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to go to america alone for 4 weeks

(116 Posts)
whyisthepathsounclear Sun 20-Jan-13 18:33:52

So, my husband left me a few months ago, after only 5 months of marriage. Horrible situation.

Anyway, I am trying hard to move on and am coping very well duringbthe working week. The weekends are pretty sad and lonely though. I am atteacher and the school hols are the hardest time. Xmas was horrid. 2 whole weeks alone with my sadness! So, even though it is a while away I am already dreading the summer. 6 weeks is an awful lot of time to fill.

I have been thinking of going over to the states for 4 weeks, maybe travelling around a bit and doing something I would never have donew if we were together. However, when I told my parents and some friends my plan they were horrified. They think I am being rash. I am preferring to think of it as being impulsive and enjoying my youth now I am free of cheating ex.

Is it really a stupid idea? Anyone else done this that can offer advice?

NotGoodNotBad Thu 24-Jan-13 19:49:31

Of course you should go. grin

Have a brilliant time!

bunchamunchycrunchycarrots Thu 24-Jan-13 19:47:09

I concur with everyone else, you'll have the time of your life. I did it when I was 24, buggered off to New Zealand for 4 weeks on my own, never having done anything like it before and it was amazing. I can remember so clearly sitting in the airport waiting for my flight thinking WTF am I doing? That fear was like nothing else but it made the whole experience even better 'cos the realisation that there was no reason to be afraid once I'd landed and found my feet. I did have to wait 2 days for my luggage as it went AWOL and I'd nothing to change into do had to figure out where to get underwear and some clean clothes instead of just sightseeing.

I hope you keep posting, all the planning, the count down and then the adventure holiday itself. I want to live vicariously through you!

YellowTulips Thu 24-Jan-13 19:41:50

Struggling to see the downside here.....go for it and tell us all about your advantures on a new thread when you get back :-)

blobandsnail Thu 24-Jan-13 19:26:49

I travel on my own a lot. Actually for all but one trip i've been on my own. It's perfectly safe and enjoyable. However even now when i've been doing this for years people still express shock and concern when i say i'm going alone. Ignore them, people will tell you horror stories and try and put you off but i can pretty much guarentee none of these people will have ever travelled alone, or probably even travelled anywhere remotely interesting.

If you are travelling alone a few tips to make it safe and enjoyable. Have a mobile phone with you at all times. If you have a smart phone install something like viber or skype on it. Free wifi is everywhere so it saves on cost. Make sure someone at home knows roughly where you're going and agree times to contact them. I usually use my parents and say i'll be in contact with them in some way once every 3 - 4 days. This is sometimes a phone call but more often an email just saying 'hi i'm alive and at x' I tend to do this more for others peace of mind than my own and it's not too difficult to do so if it saves them panicking and me enjoying myself its worth the hassle. Also leave copies of your insurance documents and passport with someone at home. When travelling alone you don't have someone near you to pass such things over to people if something does happen. I also always carry these with me when out and about so if something does happen i'll be okay.

Next tip is youth hostel! Do it! HI hostels in the USA are all over and there's a lot of independents in big cities. It's an excellent way to meet people. I've made some amazing friends in hostel rooms. Don't be shy to go out for a drink with them, or even spend the odd day with them. You may even meet someone to travel for a couple of days with - will save on fuel costs if you drive. I know as you get older it gets tempting to have some creature comforts and stay in a motel or in a single room, but for a few nights get out of the comfort zone and hang out with others. Hostels are not full of 18 year olds. I'm 28 and sleep in hostels, In NZ i shared a room with a 65 year old woman. They're full of interesting random people and its nice to chat to others. Plus it'll save you some money.

There's also websites where you can meet people doing similar trips to you, might be worth a look, or ask around your friends and see if anyone wants to join you for a couple of weeks. As much as i love travelling alone, sometimes it is nice to share experiences with others and if you're going away for 6 weeks or so over the summer maybe one of your friends would like to join you for 2 weeks or even a week. It doesn't make it any less exciting or adventurous it actually adds to the experience - sometimes at least!

Andcake Thu 24-Jan-13 19:10:33

Some of my best memories of my time between dv from evil exh and current DP (with whom I have lovely ds) are my travels. Go go go and once you've gone to the usa try somewhere more adventurous. As well as camp america I also found company's like explore and exodus a brilliant way to travel as a lone woman and make new friends. The world is your oyster and you'll get your confidence back. Travel companies are a great way to relieve worried parents about the risks to a woman alone. A bit jealous tbh I wish I'd known then that my heart would mend and I would have current DP & ds :-)

Megglevache Thu 24-Jan-13 19:05:48

Wow,exciting times ahead.

Dysgu Thu 24-Jan-13 19:03:07

That is fabulous - feeling a touch jealous (but then, a scary fact that DD1 is as far away from being the age I was when I did my TrekAmerica as I am past it IYKWIM!!) so if either of us is going to be doing a Trek ten it is much more likely to be her!

So which trip's are you considering? I did the coast to coast from NYC to SF via via the south.

Highlights - pouring with rain on the first night so, instead of going to the designated campsite, our driver booked us a motel room (but only 2 interconnetced rooms, one bathroom and bed space for 6 if we shared in pairs!) 6 of people carried in the luggage, we drew straws for the beds and REALLY knew each other by the morning as there were 14 of us and we basically crashed wherever there was space!

Also, bare back riding in Arizona with friends of the driver.

Sleeping under the stars in Zion National Park in Utah.

Skydiving in the desert outside Las Vegas, Nevada.

SotB grin in Florida and elsewhere with the driver!!!

New Orleans, San Franscisco - I could go on and on and on......

