I'm only new to this forum and have been reading for the past 5-6hours.
Come Novemver 15th I am flying out to Germany for a friends birthday there. After her birthday I will be backpacking around Europe, possibly with some friends from Germany, but equal chance of me being alone, a scary feat on its own. I have gone to a camping and travelling goods store and tried on many backpacks and have been suited to a 60L + 15L day pack combo. I have just applied for my student working visa aswell and that is all clear so will be working in Germany too for up to a year. I am planning on backpacking for 6-7 weeks all around Europe and seeing as much as I can because I love photography and don't want to pass up this opportunity while im young and have no commitments. I have deferred my University and am working 2 jobs, all day followed by all night to get enough money together to support me whilst looking for a job.
However, what is worrying both my family and myself, is the possibility of travelling alone. How many of you have done this, especially around Europe? Do you often meet up with other lone and small group travellers in hostels and go for a few day stints with them before going off in your own direction again? I am under-going both tutored and self-taught German lessons at the moment aswell as to have a brief understanding as to what is being said and to ask for general direction, speak english etc. I will be taking a laptop and camera with me to keep in touch with family and also upload photos of a night if not out seeing the towns. I was thinking of having all non-valuables in my main pack, clothes and guide book etc, and in my day pack have my laptop, camera gear and passport/money on a moneybelt (i think thats what they're called?)
Being only 18 this experience is very daunting, in no way am I worried about the home sickness etc, more the fear of loosing an important document such as my passport and being stranded in a foreign country. Having read my brief outline, is there anything that you would recommend I do differently apart from travel with friends/in a group? My sister cannot come as she is in Europe now for 7 weeks and lands before I leave and cannot get time off work to come again and my friends are all too uptight to rough it around, stay in hostels and backpack everywhere. They want everything to be done to a plan and worked out before they step foot out the front door, so me being the adventurous type, I am alone in the wild so to speak.
Any help you can offer will be greatly appreciated!
EDIT - Just double checked, Very sorry if I posted this in the wrong area! Just thought packing tips etc might also be more important then other info as to where to go, where to stay etc. Again, sorry if it's in the wrong area!
[ Edit: Edited on Aug 14, 2008, at 12:59 AM by dann089 ]