but is Los Angeles really that bad??????
Yes. It's a grey dump of misery; drive out of it in any direction, and in an hour or two, you'll see the world slowly take on color and realize how bad it was back in the city. It's a major hub, so it's a very common place for people to fly into, but I'd recommend making your way out of it as soon as you can - the rest of California (and the general west of the USA) is much, much nicer.
Don't worry too much about solo travelling. It's the way to go. You can never truly be prepared or plan everything for a RTW trip, but this is part of its beauty. You have some structure, some idea of where you'll be in a couple of weeks, and then you just fill in the gaps as you go along, getting hints and tips from fellow travellers on the road, sometimes deciding to go left or right merely based on which way the wind is blowing. You'll experience and see things you can't even imagine right now, which you'll think back on regularly for the rest of your life. Just ordinary day sights of exotic perfection. Little scenes from the tapestry of life.
The months will be over before you know it, and you'll wish you'd gone for four times as long.
second part of this post is beautiful, gave me goosebumps - 7 weeks today i leave! i unlike swahili im not scared one bit - im aprehensive slightly of the unknown and being a single female and all that jazz but i am ready for what ever the world has to throw at me!
PS - have avoided LA! East coast of the states only!