This coming summer, I had been planning with my boyfriend to go travelling for a month across mainland Europe. Now he's chucked me, I still think I would like to go but simply go on my own. I so desperately want to get away and see the things I want to see and I think I would enjoy it on my own. I know this is something a lot of people do, plus, it would only be a month-long trip due to work commitments but I'm still slightly apprehensive about going solo in terms of safety and being lonely!
So, has anyone here been travelling on their own? Would you recommend it and do you have any advice?
I say do it! Of course, you'll want to read up on safety concerns for the cities you plan to visit. You will definitely have to be more aware of your surroundings and avoid putting yourself in any risky situations like walking around alone late at night in shady areas, which I doubt you would want to do anyway, alone or with someone else :)
It would also be good to find places to stay like hostels where people are social and go out together if you're worried about being lonely, which I highly doubt you will be. I think traveling alone is a really great, liberating experience and you will probably end up meeting more people than you would expect being on your own rather than with a boyfriend.
There's also so many ways to connect with people across the world before you travel like couchsurfing.org (you don't necessarily have to say with people, but it's a good way to meet people that are willing to connect with tourists and show them around) or vayable.com (a website where locals post tours and activities for places around the world that you can sign up to do).
What countries/cities are you planning to visit?
I agree with Christina.
Also, Europe is very safe and hospitable to all but the very naive and, like everywhere else, the very few people in the wrong place at the wrong time.
I like to read LegalNomads.com for solo female traveler advice and inspiration.
I definitely say DO IT.
My solo travel experiences aren't extensive -- each time that I have left alone (which is most times) I left knowing that I would either eventually be meeting up with someone I knew or that I was joining some sort of academic program and the corresponding social safety net that carries with it. However, I have spent some time sans companions in a couple places I've traveled (not counting places I actually lived abroad because that's different) either because I arrived early or stayed late, and my biggest piece of advice is to be comfortable with wandering and to get to know the public transportation options where you're going. My experiences with traveling alone have involved a lot of either getting off at random stops or walking until I found something interesting. The other thing I'd say is to stay in a hostel or couch surf rather than a hotel because your odds of meeting people are far greater that way.
Definitely do it! I have always wanted to be able to do that. Now that I live abroad as a Peace Corps volunteer, I'm often going to visit places by myself. You just have to be street smart and make friends where you go. You'll always meet foreigners at the hostels, and tourist places. It gets easier the more you do it. Have fun!
Isn't that the whole point of travelling? Putting yourself into situations/places you would never have the opportunity of seeing/doing at home? It sounds to me like this would be a perfect opportunity for you. Travelling by yourself can be very scary but it can be a huge character builder, get's you out of your comfort zone. As someone who has been travelling by himself, you meet ALLOT of fellow travellers on your journey and everyone is eager to make new friends. It's pretty amazing really, talking with people from the other side of the world, with their different cultures, and pretty similar problems. You wont ever feel lonely, can guarantee that! Plus, you'll regret not taking the opportunity.
You should do it1 I like traveling alone, it's exciting and it gives you plenty of time to do what you want to do and reflect on the experience. Plus, it gives you the opportunity to make new friends along the way.
If you're worried about being lonely, you should do a little research and see if there are any group activities to do while you are traveling-- maybe a sightseeing tour or a bar crawl?
I lived in England for a year on my own-- I didn't know anyone before leaving, and I was glad that I didn't. I wanted to have a new experience and meet new people. I feel like traveling with friends is fun, but it also keeps your in your comfort zone. Once you break out of that zone you get to know yourself better :)
I have and I have discovered it's the best way to travel. You are really free to do as you wish without having to cope with other people's desires and needs. You can really see the places you want to see, and you really get to know the places because you end up meeting local people. It takes a lot of courage and a strong personality to do a thing like this but a month across Europe is a must do in life so I would consider it.
I don't want to bore anyone with the details of my experiences, but if you want to ask anything feel free.
I have never traveled alone without distinct plans of knowing where I was going, but as for taking a real trip alone, I would have to say no, but I cannot wait to do it. I may be flying (for the first time) from WI to Phoenix to check out if I would like to move there and go to school on campus instead of stay with online classes. Be a change. I would recommend it totally. Go. See these things you want to see while you're not tied down or committed to anything or feel you're too old. No regrets later.
I've done it before. With some reason, researching good/bad areas of cities, not staying out really late, street smarts, luck, etc., it can still be fun. The only main difference is language... if you don't speak the local language, that's a big disadvantage. Personally I try to not look like a tourist. I read maps before I go or in bathrooms. I put my wallet down my shirt. I carry minimal valuables... crappy clothes, no jewelry, older camera that's put away when I'm not using it, no purse (I stuff my wallet and camera down my shirt). Some things are a little awkward when traveling alone... eating alone, staying in youth hostels alone, etc. I didn't really meet at length locals when I did it. Depending on where you go, you may or may not have much luck at that. Just seeing the sites and exploring is enough. I recommend planned group tours with reputable companies. I went on some bus tours. Then, you're with other tourists, get a feel for the areas a little bit when you first arrive, and have a group of people with you (safety). Then, you can later explore the areas again on your own.
But, it can be really fun... no one's schedule but your own. Go for it.
I would say embrace your dreams and do it.
Traveling is easy and better if you don't have someone to make choices for you!
I've been out of country a few times and it's always worth taking "the risk."
I lived in Belfast (Norn Iron!) and traveled Ireland last summer by myself and didn't have any regrets.
Ditto to all the stuff Christina has already stated. Common sense keeps you out of trouble.
Networking, like couchsurfing (I use it fairly often to meet people) is always a good way to get to know people and get to know the area.
Words of advice from my experiences
People can be paranoid about language barriers, but I did fine speaking German to people in Peru so I wouldn't stress it too much hahaha. Once people figure out English is your first language they will only want to speak in English. In your case, the real and original English :)
Ce'st la vie.. .
Pack LIGHT. No joke. Can't even stress this enough.
I left The States with half a backpack (school backpack) full of clothes and personal belongings, including camera and lenses. You can always buy crap as you go along. Plus it doesn't scream tourist as much.
Be adventurous! You only live once.
Doooo ittttt. Be careful, though. See if anyone you know has been to the places where you're going. Maybe someone whose blog you read has traveled alone, too. Read up on where you're going or know specific places to visit so you can feel more confident about it.
I was a flight attendant once upon a time, so I did a lot of solo traveling. My advice is: don't be shy or afraid to try things. I think the tendency is for people to hole up in their hotels when they're alone, but you'll be surprised by how much fun you can have out and about by yourself. If your lost or confused, just ask people for help. Most people will be really helpful and nice. Get a general idea of what you want to do, but don't be afraid to be spontaneous or change your plans. The best thing about traveling alone is that you don't have to accommodate anyone else's desires or interests!
Also be safe! Have some sort of check-in system with a schedule with a responsible loved one. Make sure that you have your insurance card, ID and emergency contact info on you at all times. Travel during the summer if possible for maximum daylight hours.