One of the best parts about traveling is the people. Meeting new people everywhere you go and sometimes even making new friends for life.
Whether your goal is to make a friend for today or a friend forever, approaching people while traveling can seem like a daunting task.
But, it’s not all that hard! Just keep in mind these few tips and you’ll be on your way to making new friends in no time!
First Impressions Count
Although appearance isn’t everything, taking the time to make sure you brush your teeth and comb your hair goes a long way to make it look like you’re put together. When you put a little effort into your appearance, it shows people that you’re confident and approachable. If it look like you’re trying to hide behind your baggy clothes, you will come across as less approachable.
Also, try to keep an open posture when you're out socializing; folding your arms gives a closed-off impression, while keeping your arms and body open makes people feel like you're more approachable. So, lift that chin, put on a smile, and get ready to go out there and make some new friends!
Don’t Wait for Others to Make the First Move
Sometimes approaching people can seem scary and impossible, but chances are, the person you want to talk to might be just as scared to approach you as you are to approach them! Just go for it; the worst that can happen is they say they don’t want to talk to. In that case, you’re no worse off than if you had never approached them to begin with. If nothing else, it gives you a chance to practice approaching people and learning how to make new friends.
Practice, Practice, Practice
If you never practice approaching people, you’ll never get better at it. It’s ok to blunder through an introduction… the important thing is that you try and you keep trying until you feel comfortable talking to people you don’t already know.
If you’re in a country where they speak a different language, most natives would love to help you practice speaking their language, and as a result, you make a new friend! Many countries are very open about sharing their culture and one of the best ways to do that is to talk to the locals, preferable in their native language, if possible.
Find Something You’re Interested in and Pursue It
While on a trip, seek out local events that interest you or cozy up to that other person in your travel group that’s reading a book on your wishlist. Having a common interest will make it easier to approach people and make conversation.
If you love music, try to make it to a local music festival or find a local music club. You’ll be surrounded by other people who love music, so that topic of conversation will be easy to bring up. Ask someone their favorite song that the band played or ask a local about any other great music spots.
If you see someone reading your favorite book, ask them what they think about it or ask what their favorite book is in turn. Finding a single common ground often opens up the conversation to many other topics as well.
Last, and most important, just be yourself! People want to get to know the authentic you, so don’t be afraid to let your beautiful quirks shine. Ultimately, people love to learn new and different things about other people, especially if you come from a different cultural background. Who knows? Maybe you’ll find your soulmate or life twin across the world.
Ultimately, when meeting new people and trying to make friends, remember that they probably want to talk to you as much as you want to talk to them. Traveling is all about new experiences and breaking out of your comfort zone.
What better way to do that than by taking a chance and approaching that interesting person over there?
Good luck making yourself some new friends!