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Gap year solo travel concerns/group travel?!/how to find people Watch

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    (Original post by Zappaz)
    Yeah, only visa troubles seem to be if a communist or ex-communist country decides to take a hissy fit about foreigners. Meh. Besides i hope to study chinese in between working, ie before heading off travelling, so i guess itd be better alone in china anyway, so that im forced to speak chinese! ha

    Thanks for the tip on the guide book/map, would definitely agree with you there.

    Awesome, never been, but looked up some pictures and it looks pretty cool. Its been put on the possible list :P Thats definitely encouraging

    One last question, i hope you dont mind; How do you occupy yourself when in solitude, ie how do you fill in the travel time alone, when your on buses/trains/planes or havent met anyone in the place you are travelling yet.

    Thanks for the replies, safe travels :cool:
    No problem with the questions - it's always nice to share travelling experiences. I usually write a diary when I travel which I usually scribble out in a notebook each night. Then when I'm on a transfer I get out the glue and stick all my tickets etc. in and write everything up into a scrapbook of my experience. I still have my interrailing one, it's so cool just to flick through! Other than that, the traditional ipod, book card game, talk to someone near you, sleep - all if you're on transport. Elsewhere, just have a wander, get sorted out in your room, go hunting for food, do your laundry. Boring things that have to be done are best done when you've got no plans and then you might meet people too. I've found that in hostels there are generally people just hanging around as people get in from all sorts of places at all sorts of times, there are a lot of body clocks going on at once!
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    This is what I'm thinking about doing at the moment- just trying to work out if I want to go straight to uni or not and sort out with work as well. If I go straight to uni I'd go traveling during my summer but if I don't I'll spend the first couple of months working and then spend the rest of the year traveling and apply for uni for 2014. Also depends on work- don't think I'll have enough holiday left to go this year (as in business year from April) so it depends if I'm willing to leave my job but then that also depends on where I'd decide to go uni (if I go somewhere close to another branch I probably wouldn't leave). So pretty confused at the moment .

    I defiantly want to go interrailing round Europe though- been something I've wanted to do for years, just the idea of traveling alone does sort of scare me. Was going to try and rope someone into it but I've lived a pretty guarded life so far so it would be nice to go it alone and not have to worry about what someone else wants to do. Would love to go further out (Asia, Americas) but defiantly want to start with Europe with it being closer and money wise I don't know if I'd be able to afford to keep going.
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    I have never really gone travelling for a long time, but I have been on trips for a weekend or week away to european cities, on my own and stayed in hostels. I was only 18/19 when starting, it was a scary experience, but on my first trip I went to Krakow, Poland and stayed in a hostel right in the city center, I went to unpack in my room and got chatting to 4 girls, who also were traveling on their own, we went out to dinner and got chatting! I was there for 3 days before I moved onto to Warsaw, one of the girls came with me as she just had a european rail pass! And the other 2 invited me along to travel with them.
    Everybody is welcoming in hostels, most are travelling alone there or in pairs, you get to know people, I would say try one or two european cities on your own, plan for them... write a list of where else you want to go... but see where travelling takes you, where your new friends will go etc!
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    Sorry everyone, ive been busy wit A level exams the past week so avent been online to post, but im back (1 more exam on wed )

    (Original post by enchanted-fireflies)
    I took a gap year between school and university and went travelling for six months on my own, so I know exactly how daunting it can be but if you throw yourself out there and talk to people, get involved in what they are doing you often find yourselves in a group travelling to one place or another.

    As someone else has mentioned hostels are wonderful if you're travelling on your own. Personally I booked the first few nights before I arrived then did the rest once I was on the ground so I could go wherever with whoever, whenever

    If you have any questions, feel free to ask and I'll help if I can
    Thats awesome that you took the jump. Yea its a little scary, and yes thats what im thinking of doing.

    Id love to know where you travelled to? best and worse experiences? that sort of thing! feel free to share, id love to read all about it!
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    (Original post by Coconutter)
    This is what I'm thinking about doing at the moment- just trying to work out if I want to go straight to uni or not and sort out with work as well. If I go straight to uni I'd go traveling during my summer but if I don't I'll spend the first couple of months working and then spend the rest of the year traveling and apply for uni for 2014. Also depends on work- don't think I'll have enough holiday left to go this year (as in business year from April) so it depends if I'm willing to leave my job but then that also depends on where I'd decide to go uni (if I go somewhere close to another branch I probably wouldn't leave). So pretty confused at the moment .

    I defiantly want to go interrailing round Europe though- been something I've wanted to do for years, just the idea of traveling alone does sort of scare me. Was going to try and rope someone into it but I've lived a pretty guarded life so far so it would be nice to go it alone and not have to worry about what someone else wants to do. Would love to go further out (Asia, Americas) but defiantly want to start with Europe with it being closer and money wise I don't know if I'd be able to afford to keep going.
    Awesome! Take the jump, never a better time to do it! Yolo and all that haha (jk). Interrailing around europe was were my interest started, but my mates didnt even give it alook in and just want a lads holiday. I think itd be best out of mid summer, so im thinking about may/june 2014 for interrailing. Europe is so beautiful, so many different cultures and languages, lifestyles, and most importantly beers! aha.

