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10:49 AM on 09/18/12 
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joexfm
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NJ
Male - 26 Years Old
I'm in the process of planning a month long trip to Spain this summer and due to the fact that I have unreliable/financially unstable friends, I'm contemplating doing the whole thing alone.

Last summer, I took a solo trip out to Portland, OR for a week and it was a really rewarding experience and I'm sure this one will be too. Has anyone here gone on a big solo trip away from the US. If so, how did you do it all (where you stayed, what you planned, etc.)?
01:07 PM on 09/18/12 
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Deborah Remus
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Winnipeg, Manitoba
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Go for it, especially if you had a rewarding experience in Portland last summer. Traveling with others is ideal, but if you really want to go somewhere I think it's best to go by yourself than to stay at home. I spent a month traveling around Ecuador by myself in July and I wouldn't trade the experience for anything. I basically stayed in hostels because they're cheap and a good place to meet up with others if you get lonely. I also took a short tour, but I was also going to a region (the Amazon) where it's a pretty good idea to have a guide. In Spain I think it's pretty easy to travel everywhere independently.

Do you speak Spanish? I've been to Italy (not Spain obviously, but still European) and found it quite easy to navigate without knowing much of the local language. But in Ecuador if you don't know some Spanish you're pretty screwed and I wouldn't recommend going. So I think you might want to look into that if you haven't already.
01:11 PM on 09/18/12 
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spiffa0
Oh my God, it even has a watermark.
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Westmont, NJ
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I didn't do it alone, but spent two weeks in Europe this summer. Stayed only in hostels, which I highly recommend if you are traveling alone. The hostel experience has some of the greatest camaraderie I have ever experienced. Everyone there is travelling and a lot of them are doing it alone. You make great friends and connections that if you ever are in their part of the world, they'll put you up and vice versa. All you have to do is sit down next to a group of people, start talking, and you're already part of a group even if for one night.

We used www.hostelbookers.com for our entire trip, and stayed in mostly great places (one or two duds). You can get decent hostel for pretty cheap, especially if you don't mind having 4-6 other people in the room.

/two cents
01:45 PM on 09/18/12 
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TheRealJohnOC
@BehindtheCade Seen over 700 bands!
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Hudson County, NJ
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I've been out of the country once with my high school senior class. Went to Spain and France. Didn't end well for me. I told the story on another thread but the moral of the story is don't listen to airport security when they say to keep a mini sword in your carry on bag. Back to your situation..you get to do whatever the fuck you want when you go by yourself. You'll have a blast in Spain. Definitely hit up a soccer game just for the experience. Only thing you have to watch out for are the pick pocketers. They hide out in large groups of people and they're pretty fucking quick. Keep your wallet and phone in the front pockets. Other than that, see when they do that running of the bulls. I only had 4 days there but the fact you have a whole month, go wild and hit up as much stuff as you can.
03:13 PM on 09/18/12 
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fallingapart101
fallingapart1016
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Easton, PA
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All the time, and as much as it is great to experience a new place with others, going it alone is just as good. You can go and do whatever you want without the wait of others. I say go for it.
03:39 PM on 09/18/12 
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scott!athedisco
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Pensacola, FL
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I did it once this winter to get over some family stuff. Flew to Barcelona by myself (not knowing a word of Spanish), and had the most cathartic experience ever. Met some new friends in hostels, partied my dick off, and journeyed around the city sight-seeing listening to my Ipod. (incidentally, Barcelona is the easiest city in western Europe to get around not knowing the native language. It's wonderfully laid out, with signs everywhere). I'd definitely do it again. As far as planning goes, just make sure you're good on money and you have a calling card back home in case you get pick-pocketed or something. And I always take a padlock when I stay in hostels, so I can lock my passport/valuables. The feeling of getting off that airplane/bus/train into a new city where you don't know anyone and don't speak the language is pretty intimidating at first, but alls it takes is 30 seconds walking down La Rambla, and you'll be like, "holy shit I made the right decision"
06:00 PM on 09/18/12 
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joexfm
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NJ
Male - 26 Years Old
I really appreciate everyone's input on this. Makes me really wanna get this show on the road haha.
06:11 PM on 09/18/12 
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ari telescope
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Southern California
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I don't think I can stay in a hostel after seeing Hostel.
06:45 PM on 09/18/12 
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Archael
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Damn bro, best of luck to ya. I mean, I don't think I'd have it in me to travel alone. I get lost easy (I think too much), terrible with directions and I can't motivate myself to do much without another person.

Also, I don't really have the money so there's that.

"Only thing you have to watch out for are the pick pocketers. They hide out in large groups of people and they're pretty fucking quick. Keep your wallet and phone in the front pockets."

Damn wtf
06:45 PM on 09/18/12 
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Archael
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What's Hostel, anyone? Is it supposed to mean anything other than host and hotel?
07:00 PM on 09/18/12 
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Deborah Remus
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Winnipeg, Manitoba
Female - 24 Years Old
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A hostel is like a hotel but way cheaper and generally geared towards backpackers. They offer extras hotels usually make you pay for, like wifi for example, and the big common areas make it easy to meet other travelers. Some of the ones I stayed at in Ecuador included a free homemade breakfast of eggs, croissants and fresh fruit salad, which is way better than the cereal and toast most hotels give you.

You usually stay in a dorm room (usually 4-6 beds, sometimes more) but you also can pay more money for a private room if you'd like. Some have shared bathrooms where you just get a stall, but others have a number of private bathrooms on each floor. It really depends on what you want, if you do your research you should end up in a good place. They're totally safe, at least the ones I stayed at, but as always you should keep an eye on your valuables. All of them offer lockers in the rooms, which is the best place to keep your stuff.
07:45 PM on 09/18/12 
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chiefjordo
Go Gophers!
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Knowing how I am, I would not want to travel alone, at all. But I admire those who would, and would love to hear more stories about it so I an live an outgoing life through all of you, vicariously. Ha.
08:26 PM on 09/18/12 
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ModernArtillery
That wasn't the Final Problem
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Sydney, Australia
Female - 22 Years Old
I'm saving up for and almost have enough for a trip to the UK, which I am dying to go to. However my friends either don't have any savings, have already been there recently, or have uni/internships during the times I could go. My brother says he'll go with me but he's still got a year of highschool and zero dollars to his name. So I'm stalking this thread with rapt attention as I may need to go solo. Will definitely be doing the whole hostel/backpacking thing.
09:29 AM on 09/19/12 
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Jimmy_Love
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Philadelphia/Lancast...
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I'm in the process of planning a month long trip to Spain this summer and due to the fact that I have unreliable/financially unstable friends, I'm contemplating doing the whole thing alone.

Last summer, I took a solo trip out to Portland, OR for a week and it was a really rewarding experience and I'm sure this one will be too. Has anyone here gone on a big solo trip away from the US. If so, how did you do it all (where you stayed, what you planned, etc.)?

Hell, I'd go with you (semi-serious by the way). I wish I had friends that liked to do things.
11:01 AM on 09/19/12 
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joexfm
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NJ
Male - 26 Years Old
Hell, I'd go with you (semi-serious by the way). I wish I had friends that liked to do things.

haha word man. I wish I had friends that knew how to live out of the ordinary.



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