Before I went, my biggest fear was not that it wouldn't be safe, but that I would get lonely. However, there are tons of people who travel on their own, and with these people I was able to form a temporary friendship that in some cases I think will last longer than our one evening spent together. I met some amazing people, all who were traveling alone. One was a woman from Portugal who couldn't get over how cheap Hard Rock Cafe was there. Another was a teacher from Australia spending time in the UK and traveling during every school break. I also met a Canadian police officer getting off a stint in the Arctic Circle who plans to visit every country in Europe. I even ran into someone from my January Term class in a hostel in Warsaw, and another student who lives in Shanghai, where I'll be studying next semester and we plan to meet up there! Of course I love traveling with my friends, but if I had been in a group, I would never have taken the time to meet these people and hear the stories of their travels. There's a quote someone gave me that sums this up: "A journey is best measured in friends, rather than miles.”
And Eastern Europe is absolutely beautiful. I am an aspiring history buff (in high school I planned on majoring in history), and the historical backgrounds of the countries I visited (Poland, Latvia, Austria, and Slovenia) are diverse and interesting, particularly in World War II and during the Soviet occupation. They are young countries, some formed as recent as the 1990's. I went on free walking tours of all the cities I visited, which are a great way to see the sights and learn about a place really efficiently. Plus, it's free!
All in all, traveling alone was everything I thought it would be and more. My advice to anyone hoping to travel alone would be to just do it. There are people to meet, whose kindness you can rely on to help you out if needed. Hostels are a great way to meet people and, especially in Eastern Europe, are super cheap. If you're on a train alone, sit with someone about your age - you might make a friend, and you also won't look like you're alone and vulnerable. Remember that you don't need Wi-fi to use Google Maps if you just follow the blue dot. There's an amazing world out there, and generally I've found that it will welcome you with open arms.
If any of you have any questions about traveling alone, travel in general, Eastern Europe, budgeted traveling, or anything London-related don't hesitate to reach out!