Just consider that the brochure price is not QUITE the full cost even with flights added on. you have to pay some cash into the kitty and then you tip the driver a chunk too.

I had done Summer Camp as had about half the people on my trip. Others had flown out especially for the trip. From memory there were Brits, Aussies, Israelis, Japanese, and I think someone from NZ along with the American driver.

Euphemia Thu 24-Jan-13 18:49:35


I'll come too in about 12 years, once DD is grown up!

whyisthepathsounclear Thu 24-Jan-13 18:47:19

My trek America brochure has arrived! So excited to have a really good lookout it. Had a quick flick and it looks awesome. Choosing my trip's about the only decision I have to make now. I realised at work today that I had already mentally decided I was going to go!

KeatsiePie Mon 21-Jan-13 05:57:26

Definitely you should go! Good for you for thinking of something special to do for yourself. I'm sorry you have had such a crummy time.

Ps. I'm American and have lived/travelled in a number of places here if you have questions.

50pcoff Mon 21-Jan-13 04:17:35

I did a trek America tour 25 years ago can't believe the same tour still exists after all this time

They are a lot of driving, but someone else is doing it for you. Highlights for me was sleeping in the open at monument valley, I still have jewellery I bought on the side of the road. You finish in San Francisco so good for more sight seeing

Good luck, in years to come you don't want to look back at the things you could have done, but the things you did.

ben5 Mon 21-Jan-13 03:51:43

America is great. I travelled around by 'Greyhound' and yes cheap but an experance:-) I was 18 at the time. I went to Chaigo, toronto, nigra falls, Boston, Cape Cod and New York. Had a great time.
My only concern for you is that you are going to America! I think you should come and visit ll us MN in australia!!! Theres room here for a couple of nights I'm not far from Perth!!

sashh Mon 21-Jan-13 03:37:01

Do it.

But try South America as well.

stottie Mon 21-Jan-13 01:18:15

Yes travel around the USA wonderful places to see but please don't do it with Greyhound that would be a nightmare take it from someone who lives here and in the Uk.

mameulah Mon 21-Jan-13 00:34:58

I am a teacher too and I totally get it. I am married now with a pfb but before my two boys came alone I almost dreaded the holidays. You will have a wonderful time if you go for an adventure. Enjoy every second. And I agree with all the posts that say look for a job overseas. I taught overseas on the international circuit for five years, in three different countries. If you go about it properly you could get a REALLY BIG salary and wonderful experiences. If you personal message me (or whatever it is called) then I can tell you more about how to go about it.

Bogeyface Mon 21-Jan-13 00:28:59

Discworld, not disworld!

Bogeyface Mon 21-Jan-13 00:27:23

why it was in Unseen Academicals. The narrative is based on the invention of "modern" (disworld) football, but the main story is about a woman called Glenda escaping her own "crab pot". Even if you aren't into fantasy fiction, I recommend you read it smile

MarianForrester Sun 20-Jan-13 22:42:52

YABNBU! In fact you would be unreasonable not to do it.

Have a fabulous time; this is such a great opportunity.

suburbophobe Sun 20-Jan-13 22:34:42

Sad and lonely is normal after the end of a relationship/marriage that mattered.

But you got out of a bad situation, so good for you!

And yes, go for it. USA. (LP, travel junkie too grin)

Don't bother with all those nay-sayers. They're just jealous and/or paranoid...

They would love to do it themselves anyway!

whyisthepathsounclear Sun 20-Jan-13 22:26:23

Bogey - I will remember that! I can think of a few other occasions I could have used it in the past!

Foosty - great advice thank you.

I think a 10 day trip would be a great start and then could move on elsewhere. I think being flexible is a good idea. Might be ready to come home by then!

ConferencePear Sun 20-Jan-13 22:05:29

I wonder if you belong to any group that has connections with the USA ? Your old college perhaps ? A church group ?
I was astonished by the friendliness and hospitality I received in the States although I was on a more organised visit than you are planning.

foosty Sun 20-Jan-13 22:05:12

Def do it

I travelled in Oz when I was 24 - actually went with then boyfriend, we broke up after a couple of month and I went on to have the best year of my life

Am pining for its sunshine just now!

Second looking at Trek America or similar. If I was you, I'd book a 7/10 day trip with them, then have a rough plan in place that you can change at any time - ie don't book hotels etc for after the tour - you are very likely to meet a bunch of folk and might want to do what they're doing!

also, I'd book an open-ended ticket so if you want to stay longer you can change your date - there might be a small fee for this but it's sometimes free and worth it for the flexibilty

I'd strongly advise going to STA Travel or Trailfinders and talking to them about this. They are all travellers and will have great advice for you, and can book your flight, organise your tours etc. I say that as a former STA travel agent - I LOVED my job and it was always exciting helping fellow travellers plan their trips.

you won't regret it.

Bogeyface Sun 20-Jan-13 21:55:45

I read a really good metaphor for not getting above yourself or changing the status quo.

I dont know if you read Terry Pratchett but in one of his books he refers to it as "crab pot". If crabs are in a pot with no lid and one starts to climb out, the others will pull it back in. Thats what people who are too scared to live their own lives do to people like you, who want to get out there and do something different. It scares them because if you can do it then it shows their own lack of courage and ambition, so they try to pull you back into the crab pot with them.

Remember that whenever you encounter a naysayer - "Crab pot"! smile

Bogeyface Sun 20-Jan-13 21:53:10

Its a bloody marvellous idea!

Maybe "not like you" is exactly what you need now!

MushroomSoup Sun 20-Jan-13 21:50:27

Go girl!!!

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