Travelling solo can be a scary thing, especially for very sociable people who like to always be surrounded by others. It was even a bit scary for me, and I love being alone. What if at some point I’ll want to be around people? What if no one’s going to want to talk to me? What if I can’t find good-quality people? To my surprise, making friends is the most natural and easiest thing to do when travelling alone and it’s just up to you how much time you want to spend by yourself or with others. You already have one big thing in common with most people you’ll meet (apart from being humans), the love for travel, so you can always take it from there and see where it goes.
Making friends? Easy as pie!
Here’s some practical ways that I found useful for making friends while on the road:
1. Stay in a hostel – this is probably the easiest way to make connections and not to feel alone. A lot of the people staying in hostels are solo travellers and you’ll always find someone wanting to chat, hang out or explore the place together.
2. Engage in activities such as yoga classes, salsa classes or parties, sports, any type of workshop that you’re interested in and so on. The Facebook Events option is very useful to see upcoming events in your area.
3. Couchsurfing – use it and abuse it 🙂 You can stay with the locals or just meet someone for a drink. The mobile app has a cool feature that allows you to connect with other people in your area, whether you want to just grab a drink, hang out or go to a specific place together. You can also see events organised by other users or organise one yourself.
4. Facebook Groups – there’s plenty of Facebook groups out there aimed at (solo) travellers, chances are you might find someone in your area that wants to meet up.
5. Tinder – I know this one might be a bit controversial, but depending on what you want, it could be a great way to make connections. In all fairness, I’ve met some pretty awesome, like-minded people via Tinder. Just state your intentions clearly from the start and make sure you’re on the same page 😉
Don’t forget to smile!
And last, but not least – SMILE! What you feel on the inside is 100% reflected on the outside – a positive attitude and good vibe will make people be drawn to you. Having lunch with an Argentinian girl in London, going to a salsa party with a guy you’ve met on the beach in Bari, making a new friend from Saudi Arabia in a bus stop in Bournemouth or having a random nonna telling you their life story in a park in Italy – it all starts with a warm, heartfelt smile!
Do you know any other tested and approved ways of making friends on the road? Share them with us!