@Nick Delmacy is right, and if he sees this thread I'm sure @BlackguyExecutive will have tremendous advice for you.
Road trips are a way to go to build up independence. I routinely drive 10 - 16 hour round trips at least twice a month. Even for small trips it helps to plan for emergencies and contingencies (i.e. have blankets, minor repair gear in trunk, know your general route before drive it, keep phone charged, apprise family or friends of your general plan in case of loss of contact). You should learn to do minor repairs for the car yourself, believe me it's not daunting. Changing flats, or even whole wheels (rotors, brake pads) is a one man job; drum brakes usually take another person only because of the spring assembly. Changing oil, wipers, etc. also not a problem. Have AAA or know your credit card's auto assistance number in case of something beyond individual repair such as transmission/engine failure. Keep at least $100 - $200 cash on you a a credit line for emergencies.
Air traveling is a little better as once you get past security, everything is more structured. If you haven't already, get registered with TSA Global Entry or Pre Check. I don't know the price as mine was free being in federal work, but I believe it's relatively cheap to register. Makes getting through those infernal lines WAY quicker. I haven't really traveled OUTCONUS outside of the military so look up Black Guy Executive's " Travel Like a Boss" article on CA.
Obviously, know how to act around law enforcement when road traveling. As black males that's a reality we need to acknowledge. On the other hand, don't let that be an excuse not to road trip and explore this great country and its terrain. I grew up in Southern Ohio, so I guess that makes me a "hillbilly whisperer" (lol) and I'll tell you rural white folk you'll encounter are usually more genuine. They'll let you know up front if they want to deal with you, and most of them are smart enough to recognize and respect a paying customer when stopping at gas stations.
I did some strategic mapping for a work project recently and it made me reacquaint myself with America's vast geography. I was surprised at all the islands, inlets, etc. that I had forgotten or didn't realize, so I wish safe travels as my own personal road trips will increase threefold this year.
Best Posts in Thread: Travelling Alone
It can go either way though. Traveling with a friend/lover is rewarding for the companionship and times when you just want to be with someone you know. Especially in countries/cities where its not that safe to be alone.
But on the other hand, I've traveled with friends/family and there are times that I want to do something that they don't, so we end up at odds and I missed out on stuff that I wanted to do. It's tricky.
Traveling alone is amazing. But you have to be the kind of person who can enjoy themselves without the need of other people. It can occasionally get lonely, but it forces you to interact with people you normally wouldn't. I noticed a difference between traveling with friends/family and traveling solo. When I travel solo, I meet more people. If you're traveling abroad, locals are more likely to approach you than they would if there was an entire group. It's too intimidating. Plus, being alone forces you to want more human interaction so any sort of hesitancy you may have with talking to and meeting strangers melts away. There are pros and cons to it, but I definitely encourage it overall.
@King Zorro Here is my 411 and perspective. Traveling alone can be a wonderful experience. It is part of the reason why I wanted to do diplomacy professionally.
When I was an undergraduate, I participated in an internship at the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland. For nearly 6 months, I lived all by myself in Geneva, Switzerland. I barely spoke French but had learned a decent amount of Italian and I obviously know English, Getting my passport and boarding that plane was the best decision I ever made. Working at the United Nations, you adapt quickly to navigating different cultures and personalities but that wasn't the best part. After my internship was over, I had about 5,000 US dollars left and I took that money and backpacked through Europe, staying in Hostels and couch surfing. There is a power that you get when you are traveling and surviving and navigating culture and language barriers. I highly recommend traveling aboard if you can and doing it while you are young with fewer things that tie you down is better.
I often hear friends and family say that traveling is too expensive and they don't have the time but with a little discipline, you can make a lot of things work.
For starters, get a Passport. It will cost about $200 altogether. Second, get a map and decide where you want to go. Third, I like to use the exchange rates to help me decide. Go to places where the US Dollar goes a long way, see: Vietnam, India, Honduras, Sri Lanka, Thailand, When you travel to places that are cheap your hard earned money goes further or you can live a little better. Traveling alone forces you to make friends where you are, this is generally easy for people with extrovert personalities.
One of the things I usually do when traveling to a new country is finding out where the expatriates hang-out (i.e., Americans or Westerners). I go there to get information but don't generally hang out there because it is a much bigger target for attack. When traveling alone it is important to travel to places that have the decent forms of transportation and always check out the security profile before booking. The last thing I will say is to go get a checkup at the doctors before deciding to travel alone just so you can depart with a clean bill of health. Not all hospitals are the same, just saying.
One of the biggest ways I make new friends is figuring out what music is playing on the radio or is popular where you are. One of the easiest ways to make friends is being able to dance to the same music.
I am telling you now, there is a freedom that traveling affords and traveling alone really compounds that sense of Freedom. You would be surprised at how easy it is and what kind of person you become when you return home.