So you want to see the world and you learn that nobody is available to go with you, they don’t have the money, the time, the desire. ..One of the biggest pain points I see in various forums and posts is how solo travel can get lonely and requests to know how to make friends while traveling. For those of us that are living a nomad life with no definitive plan on how long we’ll travel, making friends becomes even more essential. I’d like to share some tips. Here are 10 ways to make new friends while on the road.
Exchange contact information. You know what the worst feeling is? Meeting someone you connect with only to walk away and realize you forgot to exchange information and will probably never see them again because you didn’t get their last name so you can’t look them up. At the very least exchange Social Media handles, and even better, make sure you have WhatsApp so you can easily send messages while traveling.
Visit Cultural Sites. Some places are so small that there just aren’t any tours or classes. In that case, especially, find out what local attractions there are. It might be a local hangout (I stayed in a town with fewer than 100 people in Portugal and their “sociedad” was the town hangout and sole attraction), it might be a museum or church. Get yourself there. Again, if you’re not meeting tourists, you’ll definitely meet local people. The more you go, the more likely you’ll make friends! AND, even if you don’t speak the local language, just a little bit of time struggling to communicate with the same people every day works wonders!
Give Up Age Barriers. Friends come in all ages. They may be much younger or much older than you! Instead of looking for people your age, just look for people that seem friendly.
12. (Another Bonus!)
Get A Greeter! In New York City, I used to be a Big Apple Greeter. I volunteered to give tourists a New Yorker’s perspective of New York and met great people. When I went to Buenos Aires, I got a greeter for myself! It was wonderful to get to know the city from his eyes, and we even met up a few times while I was there. Check out The Global Greeter Network to see if you can find a greeter at your next destination.
Remember that your accent, which you never think about, is sexy to someone else when you travel! It’s so strange, but true! Dare to speak up because your accent alone may attract someone who wants to get to know you.