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19 replies
rambles from a nervous one
bobo
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okay. im gonna bare all and admit that….well…i’m so nervous about travelling on my own! i was fine until my family started getting on my case about it. "don’t think you should go. can’t you find someone? what happened to that friend you were gonna go with?" i’ve travelled on my own before, when i was fifteen i went to japan and korea, but i grew up in asia so it didn’t really intimidate me. but now i am heading to eastern europe, and all i know is what i’ve read. so are there any chicks out there that did eastern europe on their own and have some tips, warnings, or good words about it?

Karolina
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Hey!
DON’T WORRY!U ‘LL BE JUST FINE!
I’m from Poland traveling on my own europe this summer(I’ll start in Spain in 3 weeks,when I’m done with school year here.)
You really dont need to worry(but I get your point!I did travel a lot solo but never longer than 3 weeks and always meeting with several friends on my way).Now I’m more affraid to stay alone at hostels and have no one to hung out with than of other stuff like security and so on…Anyway what countrys are u heading for?List them so maybe I could help u or so…Eastern Europe is safe and u’ll be sooo shocked how great it is to travel it!Ppl are frieandly,places are beautiful and it’s not so overcrowded like west.No special warnings!Not to mention that its cheaper there.
take care and have a great summer!

Maggiebackpack
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It’s common for women to be nervous about venturing out by themselves, but there is no real reason to worry! As long as you follow basic safty precautions you will be fine. Wether you travel in an off season or not, you will meet so many other backpackers, which is the BEST part about traveling, you won’t really be by yourself unless you want to be. You can reassure your family by reading off some safty tips from soyouwanna.com. I’m not saying Italy isn’t full of men that want and will grab your ass, but as long as you look like you know where your going and not some silly tourist, they won’t mess with you. Good luck and HAVE FUN!
-M

bobo
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thanks you guys! i really needed to hear that! i’m glad to hear europe ain’t so rough. i’ve never done the hostel/backpack thing before and think i was a bit doubtful about meeting people, but it seems from this website that the majority of people that stay in hosels are sociable. any way, i just bought my ticket (so proud of my self that i actually got my shit together for this trip). going for a month and then down to australia! thanks again!

Lizzi7
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I’m looking to travel Europe next year, some on my own and then I have people coming out to meet me. I have been advised to avoid Eastern Europe unless I have a male companion. I would say up to Poland and Czech is alright but Soviet is looking a bit dodge city.

Karolina
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well there is nothing like Soviet anymore so what do u mean by that?
Eastern Europe is really safe(Poland,Czech republik,Slovak,Hungary,Austria).It’s way safer than greece ,turkey or south italy!.People are friendly but they dont touch you,dont call you at the streets and so on..like they do in that south countrys.

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I only went to Hungary, but I traveled for 3 months and I know what you’re going through. But, being realistic, if you took a trip to the neighbouring county, they’d still worry, because they’re family.

It is normal to be so nervous when planning a trip to a place you haven’t been to before, but it’s great, travelling solo is the best thing I’ve done for myself. As for other backpackers, it’s not like there aren’t any jerks backpacking, but you just gotta put your limits and you’ll be fine. Most of the backpackers I met were so caring, I guess as backpackers, we are all in each other’s shoes, so they know what you’re going through, they know you are alone, like them, and they know tourists have a disadvantage in the sense that they don’t know the country, thus they might me ripped off, get lost, or have the languaje barrier, and as backpackers, I guess we all try to help other fellow backpackers if they are in need, because we are sharing the same risk.

It is 5am here, did I make any sense at all???

bobo
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yes thankyou, it did make sense.
there’s always soo many people on this site looking for a travel buddy, and while yes it would be cool to have a travel buddy, i feel i’d probably learn alot about myself travelling solo. it’s nice to hear

quote:but it’s great, travelling solo is the best thing I’ve done for myself.
Very motivational!

desdemonarice
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Hi. I’ve got just one but of advice that’s relevant to this discussion. I too have traveled solo (though not through eastern Europe), and before I left my family gave me a bunch of onesuite calling cards. I rolled my eyes, certain that I’d just use my cell phone. I actually ended up using both, but that’s not the point — the point was that the calling cards were good insurance: just in case I got into a bit of trouble, I’d be able to call my way out of it, even if I didn’t have my cell any longer. It’s a small slice of advice but nevertheless it could make a big difference.

