014 Spring Festival, the China Tourism Academy reports.

Nearly a quarter of travelers around the world made solo trips last year, the Millward Brown's 2015 Global Travel Intentions Study of 25 countries found. That's compared with 15 percent the previous year.

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