Hey, first of all I have to say that I'm completely addicted to TP and have been happily getting nothing done at work
Anyway, I would like to hear from ladies that have travelled on their own and what their experiences have been. Did you have an amazing time? Any bad experiences? I am nothing but excited about my upcoming trip but there have been some people who either think I'm crazy or they are concerned for my safety. I have common sense and won't be putting myself in dangerous situations. Countries I plan on visiting include: Ireland, England, Belgium, France, Spain and Italy. Staying with someone I know in Ireland and Belgium but the rest will be mostly hostels.
I am from the US and have been to the UK and western europe on my own and plan to again this summer. It still amazes me that people are so surprised I travel by myself. Mostly it's because they don't have the guts to do it themselves. I've actually had a female travel agent on the street in Miami try to hook me up with another solo woman. Sheesh! Solo women aren't pathetic!
What usually happens for me is I'll feel kind of lonely and "what am I doing here?" when I first arrive. I think that's being tired from the flight more than anything. Soon enough, I get into the groove and feel much better about going around by myself and start having fun. I think you are doing the right thing by doing hostels because I had done hotels and didn't really meet anyone except occasionally in the breakfast room. I have always found people to talk to, even though normally I'm not much of an initiator.
You'll enjoy being entirely free to do whatever you want, whenever you want. You're not forced to be with anyone. Sure, sometimes you'll wish you could turn to someone and say "isn't that beautiful?" but you'll probably be able to do that with someone you meet in a hostel.
I think it's great you are traveling by yourself. You'll really find out more about you and be proud of how you can take care of yourself. When you need help, people are happy to provide it. I've never really felt unsafe, like you said, use your common sense. Be savvy about the men, especially in Spain and Italy. All the attention and flattery is intoxicating so decide ahead of time whether you want to hook up with someone or not so you have no regrets.
[ Edit: Edited on Mar 23, 2008, at 10:23 AM by laurim ]
Like Lauri said, travelling on your own can sometimes be lonely. But you do get over that pretty quick because you start to chat with the people in the hostels and then maybe sometimes you may get together to do some touristy things.
I've travelled to Hawaii and to Australia with my work so I don't know whether that counts. But I have made short weekend trips to Sydney/Brisbane/Katoomba/Hawaii by myself.
When you travel by yourself, you do what you want, see what you want to see, rest when you want, go when you want to and don't need to compromise. It's a bit selfish but it's the truth.
I think to travel alone you need to be strong or you'll learn to be strong. You'll also learn a lot about yourself.
I'm about to do a three month tour of Asia, mostly alone, and I'm very nervous. But I like a challenge, love meeting new people, and consider myself a good judge of character, so I'm hoping these qualities see me through. My roommate travelled alone through Thailand, and she assures me I'll be fine. She really enjoyed it, and she told me that the truth is you are rarely ever alone because of all the new people you meet.
Wishing us both luck!
All I can say is, go girls ! I've so far travelled on my own in Central America, Australia, New Zealand and last year in South East Asia and absolutely loved it! Sure, I was always a bit nervous (in a good way) when I first arrived, but after a day or two I got used to the situation and almost immediately met other solo travellers in cafés, restaurants on the bus or in hostels to hang out with. I therefore hardly ever had the feeling of being alone, unless I chose to be.
Personally I think travelling by yourself is not selfish but a great challenge, because you have to leave the comfort zone of home, family and friends and make your own decisions while on the road. If you are willing to give that a try I'm sure you'll have a fantastic time!
Of course, as a solo female it is extra important to use common sense (e.g. don't walk through the park alone at night), especially in a foreign environment but if you stick to 'the rules' you won't have to worry about your safety.
I never had a bad experience when travelling on my own.
Thanks ladies for your replies! Glad to hear there are girls that travel alone and love it. I know I'm going to love it too, and I can't wait!!!
I have travelled solo in all of the countries you mentioned wanting to visit and had the time of my life! Contrary to what people think about safety, i love staying in hostels, and always met people to go out with sightseeing or for a meal or a few drinks!
You have chosen your countries well, and should feel safe in all of them. My advice is that if you feel uncomfortable in a hostel, whether it be location or the people in your rooms, ask them to get you another room! Sometimes you just get a funny feeling about the people on your room, or even think they are too noisy/quiet for your taste! I have never had a problem changing rooms, though i only felt like doing it a few times (mostly in thailand so you have no worries there)
Go for it!
Have an amazing time, and feel free to send me a message if you want additional info about any of the countries, or hostel recommendations