How to meet people while traveling
How to meet people while traveling

“The man who goes alone can start today, but he who travels with another must wait till that other is ready.” – Henry David Thoreau

Traveling solo can usually be discouraging. The thought of being by yourself in a new country with new cultures can scare anyone. It’s only natural. However, in reality traveling solo is quite the opposite. No one is ever alone. There are plenty of people just like you looking to gain an experience, a new experience. I met one of my closest friends on a ferry in Indonesia at 2 a.m! Coincidently we were both on our way to Australia the following week. We’ve been mates for four years now. You never when or where you’re going to meet someone, it just happens. Meeting new people through your journey is only part of the game.

Obviously, it isn’t always a fairytale. Sometimes you just have to get out there and meet people, sometimes a major part of traveling isn’t the where but the who.

I’ve put together some of the things that have worked for me in meeting new people.

  • Be open to meeting people. It isn’t always “don’t speak to strangers”. Ask for directions, ask to take your photo, ask anything. People are always there to help and sometimes you just might get invited to local events or parties.
  • Stay in dorms or hostels. You’ll most definitely meet fellow travellers in hostels and dorms. Whether you’re shy or not, it is highly likely that you will meet people here, and the icebreaker would be “where are you from?” Dorms are the easiest ways of meeting people.
  • Carry a deck of cards. I hope you know at least one drinking game/magic trick/card game. This handy box is the easiest way to get a group together for a laugh and a few hours to kill.
  • Go for tours. Be it a wine tour or bungee jumping or a sporting activity – do it. With activities, you’re all part of something together. It’s a great way to meet people and team building exercises are always great.
  • Facebook has undoubtedly made the world a smaller place. Post a status to check if you have any friends or friends of friends in the country to show you around.
  • Couchsurfing is a great way tool you could use to meet locals. I have always met the most hospitable friends through Couchsurfing, and I’d surely host them when they visit my home.