Dear 100 Hour Board,
I'm looking for travel recommendations. I've finished up grad school and have secured a good job, but I have a couple of months until I'm able to begin work, so I figure I might as well take advantage of it. I'm looking to go somewhere
-with historical sites, world landmarks, or outdoorsy activities that do not involve a beach
-for $5000 or less, total cost
-relatively safe for a single woman
-decent weather (I will probably leave in mid April)
-somewhat easy to get around without speaking the language (or else an English- or Portuguese-speaking place)
Also, have any of you ever traveled alone? Any tips? My friends are all currently either in school or have jobs and can't just hang out with me for a week or two. My mother is highly opposed to the idea of me traveling alone, but I don't know if I'll ever again have this kind of free time and lack of obligations.
May I recommend Eastern Canada?
You could go to Montreal and Quebec and see some 400-year-old historic sites.
You could go to PEI and see Green Gables and enjoy Charlottetown.
You could go to Halifax, rent a car and drive up to Sydney and see Louisberg and the Cape Breton trail, and take the ferry to Newfoundland. St. John's has Signal Hill and Cape Spear, and there's the Viking sites up north.
It's cheap, you can get around in English, and with some Googling, you can find tourist sites to suit almost any interest. The French culture and the fact that some of the cities were founded in the 1500s or 1600s adds a more foreign, exotic flair than you might associate with Canada.
As for traveling alone, I'd say the big things for your first time would be to use common sense, avoid plans that require a lot of walking or visiting areas off the beaten track after dark, and make sure to plan your itinerary in advance and let people at home have a copy of your plans. Check in regularly with your mom, but really, if you're in Eastern Canada, you're not really at any more risk than if you took a trip to New York or Maine or something by yourself.