Best countries for a first-time female solo-traveler?

Hi everyone! I finally got the guts to ask for time off for a 9 day vacation in early August this year.

I’ll be gettin my passport in soon and I wanted to commemorate it by taking my first solo trip out of the country. For reference I live in California and my first solo trip was to NY last fall .

What countries would you recommend for a young woman who’s traveling internationally for the first time and solo?

Personally I’d like to stick to places that an English speaker can survive in. In terms of experiences that I’m looking forward to I’d love to visit a place that has a lot of opportunities to make friends with strangers, explore cities, any cool attractions, fun youthful scenes and a healthy list of things to do, similar to NY! I’m not into doing too many nature activities alone but nature is a great thing too!

I’d love to visit somewhere culturally rich, a plus if the people speak other languages too . And Safety is important to me as well especially being a woman alone. The places I had in mind so far are Montreal + Quebec , Montreal + Toronto , Spain, UK, and Italy.

**BUDGET: $4k-$5k *Not trying to spend it all but also being realistic about how much things cost**

Please let me know of any suggestions or if any of the potential choices above make sense for what I’m looking for in a trip! Thank you 🙂