Making friends while you travel is hit and miss. Sometimes you find yourself in that perfect situation, surrounded by dozens of people that you have so much in common with. Everything feels right and the city, country or place that you happen to be feels right. Everything is fun and exciting and you look forwards to each new day and then something changes.
While sometimes things just click, at others for whatever reason you just don’t find any connection. The person sitting at the back of the bus or walking on the other side of the road could be exactly the type of person that you’d end up becoming best friends with and sharing a lifetimes worth of hopes, dreams and experiences. Yet you will never meet them and instead find yourself surrounded by people who you just won’t make any kind of lasting connection with. Instead of constant fun, you just make do and get on with it, waiting for that moment when you meet your next good friend. Anyone who has lived abroad for a long time or has travelled alone will recognise this feeling.
The best way to get around this problem is to try and meet locals. Get out into those spaces where you are more likely to find people that you have lots in common with. This is obviously easier said than done, but here are a few ideas and tips on how to improve your chances of creating that connection.
Facebook is a great place to find out what’s going on wherever you happen to be. Simply look in events on the website to get ideas of what is going on where you are living. As someone who travels a lot, I find that this to be a good starting point to getting my social life pointed in the right direction.
Join a Gym
I’m not a fan of looking at myself in the mirror while I pick up heavy pieces of metal, nor do I enjoy running on a treadmill like a hamster going nowhere fast. That said, joining a gym and participating in exercise classes is not only a good way of keeping you healthy, it’s also a great place to meet new people and even start a holiday fling.
The travellers favorite, Couch Surfing, had to come up on the list somewhere. However, with so many members all over the world, this website and ones like it will always be a good place to meet up with like minded people. It might be a bit hit and miss, but if you’re not interested in going to events and would rather meet people on an individual basis or in small groups then this is a good place to start.
Meetup.com is similar a website aimed at thirty-somethings. The concept is pretty simple: arrange a date and a time and a group of strangers will meet up over a few drinks or maybe dinner and have a chat. This is a nice way to meet expatriates and locals alike, so it is definitely worth looking into.