Lots of good insights already provided. I am 66 and I rode 2500 miles with a 19 yr old last summer and he had ALL your fears and more. Night terrors and all. He rode 4400 miles in all and always managed to find someone to hook up with, but did weeks alone in the middle of the trip. Read " companions wanted". You don't need to do this alone. You have already taken a huge big step.