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1st Time Solo (Female) - 30th Birthday January or April 2014

San Diego...
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1st Time Solo (Female) - 30th Birthday January or April 2014

Hello --

I have been going through a dark period of my life for the past few years (experienced great losses) and will be turning 30 this January 2014. I am absolutely terrified of traveling alone, but feel like I need the challenge in order to build a better relationship with myself and document this transition from 20s to adulthood.

I've grown so much (emotionally) in the past year, that I think I really deserve it! I'm looking for an abridged sort of "eat, pray, love" adventure. Maybe without the "pray" or the "love".....

Timing of Trip: First 2 weeks of January or last 2 weeks of April

Location: Somewhere outside of the US (lower 48)

Experience: Well-traveled domestically, but no experience in a foreign country

Budget: $3k - $5k ??

I really like urban areas and dining and nightlife. My top concern is safety & well-being (although, part of the goal of this trip will be to establish a greater sense of security for myself). Thanks!

Houston, Texas
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1. Re: 1st Time Solo (Female) - 30th Birthday January or April 2014

Are there any places that are currently on your short list that you'd like to share, as an example? Maybe places you have been reading about or interests.

San Diego...
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2. Re: 1st Time Solo (Female) - 30th Birthday January or April 2014

I realized I never actually asked a questions.

Any suggestions on where to travel? How to do it? What basics should I keep in mind as a solo female traveler? Where would be easy to book and nice to visit for a January 2014 trip? Alternatively, what would be excellent for an April 2014 trip?

Thanks!

San Diego...
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3. Re: 1st Time Solo (Female) - 30th Birthday January or April 2014

Places I've been toying with.......

Alaska

Iceland

Italy

Scotland

Ireland

Amsterdam

Sweden

Thailand

Costa Rica

Greece

I really am all over the place..... I only speak English (extremely limited Spanish), and I'm a vegan if maybe that further limits things. I'd like to go somewhere "easy" since I've never been abroad before and will be by myself.

Bangkok, Thailand
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4. Re: 1st Time Solo (Female) - 30th Birthday January or April 2014

If you like urban stuff, skip Alaska. The climate can also be challenging even in April.

In January the weather is likely to pleasant in Costa Rica and Thailand. However, January is high season in Thailand so accommodation prices are at their highest and flight seats may be scarce.

April would be a really good time to visit any of the European countries. The winter will be over but the tourist season has not really started.

If you want to make it easy for yourself, Scotland could be ideal. There is a mild language barrier ;-) but any confusion is likely to be just entertaining. Edinburgh is supposed to be a very nice small city and Scotland has plenty of scenery, too. Eating vegan is also a well known thing in Europe.

With only two weeks it probably is best to stick to a single country. Reading the destination forums and their Top Questions will be very helpful once you have chosen the locations.

Houston, Texas
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5. Re: 1st Time Solo (Female) - 30th Birthday January or April 2014

I agree that Costa Rica being nearby might be ideal in both January or April.

Of the other places/countries, I've been to Italy, Ireland, Amsterdam/Rotterdam, and Greece. If ancient architecture interests you, consider Rome or Athens. Barcelona is another place I've been with a nice nightlife and sites, too. I agree for 2 weeks, that you might pick 2-3 destinations OR just make a home base and do day trips or excursions.

Chicago, Illinois
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6. Re: 1st Time Solo (Female) - 30th Birthday January or April 2014

Thinking of Refreshing on the wild bush, bird singing it can be a recommended package for you. I would suggest Safari to Tanzania, take time here for safari and holiday although April tends to be rain season but with January is Okay. Extended your vacation to Mafia Island (relaxed environment, few tourist, nice beaches, highly recommended) or Zanzibar Island

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7. Re: 1st Time Solo (Female) - 30th Birthday January or April 2014

A European cruise? That is very easy and you'll likely make friends on the ship. They also organize group excursions so if you don't want to sight see alone all the time you don't have to.

Delphi,Greece
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8. Re: 1st Time Solo (Female) - 30th Birthday January or April 2014

If your aim is soul-searching and building some confidence, personally I think been committed in a cruise or a group for the whole trip is not a good idea. Organizing a DIY trip is a rewarding experience giving you confidence and fulfills a sense of achievement even before the actual trip. And while on the spot, you can spend time with your self, take decisions, be responsible and absorb new cultures and experiences. This helps to know you better and be a mature adult.

Meeting people from different backgrounds is generally easier when traveling solo. Of course depends on your own attitude too, but walking in a local park on a sunny day or having a beer in a bar is an easy way to strike conversations with locals. Join a popular tourist activity or visit a popular attraction and hey! tons of other visitors around you! Usually walking or bus tours or even boat tours are easy to arrange with local companies or through your hotel reception while on the spot, so this is an easy way to be with others if you feel like it.

Flexibility is important!

Glasgow, United...
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9. Re: 1st Time Solo (Female) - 30th Birthday January or April 2014

Hi Debra,

Although I can't answer your question on what it's like to travel alone, it has been something I was considering myself. I'm from Scotland and coincidentally California was what I was considering as the similar culture and language between the UK and US wouldn't be too daunting for a first time solo traveller. From the west coast flights to Scotland are typically via London Heathrow. As you mentioned you like urban areas and nightlife Glasgow or Edinburgh would likely be your best options. Public transport options in both cities make it easy to get around and even travel between both so you can get the best of both worlds. Glasgow and Edinburgh are only 50 miles apart.

Edinburgh is the capital but Glasgow is the larger city. There is plenty to do during the day, museums/art galleries/shopping/theatres etc. There is a vibrant nightlife in both cities too.

In Edinburgh it is focused on "The Royal Mile"

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Royal_Mile

Then in Glasgow you have

Ashton Lane, which as you may have guessed is a lane... In the West End: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ashton_Lane

There is much more to the West End. Plenty of bars and restaurants and also a comedy club. In the City Centre there is a pub/club to suit just about every taste. Sauchiehall St from Charing Cross to Rose St is lined with licensed premises. There are casinos too dotted around the city.

At the other end of the city centre there is Merchant City: http://www.merchantcityglasgow.com

If you come in January bring a coat :-)

If you come in April... Still bring a coat... Your San Diego winter is like summer to us.

Isle of Man, United...
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10. Re: 1st Time Solo (Female) - 30th Birthday January or April 2014

Hi Debra -snap! I'm planning my first solo trip for when I turn 30 myself! I had been in a longterm relationship up until 5 months ago so have decided to do some travelling and also my first longhaul trip. Whilst it's very scary thinking about going on my own (mainly working out the public transport/airports!) I feel it's definitely something I will benefit in the longrun and it does for you too.

My trip I'm thinking of doing is London to Hong Kong for a few days to visit a friend, then possibly fly to Bali for 10 days then to Brisbane and work my way up to Cairns for 3-4 weeks (also do a scuba diving course!) Then fly back via Bali (rather than on the way out) taking 5-6 weeks.

I was hoping to have a friend to go with my most of my friends are married or have children!

I'm hoping to go mid March so I've already started my trip by the time I turn 30 :)