This is for you. You don't need your friends, your boy, your husband, your kids, or your mum and dad. Here's the equation. Money for a plane ticket to the places of your choice + Free time + You = the world. Don't be afraid. Here's what I've learnt:
Travel in summer. Daytime hours are longer for sightseeing and dinners out. I travelled around Italy and France in winter and it was beautiful but bleak.
If you want to meet people, stay in hostels and go on tours. If you're not fussed on meeting people to travel with like me, stay at hotels and pensiones which I find through Lonely Planet or Expedia.
Mealtimes are the loneliest parts. Either self-cater by scoping out the nearest food hall, market or grocery or suck it up and sit down at the restaurant of your choice. Bring a book, write your postcards, even your laptop. Don't miss out on the food, whatever you do.
Getting from the airport/wharf/train station to your accommodation, I find the most stressful, especially if you land in the middle of the night or very early morning. Have a plan. Get directions from google maps, splash out for a transfer, know the nearest subway or metro station, ask at the Tourist Information desk for a map.
Don't be afraid to look like a tourist. Take those pictures, get that map out in the middle of the street, ask strangers for directions. Suck it up.
Use commonsense. When its dark, stick to well populated places. All that sort of stuff. Need I say more?
Do what you love, not what guidebooks tell you. This is the best thing about going solo. You're the master of your day and the mission is to indulge yourself.
Forget good pictures of you. I travelled with a Yashica, a Polaroid, and a Canon SLR with a Nikon lens so auto-focus wasn't an option. Thrusting it at a stranger and asking for my photo to be taken was never going to be easy. Or possible. Let the classic "LOOK AT ME! I'm standing in front of this SUPER FAMOUS sight thing" tourist photo go.
Go solo. You won't regret it.
♥ Pictures by me on a Yashica Electro 35GSN with Kodak Ektar 100. More pictures here ♥