I tramp a perpetual journey.
— Walt Whitman
Meeting people while traveling can become overwhelming, especially for an introverted traveler. Making the first move is a behemoth undertaking and can become awkward not just for you, but for everyone else… which makes things even more awkward.
Introverts have unique needs when it comes to interacting with other people. However, you’d be happy to know that it’s a lot easier than you think. Over time, you’ll realize that the only thing standing in your way is your anxiety. If you’re an introvert who’s planning to travel solo, here are 4 surefire ways for you to make friends.
Reach out to other solo travelers in person or online.
For most introverts, it’s a known fact that meeting other people over the internet is so much easier than meeting them in person. One great tip is to first reach out to other solo travelers who are already in your country of destination online. Ask them for advice about what to bring and where to go. Then, slowly ease into asking them out for drinks or coffee once you get there. Corresponding through social media or email is one good way to break the ice and establish a bond before you set out to meet these people in person.
Who says Tinder is only for romance? Keep an open mind and tweak your bio a bit to, “Lonesome traveler seeking a fun tour guide. Bonus points if you’re cute!” and wait until someone volunteers. While Tinder often gets a bad rap, the people on it may just surprise you. Who knows? Your next girlfriend/boyfriend/BFF may just be a swipe right away!
Stay in small hotels with bars or other communal spaces.
Compared to large chain hotels, small inns and B&Bs offer common spaces with a friendlier vibe, such as libraries, patios, and kitchens, that enable you to meet fellow travelers. Just make sure to stay off your phone and be ready to offer a smile or friendly nod when someone looks your way.
Just say HELLO.
HELLO — a simple word, but it has the power to thaw the ice. If you think a HELLO is too simple, just ask questions about the place you’re in and slowly work your way up. The great thing about other solo travelers is that most of the time, they find solace in meeting fellow tourists and are always ready to help out. Just talk to other people wherever you go. Whether it’s on the bus, at the mall, at the gym, at the bar, or at a party. It doesn’t really matter. Just open your mouth, be polite, and great things will follow.
The main takeaway here is that you should never be afraid to put yourself out there. One of the great joys of traveling to a foreign land is that you are able to get out of your own head and just feel every moment as it’s being lived. You may be an introvert, but even introverts need fun and connection, too!
So, go out there and enjoy!