I really want to spend a couple of months backpacking through India and maybe Thailand and then maybe parts of the middle-east and Africa. I'm a 17-year old American female, at the time of this potential trip I will be 18 and am just wondering how safe this is to travel alone. I would really have to convince my parents since their first reaction would be that I won't come back alive. Have any of you travelled in these places alone this young, or would you recommend it?
Assuming (looking at your age) that this is your first solo trip, I wouldn't go to the middle-east or Africa. The middle east can be challenging at times for women travelling solo (my sister says, she did it several times), simply because it is not something that is widely accepted for women to do in that area. Africa's a different story; from what I've heard, much of it is kinda dangerous given extreme poverty.
I'd stick to 'easier' destinations, like Thailand and the Philippines, maybe also Australia/NZ (though that may be a bit too close to home to feel like travelling, I wouldn't know). If you find that you can handle it with ease, you can continue to 'harder' destinations (middle east being hardest, from what I've heard). India may be a different story altogether, but I really wouldn't know whether that's 'easy' or 'hard'.
in any case, have fun,
[ Edit: Edited on Apr 13, 2007, at 6:55 AM by bentivogli ]
Welcome To TP...Sonia...
Do you know the 1st rule of travelling is:It doesn't matter what age we all are,there'll always be worries and even anxiety attacks(hopefully not severe ones...Everybody worries about the places they're going to visit.That's the 1st hurdle of all.
Once you've gotten over those,planning is key to all travelling trips,where to stay,leaving at the hotel details on where you're going,organising excursions throught the hotel,not staying late at nite and if you do always have a registered number fo a taxi.
Keep an open mind...India is great place very diverse so's Thailand...The word "beautiful" doesn't come even come into it...When it comes to the Middle-East,not stating the obvious,i'm sure you've been watching the news(hopefully not too much news,they always tend to scare people)Syria is a great to visit so's yemen,Saudi Arabia...
Africa is one hell a continent,very diverse too...If you have any places that you're interested just drop me a line...
2nd Rule is:Don't forget to have fun and meet lots of fun people
SEA would be a safe bet at 17, and a good introduction to the world of backpacking. I did SEA at 17, even the supposedly more "dangerous" countries, and it turned out a great experience... I contemplated India as well, but thought that i could not handle it at this time - even in Burma i had a cultural shock of sorts at first, it was just so different, i would really not recommend India as a first trip. SEA also offers a myriad of experiences, beaches in Thailand, old ruins and temples, natural wondes, so Id easily say its a good option for a first time trip - u could always find what suits u and slowly learn about what u like or dislike....
It seems to be a universal agreement that solo traveling will give a traveler much more insight that with groups (Or we "travelers" could just be biased). Anyway, you'll be 18 when you go so there really shouldn't be any age barriers no matter where you go. I've talked to many people your age each of who had different choices for their first solo trip. Most of them went to places in SA, SEA and even Africa for their first trips. If they can do it, you can do it (obviously). Just make sure you're prepared for wherever you go.