I get asked how I make friends while traveling so often, I don’t know why I haven’t addressed this before. I made so many friends in Europe, I made friends in Central and South America, I have actually spent more time with people than alone in most places I visit. How do I manage to meet so many amazing people? The answer is different for each country, surprisingly. I have so many ways that I’ve met people, but I’ve taken different approaches in different places.
Ways to meet people:
- Couchsurfing. I met sooo many awesome people (who I am still great friends with!) through couchsurfing in Europe. Couchsurfing is so much fun and I would highly recommend it to anyone. I will admit, it’s definitely easier for girls, but you can meet some fantastic people on there. I love couchsurfing because it allowed me to have a great mix of alone time and time with other people. During the day, I’d explore on my own, and at night, I would spend time with my host. It was a great balance for me. You can also meet people on couchsurfing if you never plan to stay at someone’s place. I met friends on there that found out that I was in their city and realized that we had stuff in common. One of my favorite examples of this is Hannah from Prague – we met for lunch at a cafe and totally hit it off. We hung out a few more times (sadly I was only in Prague for one week), and we had so much fun! It was especially great since I was couch surfing with a host who couldn’t spend a lot of time with me. I miss you, Hannah!
- Staying at hostels. There are so many solo travelers to be found at hostels! I made some great friends in Cali, Colombia, at one of my favorite hostels of all time, El Viajero. This place was amazing. They had a pool that tons of people would hang out at daily, they had a great outdoor bar, it was just a super social place. If you are looking to make friends, check out hostelworld.com and read reviews to see which hostels are really social! Usually if the hostel offers something like classes, a pool, a bar, etc, then it will most likely be a pretty social place.
- Facebook groups. This is how I’ve made lots of friends in Chiang Mai, Thailand. I joined a few Facebook groups (helpful if you are staying somewhere long term), and I was able to find a few people that are staying here a bit longer. This is where I met my great friend, Maddy!
- Other social networks. This one might be a stretch for some people, but I noticed that some people I follow on youtube are currently in the same city as me. I reached out to Aly from Psycho Traveler (on youtube), and we got coffee together. We have so much in common (both travelers, both make videos, both writers), it’s been so great to connect with her. If you can find people who are into the same things as you, it’s a great bonus!
- Meetup groups. Check out meetup.com for a massive variety of groups to meet up with. There are meetup groups for EVERYTHING. Photography, walking, raw food, whatever you are into, there is probably a meetup group for it.
- Just doing things that you are interested in! Go to a yoga class, a cat cafe, volunteer at a local animal shelter. Hang out in the health food store or sip a latte in a small coffee shop. There are so many great and easy ways to meet people, and most are open to making new friends.
I hope this list helped you! Let me know in the comments below how you make friends while traveling.