perne6
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i am travelling alone too! exact same situation..was very happy with my decision until my mother (i kid you not) HID my passport from me and started crying and carrying on. i’m going to mallorca, spain for a month. anyone have any advice? hostels? any/all advice i would be so, so appreciative.
thanks.
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sparks
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i doubt u will be alone…i m sure u will start to chat to just about everyone everywhere and meet lots of potential travel buddies
i was travelling with my guy but we struck up conversations on train station platforms or near ticket machines ..anywhere!it woulda been easy to hook up had we wanted to

western europe feels safer than eastern europe tho

on the trains for instance…so trust ur instincts ..if u get that furry feeling on the back of ur neck dont think ur being alarmist..move out of the area

i know women tend to ignore these signs…(u ever opened a door even when u havent known whos on the other side and then thought’idiot, i shouldnt be doing this’..its typical..we dont think it can happen to us and dont want to show fear for fear of looking like a nutter)

i dont like train compartments..i dont like the fact that u cant see other passengers in other compartments…esp on early morning trains when there arent many people anyway

i can understand ur mums concerns…it is safe…but never completely…just like at home …dont leave ur drink unattended…dont trust anyone esp when u have been drinking and wear good comfortable shoes so that u can walk quickly…be assertive or at least look it!
people are generally friendly but theres a lot of drinking in public places …something that has been banned in oz for years now

ull be right..just be aware of all thats going around u !

good luck and keep in touch with mum regularly lol

MollyOrlando
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Hey
Sparks, that’s great advice. I think every girl feels the same way about heading to europe alone…I mean we’re not reinventing the wheel here. I’ll be leaving,alone, for Europe soon and I am shy by nature so I was wondering if anyone had any suggestions on how to strike up a conversation. Molly

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Always trust your instincts and you´ll be fine,
and about starting a conversation it´s easy for a girl
when she starts talking to a guy, because we guys sometimes are a little more shy then girls, just be your self and you´ll do great.

jac
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I travelled through Eastern Europe, but I didn’t go the backpacking route. I have to say that if you choose to go the Ukraine, Russia and other countries formally of the Soviet Bloc you will see a marked difference from Poland, Austria etc. Alot more poverty and alot less western. Not to say that you still can’t have a great time, you’ve travelled before and like others have said as long as you keep your wits about you, you should be fine. These countries are beautiful with so much history, you’re going to love it!

sparks
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striking up conversations is easy for girls

if hes realllly cute and looks worth it…just act helpless!
ask help to read a map or instructions on how to get a train tickets..what phone card to purchase

make something up!///like ..excuse me ..do u speak english ? how do i get to ….etc…

lol

its safer to do this during the day …where there are people around naturally and in more relaxed, natural settings than bars

but the more u practise the better u get….

with girls its easy too..unless they already have friends with them…harder to break into a clique that is self sufficient so look for females on their own

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Oh man! I’ve been going through these message boards for hours. I’m planning a trip too. I’m visiting family in Poland for 2 weeks and then splitting off on my own. I’m thinking of doing Eastern Europe. I’m a 20 year old female and I’m really really nervous. I’m nervous about going alone, I’m nervous about leaving my boyfriend for that long. I’ve always dreamed of backpacking across Europe alone but now that it could be real it just seems so much more scary. I have one friend that seems interested but I have a feeling we might clash too much if we spend that much time together.
So I guess my choice is going alone (eek) or going with someone and not getting along…
I guess I worry about safety, but more than anything I’m afraid I won’t have fun alone or that I’d get lonely.
Ps. Poland is awesome! Definitely worth checking out.

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You’ve got all the jitters, but you’ll be fine. Eastern Europe should be no problem, although Ukraine and Russia are a little difficult to navigate if you don’t speak the language. You could have a great time on your own in Poland, Czech Rep and Slovakia, or in the Balkans, or in the Baltic States.

I think every solo traveler has an occasional lonely moment, but for the most part you’ll be fine. Do some research in advance and take a guidebook. If you’re the one with the idea about a great day trip to X, you’ll usually find a follower.

ylee
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Great tips.
I’m planning to travel solo next month and was feeling pretty damn scared and nervous.
But I feel more encouraged now.! I was especially worried for the first day I get there. I start at
Bruxelles, Belgium btw. Since I get to the city at night at about 11pm. I should just take a cab to the hostel …right?

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oldlady
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Where is the hostel in relationship to which train Brussels train station? I felt comfortable near central station in Brussels at night. There were tons of people out and about at all hours.

ylee
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Really? Cool, good to know that.
I’m staying at a hostel called, Generation Europe and I can actually go from either the midi station or the central station. If I go from midi station, I would use the tram line and from the central station, I use the underground line. Pretty safe?

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