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Old 08-07-2005, 04:17 AM   #1
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The girl:
- 20 year old, College Sophomore
- solo
- South Asian descent

The plan:
- 2 weeks starting 6 September 2005.
- Rome (Hostel Des Artistes), Florence (Hostel Archi Rossi), Milan (day trip), Nice (Backpacker’s Chez Patrick), Barcelona (Gothic Point), Madrid (Los Amigos Backpackers Hostel), Paris (3 Ducks)
- Eurail SelectPass Youth, 5 days

My parents are getting on my case about going with a Contiki travel or something instead of doing my backpacking trip alone. Suggestions?

And do I have anything to worry about seeing that I will stand out quite a bit (skin colour not exactly helping here)? I have been reading about (for 3 months now) everything I need to be looking out for, in terms of safety on the road, and I am quite the planner. In my opinion, I will be okay. But now that I have been getting really negative reactions from most of my friends and relatives (they believe I will not come back alive ), I am beginning to get a tad apprehensive!

Other than safety, how clean are the hostels I have picked out? And what's the atmosphere like?

Thank you so much for your help!!
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Old 08-07-2005, 04:31 AM   #2
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I think you're in the right here. You don't need a Contiki trip...you've proved that by your organization and "take charge" way to set up your trip. If anything, you'll find more welcoming people among the independent travelers in hostels than you would on some clickish group travel social hoopla!

Seriously, she, go for it! You will learn so much more about yourself and really experience travel if you do it solo. I wouldn't trade my after high school graduation solo jaunt through Europe for anything!

I can't help you on the particular hostels -- sorry. There IS a section on travelpunk here that deals with bad hostels, as well as one for recommended hostels. Be sure to check that out, if you haven't already...

Good luck, and don't worry...sounds like the family will do enough of that...

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Old 08-12-2005, 07:57 PM   #3
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All of your destinations are quite touristic, you won't stand out that much. Beside the basic security (don't go out alone at night...), and since you have read about the dangers and annoyances you could encounter in those cities, I wouldn't worry a bit. I'm also a female and have travelled months in countries where my white skin was the exception and got back home safe.
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Old 08-14-2005, 03:01 AM   #4
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Thank you so much for the encouragement! As days draw near, my heart grows heavier at the thought of leaving home and family. Venturing out does seem daunting. But I know I will come back a changeth person, stronger and a tonne more confident!

European Adventures..here I comeeee.
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Old 08-14-2005, 04:48 PM   #5
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i will be in south europe around that time... after qktoberfest i am headed there...if your looking for someone to have a beer with let me know... looks like i will be in rome around the 30th of sept...

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Old 08-20-2005, 07:22 AM   #6
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Hey Ed,

I'll be back in london by then. But if you're up for a drink in good ole england..I'll be more than happy to take you up on that offer
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Old 08-30-2005, 11:15 PM   #7
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Im in the same boat... I have traveled before (england 2months, Netherlands 2 weeks) but its always been with a group of friends.

I leave In 2 weeks for amsterdam(non-stop yaa baby) but I got a rail pass to head to spain and Italy and southern france.

I have no reservations anywhere and kinda worried. I think I will be fine with security though im 6'5" 210 lbs and Texan.

So im gonna be in that areaa too so check the boards he maybe we can all grab a beer there.
later guys
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Old 08-30-2005, 11:57 PM   #8
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Every tourist stands out in Europe, whether you're a Canuck with a huge ol' Canadian flag on your backpack (sorry guys, myth was absolutely not disproven!!) or a middle easterner with your head in a scarf. I never saw anyone get treated any differently based on skin tone or origin. Yes, I did witness TOURISTS/foreigners treated differently, but that's when you jack them on their tip. Don't worry about your ethnicity - saw plenty of people of all ethnicities having a great time, just go and make the best out of it.

Also, as someone mentioned, you're going to be mainly in large/touristy cities, which will probably help you "blend in" (did I just write that?)

I must hint that we dropped by Tarragona, Spain ("dropped by as in a week +, only about an hour south of Barc) and it was amazing... Just lettin' ya know.
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