    Im in the same situation with regards to school/work. Im 20 hours a week atm so its a decent wage, i dont think ill be able to take off enough time to travel for as long as i want. I hope to keep my pt job on and take on a full time job untill next Jan/February before heading abroad!

    Lets do it though! I was so inspired to travel after looking into interrailing I just dont think I could live with myself if the oppertunity passed. Is there anywhere else you want to travel to? what do you plan on studying at uni? share all you want, i find it pretty cool finding people on here that are likeminded :P
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    (Original post by Tanners92)
    I have never really gone travelling for a long time, but I have been on trips for a weekend or week away to european cities, on my own and stayed in hostels. I was only 18/19 when starting, it was a scary experience, but on my first trip I went to Krakow, Poland and stayed in a hostel right in the city center, I went to unpack in my room and got chatting to 4 girls, who also were traveling on their own, we went out to dinner and got chatting! I was there for 3 days before I moved onto to Warsaw, one of the girls came with me as she just had a european rail pass! And the other 2 invited me along to travel with them.
    Everybody is welcoming in hostels, most are travelling alone there or in pairs, you get to know people, I would say try one or two european cities on your own, plan for them... write a list of where else you want to go... but see where travelling takes you, where your new friends will go etc!
    Thats awesome! Krakow looks the business, maybe its best to start in a party city! I will hopefully take some time off work at the end of september/start of october and head to Oktoberfest I have such a big list though! haha Russia/mongolia/china. Central/Eastern Europe. South east/far east asia! could name more haha Glad you enjoyed your travels, thanks for taking the time to post
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    Hi,

    I was in a a similar situation myself - and it is good you aren't waiting for a friend to go with - or it will really hold you back.

    My advice - don't plan to meet up with people you meet online - if you don't like them, you will probably be stuck with them. There are so many other solo travellers in Asia and NZ you will have no trouble meeting people. To maximize your chances of meeting people, stay in a dorm room or a cheap hostel. More expensive places you will have more trouble. When you book day trips/snorkelling trips etc you will meet people there - guaranteed.

    I found it does get quite lonely travelling on your own in some places, so booking a group trip is always a good idea. Type in "Overland tour" into google and you will get a range of companies such as Absolute Africa and Keystone adventures. These are really good, and cost effective.

    I would highly recommend these type of tours for places like China, Mongolia and Russia etc. as you will find less solo travellers that speak English here, which won't be much fun for you.

    Also bear in mind that when you travel solo your budget will need to be bigger - and make sure you cover yourself for things like internet costs - when you are on your own you will want to be in touch with home more often.

    I found travelling on my own really liberating, but also very lonely at times (when you are away for long periods) but nothing else compares when it comes to getting to know yourself better.

    I also found that volunteering was amazing - if nothing else for the chance to meet amazing people. Try places like Original volunteers - these guys are really cheap, you just pay to cover your own costs.

    Good luck and enjoy x


    (Original post by Zappaz)
    Hello guys, I've started this thread as an 18yo with little or no knowledge about solo travel, or travelling at all really, so please ignore any of my ignorance, its not on purpose, I promise!

    so to why we are all here, right?!

    i have been reading threads avidly about travel, but can't find any clear cut answers to my concerns and fears about solo travelling. So below I will post a little about my background, my honest fears and opinions etc on travelling, and hope that for those reading while searching for similar answers to their concerns, it will provide some peace of mind and reassurance that we can indeed live the dream, we will see!

    so.. I'm 18, studying my a levels and decided to take a gap year in 2013/2014 before deciding that its time to go to university. I'm taking the gap year largely due to being undecided about what I want to study.

    im currently working part time 20 hours a week and hope to work full time and as much extra part time from after my exams in June, until January 2014. Hopefully raising somewhere in the region of 7-10k GBP, before barking upon the world for as long as possible.

    target destinations include south east Asia, New Zealand, and train travel through china, Mongolia and Russia. Oh, and interrailing Europe too. Dream big, eh!

    so, why solo? At this moment in time, I have no one to travel with. None of my friends or anyone I know, at all, is planning to take a gap year. Yes I know, how boring, who would want to grow up?! So I am all alone as of this moment in time. Find people as you go, I hear you say. Well, yes. However I have absolutely no travel experience. And the whole big wide world thing, while exciting, is a little daunting on my own. So my plea is to those with experience, please provide your experiences on how you found travel buddies? I get along with virtually everyone, but I'm just afraid of starting off on my own! If you get what I mean.. How can I trust people who I've talked to online not to be Joseph fritzells?! Has anyone used a travel group or something? Can anyone recomen where to find likeminded people? I'm not really up for volunteering, as far as I can see its paying to upgrade your cv and work like a dog, not for me, unless anyone has genuinely interesting volunteering projects you don't have to pay to take part in?

    im sure I will add more to this via edits and posts. Thanks for reading. Please share your experiences and advice! Much appreciated!
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