Last year my best friend Melissa Volitich and I booked a 3 month trip around Europe, to celebrate the end of college. After the 3 months were up I really had the travel bug so I decided to extend my stay for another month, whilst my friend headed back home. During my time alone, I was finding it difficult to make friends, so I decided to put an action plan in place to meet new people, an try and find some new friends.
I have learned that this is something which many travelers can find difficult, so I wanted to talk a little about how I went about meeting new people.
There is a website and a phone application called Meetup, which seeks to get people together and you can use it to meet like minded people. All you do is hit the website and put in your location, and then it will find meetups that are happening in your area. These could be anything from language meetups, meetups for travelers or even for sporting events. If there are no meetups that you like the look of, you can create your very own and then wait to see who is up for it.
I have never enjoyed taking tours when I go away as I much prefer to manage my own time when I go to see an attraction. I have realized however that when you take a tour, it is a great opportunity for you to meet new people and as you are usually together for a long period of time, you can really get to know people quite well.
During my time in Paris I was struggling a little but financially so I decided to get a bar job, to help with my travel plans. This turned out to be a brilliant way of meeting people, both the staff and those who came in for a drink. In fact most of the friends who I met abroad where through this job and even though I was only working for 3 months, I met a huge amount of cool and friendly people. If you are able to get a job like this you can have the opportunity to meet lots of people.
Finally I have found that one of the best ways to make friends is to simply talk to people, be open to everything, invite people out to eat, accept invitations when they come your way, and don’t be overly shy or timid. The first step to making friends is to put yourself in a position to meet people, the second step is that when you do meet the people, that you put yourself out there and actually look to build a relationship.
Traveling can be so much fun and you can meet a great deal of people, but you must put the effort in to do it.