I will have to agree with everyone here, solo is the way to go. Granted I've had a great time with friends (and not so great times) but it's been the times when I've travelled alone that I've a) really had some memorable moments b) realized what is truly important to me c) had the best travels.
When I decided to travel to Egypt by myself in particular, I heard all the same sh*t. I was safe, and I wasn't lonely---everyone you meet is your friend there! Albiet, there are times, it's handy to have someone else there to help with decisions, translate, watch your stuff while you go to the WC... it's still easily doable.
So many people out there are scared to be by themselves...you have to ask, what exactly are they scared of????
I have been travelling for over three years now...lonely once in a very blue moon but there are so many other travelers out there just waiting to share stories or travel advice. It is SO easy to make friends while backpacking.
Scary is staying in the cubicle staring at the computer 10 hours a day.
the last time i went on a big trip with one of my best friends it destroyed our friendship and we havent spoken in almost 3 years now... we just clashed travelling because we both had completely different ideas as to what we wanted to get out of the trip.
she wanted to jump from place to place and i wanted to stay and get to know places better...
in the end it took such a toll on our friendship that i am now very hesitant about travelling for a long time with people - i am doing the next one solo!
I've made my first solo trip a few months ago, and while contemplating on wether to go or not, I've had the same negative opinions. Of yourse none of them travelled alone before.
So I made my decision, bought the tickets, and it was fantastic!
I've spoken with people I'd never spoken to if I were to travel with someone else. I didn't need to discuss my itinerary with anybody, and I could feel, see and travel as much as I wanted.
One of the people I met said "You should go with friends for a holiday, but if you would like to see the world, you must travel solo" I totally agree.
Just enjoy your travel!
I'm in a little hurry so forgive me if I'm repeating what others have written... no time to read them all.
Those who "caution" against all the dangers of travelling alone have, mostly, never done it. The old fear of the unknown is speaking. Being away from home does not generally increase your danger. Everywhere on earth has good and bad people and my experience is that there are many more good than bad people. So that's the first thing.
2nd thing is that I found a kind of "new sense" developing very rapidly once I was on the road. Trust that instinct when meeting people. I'm oversimplifying but learn the difference between an instinctive distrust of a genuine "nasty" and simple fear of the unknown. I agree it may well feel different for a female than a male but it can still be done.. no clear reason why it shouldn't.
3rd... APPEAR confident, even when you really don't feel it. People don't even know they're responding to your body language but quietly confident people - male OR female - get less hassle. Again, oversimplifying, but the nice people will warm to your confidence and want to know you for nice reasons. "Bad" people will either be scared off or approach like something targeting a challenging prey. You will feel the difference.
Lastly, I see some have mentioned the meeting people bit. SO true. If you leave with someone, I'm almost sure you will feel hampered in the forming of new friendships. And so will the people you meet who want to get to know you. I only tried going with someone a couple of times and it really was a brake on new experience.
Hope that helps a bit Have a great time on the road!