How to Make Friends When Traveling

How to Make Friends When Traveling

How to Make Friends When Traveling


Hi Friends.

Traveling can be a great way to experience new places and cultures. But it also presents an opportunity for loneliness, especially if you’re traveling solo. It can be difficult to meet fellow travelers or make new friends in a foreign country that you don’t know. However, there are ways to make friends when traveling. Here are some tips for finding your tribe in a new place.


Be approachable

When you’re a traveler, it can be easy to feel like you don’t belong. But if you want to make friends when traveling, it’s important to be a bit more open and welcoming.

For one, this means smiling at people as you walk by them. No matter where in the world you go, people appreciate being acknowledged with a smile and a nod. It also means talking to strangers in public spaces such as airports, train stations and bus stops. If someone is listening to music on their headphones or reading a book on their phone while waiting for the bus, don’t take it personally – they are likely not interested in talking to anyone at that moment. However, they might be happy to talk once they have finished what they’re doing and are looking around for something else to do or someone new to talk to.

If you see someone who looks like they might like what you have to say or could benefit from getting involved in your interests (even if it’s just one thing), give them an opportunity! Say hello.

For myself, I say hello, and ask a question about the place we are in, or ask them what they think about the subject we are both looking at. Yes, you have to be a bit bold, but most times, it is being a bit bold that will open new doors for you.

Finally, remember that while travel can sometimes bring out the worst of human nature (lonely people can often become self-absorbed), there are plenty of travelers who want nothing more than to make friends during their trip abroad. So keep an open mind and be kind-hearted!


Allow for spontaneity

The first thing to be aware of is that not every meeting needs to be planned. Let things happen! If you’re open to the possibility of running into a potential new friend, then you’re more likely to have an interesting encounter. This can frequently lead to new friendships, just as it did for me. I was traveling in South East Asia. I went on a day trip and met a stranger. We talked, and she told me about a volcano she was going to. WOW, I said I would like to see this place as well. The next day we went, on that trip. We met 4 kick – ass people from France, and we all traveled together for a week. It was such a great adventure that happened from being flexible

We are still friends today and exchange messages even now!


Join online travel groups

One of the best ways to make friends when traveling is to find an online travel group. These groups are typically based on a certain location and will allow you to exchange information about what’s happening in that area. Whether you’re looking for a place to eat or recommendations for tourist attractions, these groups will be able to provide you with helpful information. You can also post questions about your itinerary and get answers from those who have been there before.

Typically, I search for Facebook groups for the town or location I am in. Some of my searches are … “Expats In …”, “Digital Nomads in …”, “Language exchanges in …”. Or, search for topics you enjoy. For me, it is Circus. I have found a few different circus groups and made some great friends this way.


Learn the language

One of the best ways to make friends when traveling is to learn the local language. This will allow you to connect with people who speak that language, and it’s a great way to be open-minded and receptive to new ideas. It’s also a good way to find someone you have something in common with, such as an interest in the arts or sports. If you’re planning on staying put for any period of time, it might be worth investing in a few lessons if your host country has resources available for this.

I wrote an article about “Slow Travel“. If you are into this style of travel, then I do recommend you learn at least a few words.


Volunteer or do a work exchange

Volunteering is a great way to meet new people and make friends in a new place. It’s also an excellent way to do something meaningful on your vacation. You can volunteer at an animal shelter, hostel, or museum. If you’re looking for more of a cultural experience, you could volunteer at a nonprofit that focuses on language instruction or tutoring.

If you’re looking for more of a social experience, try doing a work exchange abroad. Work exchanges are when someone works at your home in return for the opportunity to stay in your home and travel abroad. This way, you’ll be able to live and work with locals while getting the chance to explore their culture during your stay.

Workaway.info is great for this, and how I got my foot in the door in Vietnam.


Couchsurfing

Couchsurfing is a website that connects travelers with locals who have room on their couch, or other accommodation, to offer. It’s a way for you to stay in a home and experience the culture of that area more intimately. You might end up with an invitation to a family dinner or go sightseeing together with your new friend.

I have not been on the couch surfing route myself, however, it is something I will try when the time is right.

If couch-surfing is not your jam, that is okay. Another way is by getting an Airbnb rental that offers shared communal areas. These common spaces give you plenty of opportunities for conversation with other guests staying in the same place or even hosts who live at the home.


Don’t be afraid to invite someone to join you for an activity or ask if you can tag along!

One of the easiest ways to make new friends is to invite them to join you for an activity. If you’re going for a run, ask if they want to come and chat while you work out. If you’re taking a cooking class, see if any other students are interested in swapping recipes or starting a group text. And if you’re heading to happy hour, don’t be afraid to invite someone to tag along!

I have connected with a few people just by saying that I was going to hike or walk to a landmark and if they wanted to join. I personally feel, most people are interested in meeting someone new as well!


Take a class in something you love to do.

One way to make friends when traveling is taking a class in something you love to do. If you’re going abroad for the first time, take a cooking class or language course to meet people who are also new to the country. You’ll be able to practice your newly-learned skills with your classmates and will have plenty of chances to chat about where you’re from and what brought you there.

You could also find a club or activity that interests you, either before or after your trip. Use Meetup.com to find groups in the area that match up with your interests and schedule an event around your travel dates. It’s a great way to meet people with similar interests as well as get some insider info on what’s best for travelers in the area.


Go on a walking tour of the city or town

If you’re looking for a new way to explore a city or town, consider joining a walking tour group. You’ll be able to make friends with other travelers in the group as well as local residents. This is also an excellent way to learn more about the history and culture of the area you visit.

I have made a few friends doing this. Most times, a walking tour is about 3 hours, so there are plenty of times for you to say hello, and strike up a conversation about something you are both looking at. Here is a story about a walking tour I went on in Athens, Greece. Free Walking tour, Athens, Greece.


Use an app like Viator.com to connect with other travelers.

One way to meet friends when traveling is to use an app like Viator.com. This app shows travelers the best activities and tours in a new place. The app has over 100,000 active members who are looking to meet up while they’re exploring the world. You can browse through the app’s map and find things you both want to do together. Just remember that there are also plenty of other apps like this one out there – so be sure to do your research beforehand!


Give everyone a chance

Finally, it is important to meet friends when traveling, is to give everyone a chance. Yes, we all have hangups or stigmas about people, myself included.

People around the world are different, even in the same state, they are different, even in the same city… For example, someone with an eye patch you think may be a pirate and will steal from you, sure they man.. But the greater chance is that they will not. They may be a very nice person with an eye patch.

For example, I was sitting at Starbucks doing some writing. I had to use the restroom, so I asked a person next to me to look after my laptop for a second when I left. To me, they looked like they might steal my laptop and run. I was glad to see I was wrong when I got back. We talked, and they showed me around Athens the next day. It was great!

We can’t judge the book by the cover so to speak. Some of the best people I meet, on the outside, may have come off as looking a bit dirty or unkept. Under that, they were kick – ass people who loved to love life and were great to travel with.


Summary On How to Make Friends when traveling.

Making friends when traveling can be a daunting task, but it’s not impossible. Just be yourself, be open to new experiences, and be willing to socialize. You’ll likely meet people who share your interests, and before you know it, you’ll have a new group of friends to explore your destination with.

I hope you enjoyed this post and see you again in another article!

Cheers

Tim on a Rock
Tim on a Rock
Roaming Sparrow is a project by Tim Mack. It is a life on the road, an adventure to gain knowledge and share genuine experiences.
Find some great experences, check out Viator!

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