hey everyone, im sure this has been up here many times but im extremly nervous and excited about doing my trip alone. i htink its good to go it alone because i can do what i want and change my trip to suit me, BUT going to countries alone not speaking the language im extremly scared about. id love to hear from people who have been in my position. thanks!
done it once for 6 weeks. went to a few places
doing it again in 2 weeks, only staying for 2 weeks though
both times were/are by myself. where were you thinking of going?
dont worry about the language, for the most part everyone speaks english. that was 75% of the time not a problem for me. When i was in southern europe, it was a small problem (thats the other 15%).
and its a fantastic idea your by yourself. No conflicts and you can do what you want, and stay in places for however long you want.
My advice is to ride the trains second class - you will be able to meet all types of people (locals as well as other tourists) - an excellent way to socialize in Europe and meet many new friends (something that's harder to do if you're not alone!) If you go first class it's just other tourists and businessmen!
[ Edit: Edited on Oct 20, 2008, at 1:52 PM by Daawgon ]
As they don't like all the destinations i choose, many of my friends don't follow me everytime. Then i often travel alone during one or two week in Europe.
In september i crossed Ireland alone. But i shouldn't say alone, cause i met so many people that lastly i was never alone.
You'll see it's cool.
It depends on where you go exactly, but in Europe you'll find many people who speak english. And even if they don't i'm sure you could understand finally.
And as lakers said, when you're alone, you can do what YOU want, go where YOU want, when YOU want.
thanks everyone your putting me at ease about it all lol
hey lakers im going around Western Europe....ish not to sure yet, jsut planning it now.....any places you recommend i definitly should go too??
[ Edit: Edited on Oct 21, 2008, at 4:37 AM by lucky2720 ]
Barcelona! You should definately come to Barcelona! I'm working here at the moment and having a great time, picking up lots more Spanish and Catalan too. I would say that the laguage thing is not generally a problem but you should try to get a few of the basic please and thank yous etc as people appreciate you trying! If you try and understand some of the language you will be able to understand more of the place and people and what is going on too! Most large cities have classes that you can sign up to for a week or so at a time and this is a great way to meet people.
Barcelona is a great city for soaking up some culture with all the Picasso and Gaudi stuff, but the thing i think Barcelonians do best is party! There is always some fiesta going on and there are lots of bars with live music etc. It has good links to the rest of Spain too with a high speed service to Madrid and there are a couple of airports to chose from. (if you are travelling around europe and want to cover longer distances check out ryan air and easy jet for cheap deals. It won't do anything for your carban foot print though.) Interailing is good too and there are lots of discounts to have if you are under 26 or a student.
I liked Seville for the Flamenco and music and Paris is just amazing. I couldn't even afford to do much there but the best thing to do is do as the locas do: sit at a cafe on the street with a coffee (ad a cigarette if you are that way inclined) and a good book and watch the world go by!
Assuming you're staying in hostels most the people you'll be talking to will probably be English speakers anyway (Australians, Canadians, British, etc.). Remember English is the global language, although in Spain the global language is more geared towards Spanish, since they have different languages within the country and South Americans/Italians.
In being in tourist locations there will mainly be other tourists - you'll prob meet more aussies than anyone else! If you want to see the culture more - go to the smaller towns and cities and you'll find it's much more like the traditional country, best way to do this would probably be to team up with someone and hire a car. They'll also be much more friendly and interested in you.
As for when you're taking to locals, what I did was learn hello, thank you, something to suggest you don't speak the local language (my blood is European so I had the problem of people thinking I speak the local language!), and do you speak english?
eg. French: Bonjour (Hello), Merci (Thank you), Je ne compron pas (I don't understand), parle vous Anglais (do you speak English)?
Start with those, then you might wanna also learn a few numbers so you know how much cash you need to pay for whatever you're buying. Buy a small phrasebook if you're spending a couple weeks in a certain language. If you're open to it you'll be surprised how much you learn by being in a country! Look at the pronounciation first so you can learn by reading (Spanish is kinda similar but French sounds really different when it's read).
Oh and in Germany/Netherlands/Switzerland/Scandanavia they can speak better English than a lot of native English speakers :P
As for places to go I really enjoyed the following:
Spain - Seville, Granada, Barcelona
France - Paris, Nice (Monaco), Millau area
Germany - Berlin, Munich
Switzerland - Bern, Interlaken (Grindelwald), most of the country is very beautiful though.
Italy - didn't have much time here but enjoyed Rome
UK - London, Edinburgh (really underestimated in my opinion!), try get to the country in Ireland/Scotland too!
Amsterdam (not just the red light district, it's a beautiful place!)
Hope that helps a bit. I just did a similar thing in going to Europe for about 5 months on my own this year.
[ Edit: Edited on Oct 24, 2008, at 8:30 PM by Erik85 ]
thanks for all the info!!!!
wow Erik 5 months sounds like a dream!!
I confirm what everybody's telling you. Don't be nervous about travelling alone. I've been on a very long trip, four years travelling around on the road, in a bunch of coutries, and being alone was never a mater.
It is, I believe, the best way to discover yourself at the same time as you discover the places you go to. Facing yourself is a way to measure yourself. It's also a very good way to really meet with the local cultures, the local people. When you're along with friends, you can easily create a world of your own, inside any place you go, speaking your own language, laughing at your own jokes. When you're alone, you'll be a lot more eager to talk to people, watch them really, and try to understand what's going on around you.
And at last, if loneliness is hard to you, don't worry about a thing: as it's been said, in western Europe where you're going, you'll meet plenty of other travellers, and very probably the road will give you someone to get along with. Of course, this won't be forever, and your roads will diverge at some point. But as I've been told once: "That's the nature of the beast"