By Claire Hastwell
The desire for new sights and sounds may motivate most traves, but who can deny that the connections made with people along the way, is often the most enriching experience of travelling. Whether passing through, or staying for a while, here are 8 tips for meeting people while travelling abroad:
1. Lend a hand:
When you’re connecting with someone new, I good place to start is with generosity. Volunteering is a wonderful way to meet passionate, like-minded people. There are volunteer programs available all over the world. Help out at an animal shelter, become a conservation volunteer or participate in a healthcare mission. Pick projects where you’ll be likely to work with groups of travellers, rather than say, teaching a class, where you’ll be working alone.
2. Join a tour:
Look up city walking tours and excursions. Tours generally go for a few of hours, so you’ll have much opportunity to chat with other people on the tour and muse over the sites together. Day trips provide even more bonding opportunity, especially those that involve physical activity, where you’ll need to rely on one another to complete tricky tasks. Naturally, the shared challenge will roll into trust and friendship.
3. Make friends transit
Opt for train or bus travel over flying. The journey will be slower, so you’ll be bunked up with your fellow travellers for a longer haul. Conversation about the picturesque journey, your next destination or where you’ve come from, is inevitable.
4. Follow your hobbies
Do a quick Google search for hobby groups and recreational activities in the city you’re travelling to. Have a passion for cooking? Search ‘’cooking classes, New Orleans’’ and you’re bound to find your niche. Participating in activities you enjoy will provide a common conversation topic to initiate interactions with.
6. Join a travel social network:
Meet other travelers through online communities like http://timeblend.com, which is made for travel enthusiasts. timeBlend.com provides a place for travelers to converse, share ideas and post up trip plans for others to join in. You can connect with travelers in different locations and meet people who share your interests and taste for travel.
7. Become a regular:
It’s great to try new places, especially when you’re in a new city, but by visiting your favourite coffee/cake./sandwich shop, the other regulars or workers will soon recognise your face and ask what your story is.
8. Hang out in common areas:
Whether writing in a journal, working on your laptop or listening to music, make a habit of spending your ‘’solo’’ time in communal areas. Hostel lounges, public libraries, cafeterias, free wi-fi zones, parks…you’ll find others doing the same as you. You don’t meet people by retreating to your room. Get outside and find the communal hot spots.
Ana Gusso is passionate about the world and she is always looking for opportunities to learn.
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