Go, Go, Go!
You should absolutly travel by yourself.
But do take more than a week if you go to Europe. By the time you get over your jetlag, it would be time to leave again.
Two weeks would give you much more time to see and enjoy things!
Most of Europe is pretty safe, Southern Europe is a bit more risky and I would avoid Eastern Europe (lots of stealing/robberies going on).
Yes, do eeet! I have done a lot of solo traveling and loved it. I'd make sure you were going to a safe place, though. And stay away from risky areas within that safe place. I'd love to go with you but $$$$$ just not there right now.
What's wrong with you?? Your cheese done slid off its cracker?!?!
It is a great idea - get some traveling in while you can! Once you get a 'real job' and buy a house and have other expenses, it will be much harder to travel. So, travel while you can. You can book a cruise, or go for a package tour, if you want. Not everyone is comfortable wandering around a foreign country without a real plan.
I went to London & Edinburgh for 10 days this summer (3 weeks after turning 20). It was a BLAST, best trip I've ever taken. I stayed in hostels, which were just fine. The only slightly sketchy experience was walking back to the hostel from King's Cross after midnight.
I didn't do any tours or whatever, I just planned out where I was staying and the things I wanted to do and did them.
Jet lag really didn't affect me - I was a little tired the first day, but was good after that. Definitely not something that negatively impacted my trip at all.
Of course do it. I've done a ton all over the place on my own and in small groups. There are a lot of great small group travel companies where you can budget travel all ove the world with 8 to 12 people and a leader. This way you meet people and have someone deal with all of the travel and lodging, yet you can also do what you want. I don't really like the big group ones of about 50 on a big bus. It's a good way to start, and then if you want to go on your own somewhere, you're more comfortable.
I traveled across the US by myself just out of college. Had a great time! Of course, that was over 20 years ago and times have changed. I went backpacking in the UK for 3 weeks with a friend but she knew people over there so we had a support group if we needed it. I've also been to Iceland and Ireland by myself although I joined up with a tour group for both of those.
Travel now, have some fun. My last vacation was in 2000. That was the year before I purchased my farm. Now I'm too broke to take a vacation even if I could find a farm sitter.
ETA: My dad went solo to Costa Rica several years ago. He had a great time.
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Go! Do it! I was going to go on a crazy 6 month European backpacking adventure after I graduated, but finances limited it. I'm now 4 days into my 14 month contract in Costa Rica. I'll give you a quick rundown of the country from the knowledge I've gathered so far:
Costa Rica is amazing. And beautiful. The people are nice and very friendly. It's a huge travel destination so they're really used to helping the gringos out and take it all in stride.
What are you looking for? If you're looking to get dropping off in an resort, you'll love it and it will be a wonderful vacation. If you're traveling a lot more on your own, here are some things to be aware of:
It is still a developing/third world country and crime does exist here. Overall, they're not looking to hurt you, just steal. Latinos steal in general (a fact I have to been told my many latinos themselves) so be aware of that. Muggings are also not uncommon, but only tend to happen if they think you have something worth taking (iPhone out, etc.). Honestly, it's like any other city; chances are you'll never have a problem, but it is important to be aware of it.
Being blonde makes you stick out a lot.
If you know a little bit of spanish, you'll be fine. Many ticos speak English, but they prefer not to. However, if you can form basic questions, then explain that your spanish isn't good, they'll usually help you with more complicated things in English. It's more of a respect thing than anything.
If you know zero spanish or aren't used to traveling in a city/being aware of your surroundings, then go with a tour or friend or travel to a resort and vacation there instead. If you have basic street smarts and can get through a basic conversation with a combination of broken spanish and hand gestures, you'll have a great time. It's an amazing country.
Travel in places like Europe is so easy, compared to US. Trains everywhere (to any tiny town) & public transport is relatively cheap, easy to use (I get lost on the bus in Minneapolis but can ride one in any foreign country). Hostels or less expensive lodging, where you can meet others.
If you want some company, you can always find some around, but if you don't want any, you don't have to argue about it. you meet great ppl & pick up tips, learn a ton, etc
I did a long backpacking trip in Europe when I was your age, then another one about 6 yrs ago in Romania. Best thing, EVER>>>>>
GO. Eastern Europe is good b/c it is less crowded, prettier (less fake/touristy stuff) and DIRT cheap in some places. A few key words, a dictionary, drawing and gestures can get you through a lot. With smart phones and the like, you should be golden these days.
Wherever you go, be sure you select a destination that works with your interests. For example, I have a degree in history and nothing makes me happier than going to museums and seeing historic sites. I also love theatre, so getting to see plays really makes me happy. I'm not the type who would want to be at a resort for a week, unless there were lots of activities or day tours that interested me.
I would also think about the time of year. Late February is not the nicest time to be in northern Europe. I love London and Paris, but not that time of year. I've been to the west coast of Mexico in February and that was nice. No comments about Costa Rica except that a work colleague went recently and enjoyed it.
In any case, the real trick is to select someplace that offers many things that interest you. Traveling alone is quite nice actually as you are only responsible for yourself.
I am going on my first solo vacation in Sept. I went to South Korea this past Sept, loved it and am going to go back for another 2 weeks alone. (Friend i went with didn't like it as much and kinda drove me nuts by the end of the trip...AND all my other friends are married/with kids).
Though this will be a 2 part. One to go on vacation, and 2 to make certain i like it as much as i think i did. I want to move there (possibly) and teach English. So we shall see.
But I am excited about getting to go and do things that *I* want to do and not having to cater to my friend. (Lotte world..i WILL be riding your roller coasters!!
Too many times to count and continue to this day. I've found that when I'm traveling alone, I tend to meet more new friends as I seek companionship. the trips Ive gone with others haven't been quite as memorable. Horseback riding trips are real easy to sign up for and then you ride with the group and I've made lifelong friends that I've visited in other countries and stayed with. Go for it!
I backpacked through Europe (UK, France and Italy) for 6 weeks when I was 22. Never had any issues or felt unsafe. As long as you take normal precautions and don't do anything stupid, traveling alone is fine.
It's so nice not having to worry about someone else's wants or needs for a while. If I felt like doing something, I did it; if I decided I didn't like a city, I left. Totally worthwhile traveling alone at least one in your life!