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Lone female eager to travel but too scared!

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1. Posted by Loneskyblues (Budding Member 11 posts) 40w Star this if you like it!

I think I've finally found a site where people are having conversations in the present day and not 2002! Yay!

So any advice of where to start, reassurance from other lone travellers or any other support welcome :) I've had a life long dream to travel America, perhaps from one end to the other like they do with Trek America or those other sites. Maybe start in New York, or end there, I have no idea. I'm 36 so I feel im finally secure enough to travel a little, and I'm not talking about a year, but maybe just 3 or 4 months because I'm a bit of a wimp. I have no one to go with, everyone I know is in a relationship or has kids and so I'm thinking if I'm going to do something adventurous then I'd better do it now.

Thing is, I'm a wuss, I think the worse and was just wondering if there are any female travelers out there that can let me know what it's like travelling on your own? I hate flying too (but I force myself) so that would be a big hurdle on my own, I'm scared of getting lost, I'm scared of getting stuck in a position where I don't have a friend that I can give a nudge and wink to to get me out of there. I would want to stay in hostels I guess too but I'd feel so old. See, I worry about everything.

To everyone else, where the hell do I start with this? How do people plan going travelling, do you often meet up easily with other travellers? Any advice please. I so want to do this. Stupid that I feel everything but nothing is stopping me!

Thank you in advance.

2. Posted by CheersT (Inactive 2578 posts) 40w Star this if you like it!

With common sense and a bit of research/preparation solo travel is no big deal, especially when travelling to an easy destination like the US.

Why don't you start by mentioning your nationality, budget and whether you can drive a rental car.

Cheers,
Terry

3. Posted by balhannahrise (Respected Member 51 posts) 40w Star this if you like it!

Are you female and do you live in America or are travelling to there?

4. Posted by Loneskyblues (Budding Member 11 posts) 40w Star this if you like it!

Yes that would be helpful wouldn't it I'm British, I can drive but I'm hesitant to, I think I'd rather catch a train or bus. As for budget, I'm not sure. I was thinking of mapping out a route, calculating it and then saving my butt off, probably no more than £6,000 and seeing where that gets me. I'm thinking of planning something for next May/June.

5. Posted by Loneskyblues (Budding Member 11 posts) 40w Star this if you like it!

And yes, I'm female.

6. Posted by Beausoleil (Travel Guru 556 posts) 40w 2 Star this if you like it!

Hi. Don't be afraid to travel alone. That's the best way to meet people. If you are in a pair (or more), people tend to leave you alone, but if you are by yourself, they will start a conversation.

Staying in hostels is fine at any age. Even old people like me stay in them. The only thing that might bother you is the noise in some of them and if that isn't a problem, don't worry about it. People having fun tend to make a bit of noise but it's good noise.

In the USA I'd recommend trains, planes or private bus tours. The Greyhound or public buses can be a little scary at times. We all drive so that's the norm here. Just because of that the bus stations are often in the worst parts of town. Train stations suffer the same fate in many cities. There are a lot of us who use public transportation though and there are plenty of visitors to our country who use it so it is pretty safe. I've never felt uncomfortable . . . but I don't ride at night. :)

Our daughters both travel alone and enjoy it. I did when I was younger but we're retired now and so we have all our vacations (!) together. I guess they're not vacations when you are retired . . .

My father used to always say, "99% of the things you worry about never happen." I'm not sure about the statistics but suspect he was close to right. Being afraid keeps you from a lot of things you would really enjoy. Plan ahead; that's good, but don't feel you have to worry about everything that could go wrong. Just do the best you can. If you're really nervous, take a shorter trip and see how it goes. That might convince you that a long trip would be a lot of fun. Sure, things may go wrong, but they may at home too so why not have some new experiences and meet some new people in the meantime?

Good luck. When you get into the planning stages, please come back here with lots of questions.

7. Posted by Loneskyblues (Budding Member 11 posts) 40w Star this if you like it!

Thanks Beausoleil, that's great and v encouraging advice. I'm fine with noise, I don't mind hearing young people having fun. Good to know about the public transport too. I think the most thing I'm worried about is people carrying guns, it's just very alien in Britain, but all sorts go on here too with other types of weapons, so like you say, things can go wrong at home too.

I was thinking about doing the whole Trek America thing where you travel with a group but I really don't want to be restricted and lots of people like you have said it'd be better to do it alone as some others in a group will undoubtably want to do different things.

I shall get a map and no doubt will come back with more questions.

Thanks again!

8. Posted by Beausoleil (Travel Guru 556 posts) 40w Star this if you like it!

I understand you're worrying about people carrying guns. It's all over the media all the time. I've lived here most of my nearly 75 years and honestly, I haven't even seen a gun for well over 50 years. The only reason I saw guns when I was a kid is that I lived in a small midwestern town and everyone hunted in the autumn. It was just something everyone did and our mothers canned the meat and we used it over the winter. It was like going out and gathering walnuts or canning tomatoes. That was the way people lived.

Much has changed since then and most people don't even own a gun. Those that do usually don't carry them. They are locked up unless they are going hunting or sport shooting. You will probably not see one, except possibly on a law enforcement official. The media is out to cover things that get attention and that is mostly either really bad or really good things. The world is made of mostly normal things and that's not too exciting so it doesn't get on the evening news. Don't worry about it; I'm betting you will never see or hear a gun while you are here.

9. Posted by Beausoleil (Travel Guru 556 posts) 40w Star this if you like it!

BTW, I have a friend who did TrekAmerica tours when she was under 35. She had a great time. I've never tried it so can't give an opinion, but for a start, it might be okay. We've seen some when we've been camping and they appeared to be having loads of fun. It depends on your tolerance for other people and whether or not you want to choose your own activities. There are people who love tours and there are people who hate tours and it's hard for them to discuss it rationally. My friend was under 35 when she did this (for at least ten years/ten tours) but she did stop when she hit 36. I never asked her why. Perhaps she had just seen what she wanted to see or perhaps she was getting to an age when the younger tour members drove her crazy. I should ask . . . :)

10. Posted by Teoni (Respected Member 487 posts) 40w Star this if you like it!

I've been to America twice, my second one being at the beginning of this year. I did rent a car which for the sites I was visiting was kind of a must. I visited places like New Orleans and Miami which apparenlty are considered quite dangerous cities and my trip was uneventful so I wouldn't worry to much about violence, as a tourist you will inevitably end up in mostly touristy areas and they aren't the areas that tend to see violence. There were definitely some places I drove through that I thought this is not a place I want to stop and get out but use your common sense and it will guide you pretty well plus research the places you want to visit thoroughly.

Travelling on your own the idea is scary because all you think about is everything that will go wrong but once you start you find yourself so preoccupied with your travels you forget to be scared and when your trip is over you wonder why was I so scared? From my own experience taking the first step is hard but once you start walking, it becomes like breathing you stop thinking about it and just enjoy.