How To Make Friends On The Road- Our travel blogger Rachel shares her experience!
“I love making new friends, and I am not just talking about Facebook friends. Meeting new people on the road is really easy, really fun, and will make your trip way better! I have found that no matter where I am traveling, if I am alone, I will not be alone for long.
When I arrived in Australia, I made friends at my hostel, at work, on the plane ride before I even arrived in Oz, and basically anywhere that I came into contact with other humans. I do not make friends this easily at home, but as someone new to a foreign country, I was much more open to meeting new people.
It is funny how when you are in your own city, you do not go out of your way to talk to new people. You already have your group of friends, and you may make other connections once in awhile, but it is nothing like when you are traveling abroad.
Traveling opens you up to new cultures, new opportunities, and a new state of mind. When I am in another country, I talk to anyone and everyone. I feel more confident in my uncertainty of a new place and culture. I want to know everything about that new place, so that makes me really excited to talk to new people.
If you are wondering, what do you talk to these strangers about, do not worry, it is easy! Ask someone on the street for directions, ask someone on the train about a nearby landmark, compliment your hostel roommate on her top, or make conversation about your new favorite food with a café owner.
As long as you are open to new points of view, you can strike up a conversation about many things with strangers. Just be careful what you talk about until you know the person and the culture. For example, in Vietnam, it is not legally permitted to talk negatively about politics. In general, I would stay away from all controversial topics like politics, science, and religion until you know your new friend a bit better.
If you are having trouble meeting people, there are some other ways. You could join Meetup and look for Meetup groups that you are interested in and attend the events of these groups. You could go to a yoga class and invite a neighboring yogi out for coffee after. You could connect with people on Couch Surfing because they have more than just stay exchange; they also have travel meet-ups. You could join Facebook groups for the place that you are in and connect with people on there. I am in a Facebook group called Australian Backpackers, and there are always posts about events, rideshares, and invitations for hanging out.
Get back to basics and make new friends like you would as a kid. Be creative and talk to people in all different kinds of situations to make new friends. Do not be afraid to approach people. You will be more confident, have more fun, and learn more about new cultures by making new friends on the road!”
Read More from Rachel: Why should you travel alone?
Read More from Rachel: Travelling with Parents- What’s it really like!