Considering travelling alone (to California)...don´t know !!

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  1. I can´t seem to find some friends who have the time/money/wish to travel with me to California.....
    Some have already made other plans, some would prefer another destination, wait til next year....
    The original idea was a road trip through the valleys, national park, and the coast. But if I am going alone I think I´ll just do L.A and SF, I know people in LA and can be introduced to someone in SF.

    I´ve never considered travelling alone before, because I wanted to SHARE with someone the experience (you know the funny things that happen, the beautiful this or that). And someone I connect with, a male friend wants to come but we hardly know each other !
    I´d be scared but maybe this is the time to find myself, prove I can do it, and overcome my superb lack of self confidence.

    ....But what will I do during the evenings ? (if I can´t be with my aquaintances)
    ....Is this a "loser" thing to do ? like I am all alone, will be forever, no wants to be with me.
    ....Is it safe ? I heard some stuff about weirdos, and aggressive homeless people, both in LA and SF
    ....Can you meet people, other tourists easily ?

    Have you ever done it ??
  2. I've never done it alone, so I can't answer 1 and 4. But I don't think it's a loser thing to do at all! A few years ago I met a girl at the Grand Canyon who was doing a similar thing (driving through all the national parks in California and the Southwest) all on her own, and I loved the idea. I didn't think she was a loser at all...I actually thought she was must have had a lot of self-confidence to do something like that. And to be honest it never occurred to me that she was all alone and would be alone for the rest of her life because of it. :P

    As for safety, I don't think you have much to worry about. Things tend to get blown out of proportion when it comes to safety in California. I've lived in LA and traveled to SF and managed to survive the homeless people. There are more of them in both cities than I've seen in most other places, but I don't think it's something to worry about. Just exercise common sense and take regular precautions that you would anywhere else. As long as you aren't walking around alone at 4:00 am with a wad of 100s in your hand I think you should be fine.
  3. If you come to LA I would be happy to show you around.
  4. I lived in Montery for a year and a half and I loved it. I went places all the time by myself and I was 19 and 20 years old at the time. I loved taking trips to SF and I absolutely loved driving on hwy 1 from Carmel to Big Sur. It's so gorgeous.
  5. Go for it! SF is an amazing city. Plenty of things to do alone without looking like loser! It all really depends on your interests and what sort of things you want to see there-- prime touristy stuff, scenery, etc..Just be sure to stay safe! I can't speak for LA, but in SF, be sure to stay away from the Tenderloin area, esp. at night. "Crazy" hardly describes the type of weirdos that wander around that area. You'll have a car-- do the 49-mile drive. I've never done it, but I bet it would be an amazing experience to add to your trip. :smile:
  6. mellecyn,
    I've traveled alone multiple times (including to foreign countries). I personally love it. You get to do what YOU want and don't have to worry about someone else's schedule or preferences. Having a car even gives you a leg up, especially for getting around in LA (in the city in SF you don't really need to drive).
    I can't really explain it, but it's easy to meet other tourists at random, especially if you go to tourist spots. If you have an accent people might ask where you're from to start a conversation, and you can ask them for advice on places to go, and from there you can make plans if they're nice...
    I don't love clubbing and stuff like that, so a lot of times in the evenings I catch art cinema (especially when I am in Europe and there are movies I could not see anywhere else) but you might try and find concerts to go to as well. I imagine you could find comedy performances, art gallery open houses, and other activities too, whatever suits your interest.
    As far as homeless people go, yes, they exist, but I don't think they're any more aggressive than in any other city. I know that some people become homeless due to circumstances beyond their control, but many homeless are addicts or have mental problems (or both) and it's best not to give them money or interact with them. It sounds heartless, but ignoring them is the best option. (There are many more effective ways to help those in need.) Anyhow, if you're walking in a big city crowd it's unlikely you'd be singled out. I can tell you there are a lot of weird people in Berkeley (if you plan to go there), but I don't think they're particularly dangerous. The same safety tips you would follow anywhere apply in California, like keep your valuables secure all the time, and exercise caution on public transport or in crowded tourist areas.

    PM me if you want any more advice! I hope you decide to go, travelling alone can be stressful sometimes, but it is very rewarding.
  7. I went to SF by myself last March and it was fine (I live in Canada). It would have been nice to have some company for dinner and in the evenings but other than that it was fine. I did a lot of shopping and sightseeing during the day.
  8. I've been to Denmark and Norway alone (for personal travel). And while I hear you about having someone to travel with, I had an excellent time exploring on my own and not having to worry about anyone else's schedule (btw I :heart: Copenhagen!)

    The other big take-away was that I did something on my own. No help from others, no "trail masters" to rely on.. I had to figure out everything on my own. And I have to tell you that can be daunting when you don't know where the heck you are going. But once you do it, it is very liberating.

    I will admit, I did feel lonely at times. But I met so many cool, warm and informative people. That made up for it.

    I say go for it if you want to visit. Sounds like there are many TPFers that would show you around. The only thing I would say is that for SF and LA, you will probably need a car (and those who live there can definitely correct me!) Not so much an issue in the opposite direction as Europe has an excellent public train/transportation system.

    Go for it and have fun.
  9. I like traveling alone. I went to San Francisco to visit a friend who I only saw at night and on the weekends, so during the week I just wandered and shopped and enjoyed things on my own. I like having the freedom to do only what I want to do. It was super lovely, I'd do it again in a heartbeat.
  10. Just do it! No worries, you'll find things to do. One of the best times of my life happened because I "didn't have anything to do" the evening I got to a place. You just have to be open to all possibilities.

    I think it's safe if you just go with a good head on your shoulders.
  11. I was in the Southwest US a couple of years ago and it was lovely! I took a road trip from San Diego to some of the National Parks in California, Utah and Arizona. DH and I couldn't agree on where to go so he went off to Italy and had a lovely time and I toured the US for four weeks (visiting friends and being on my own). It's my experience when travelling alone you can do whatever you like (you will not be stuck in a boring Museum for hours when you'd rather go shopping).
    I can understand your concerns, but keep in mind that travelling alone can be wonderful.

    - I got up early and went to sleep early. Also watched a lot of TV during the evening.
    - It is not a "loser" thing to do at all!
    - Didn't go to LA or San Fransisco but definitely felt safe in San Diego and elsewhere
    - It is so easy to strike up conversations with other tourists. IMO easier than if you're not travelling alone as other tourists seem more hesitant to approach couples.
  12. I travel out of the US quite frequently for work for a few weeks at a time and enjoy my times alone on the weekends exploring a new city and new restaurants, shopping, seeing the sights, etc. It's only a few weekends but I think it would be fun to do it longer.
  13. I say go for it! Just be safe about it, dont tell people you are alone, or where you are staying KWIM? You only live once!
  14. hotel restaurants/bars in LA/SF are filled with people dining alone, think business travelers....

    i wouldn't feel uncomfortable at all
  15. I travel alone alot-Ive been to Puerto rico, Tulum, Cancun,isla mujeres, florida, SanAntonio all solo I had fun and everyone was jealous.