Travelling on your own

I love travelling, and I have so many places that I want to visit.
My (first) dream is to do a long backpacking trip. My sister and her husband backpacked through South East Asia for 16 months, and it just seems like the most amazing experience to me.

However, since I don't have a boyfriend or a friend with the same ambitions, I wonder if it would be possible of doing it on my own. So far I've only been on one holiday on my own, just 5 days in Edinburgh, and I'm going back to Scotland for 2 weeks in 1,5 week. But it seems scary to travel around alone, especially in a part of the world that is so unlike what I'm used to, and as a single female.

So I was wondering if any of you have experience with this?
Please, share your ideas, stories, tips,...!

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10 replies since 21st January 2010 • Last reply 21st January 2010

I've never travelled on my own, and to be honest I don't think I would be brave enough to do it myself.
If you are coming over here to Scotland, remember to bring warm waterproof clothes, because it's freezing just now!

There are some organisers who run trips with various itineries , especially for backpackers, either on their own or in groups. These start from Edinburgh, and are a good way for lone travellers to meet others, and also have the safety of being in a group. It's a good way to get around Scotland too, and I think it's safer than going alone. My young nephew from Canada went on one of these trips and really enjoyed it (he was travelling on his own too)

Check out these websites, and you may see something you like:

http://www.wild-in-scotland.com
http://www.haggisadventures.com/Scotland

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I have always travelled on my own, I am kinda fearless when it comes to that, I traveled across China via train by myself twice, I didn't speak the language but it was a great experience. Its a good idea to be causious, and keep an eye on your belongings. I also traveled to Germany by myself and lived there for abou 6 months.

One thing about traveling alone, is to not make yourself look like a toursit. Pickpockets are everywhere you don't wear anything valubal on you


Why not stay at a youth Hostel? you can meet other travelers and maybe go out and about with them.

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I'm with Michelle G on this one.Great advise :0)
I spent my late teens and early 20's working in conservation holidays for the BTCV . They still have a great program my fav was two weeks on Jersey after1987 great storm devastated a woodland habit.We restored it and made it accessible for local people.
We're also life members of the YHA which has been great fun over the years.
Go explore there's just so much out there !

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Yes, I am planning a trip to africa ior South America in the next two years, I want to save to go. I am going by myself, I want to go on a sarfai, or take a amazon boat cruise.

So I am saving up for it. I have been all over Canada, Europe and Asia, need to vist africa and South America

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Nora, besides Edinburgh I'm doing a 5-day bus tour through the Highlands and Isle of Skye, with MacBackpackers. I already have my warm waterproofs ready Happy

The hostels are a given, because it's cheap and it's indeed a good way to meet other travelers.

For other parts of the world it's mainly the traveling around that seems daunting to me, trains, busses, sightseeing,... Europe doesn't really scare me, since I speak 5 languages well enough to get me around, and the culture and customs obviously are the same. So it's more for Asia and other continents. I went to Malaysia for a month, when my sister and brother-in-law were there, and it really needed some getting used to people bothering you in the street, trying to sell you stuff or asking for money and whatnot, or men whistling.

Michelle, how exactly do you go about not making yourself look like a tourist? It seems pretty obvious when you're sightseeing, and simply look European. My blonde sister sure got alot of attention Happy

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you look like you know where you are going, don't get the deer in the headlights look. And in asia, they always try to sell you things, don't talk, don't stop and push through the crowd

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look european? well, i live there-we all look different ... so how do europeans look?
turkey for example, and italy, greece etc. is darker skin, dark eyes, dark hair.
holland, germany is blonde with light skin and blue eyes as stereotype.
france is darker, too.
and the sightseeing thing is obviously tourist. so is going on walks. around here, pretty much only tourists go walking around the villages. the natives have allready seen them =P
and when we see big groups of asians we know its tourists. since there aren't that many asians here.
i have never travelled alone yet(im 15, so its kinda logical) but i think if you're careful you can. my nieces are in argentina now, just 2 girls, and they're doing good.

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It'd be great fun, although I'm lucky enough that my best friend wants to travel too. I just wouldn't have as much fun if I didn't have someone to share it with. I do think you get a very different experience in a very different wayHappy

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I've travelled on my own as such, I got up to Mansfield to visit my sister and to Liverpool to visit my friend... so it isn't entirely on my own!!

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what I mean is, don't look lost or confused. Don't carry backpacks, pickpockets go after them.

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