How to Meet People While Traveling Solo
Meeting new people while traveling solo; it's one of the big mysteries of the nomad life. How are you supposed to make friends when you're by yourself in a new and foreign country? Who do you trust? Where do you go? What type of people do you look for? Travelers are always looking for people just like them.
So how do you do that?
Well, there are the standard methods: go to a bar (my favorite), meet in your hostel, make friends over a cup of coffee. These all are perfectly fine ways of meeting people, and I can tell you from experience that they do indeed work.
Then there are the less common, but very effective new ways of meeting travelers: social media and apps. Now it's no secret that the biggest app used to meet new people is Tinder (I use it all the time when I'm traveling), however there are also other apps that let you interact with others via pictures, videos, and other chat forms.
Instagram is a great way to find people in your area, seeing as most pictures have a location attached when posted. One of my favorites is Snapchat, which allows users to follow along and watch as you go, and each snap lasts only 24 hours when posted to a story, so you know that person is in the area.
My best experience meeting new people while on the road was in Paris in 2014, when I was stranded, without a place to stay, and no real knowledge of the language or city. I quickly hopped onto a new app I had installed called Couchsurfing and started looking around for potential help. I posted messages saying I was new to the city and needed a place to stay, that I was willing to help out around the house if needed, basically that I would do anything for some form of accommodation. To my surprise, multiple hosts reached out to me, inviting me into their homes, saying they'd feed me and give me a hot shower, it was astonishing.
I ended up crashing with three Brazilian students who were studying in Paris at the Time, Paula, Marina, and Nata. They let me sleep in a bed in their apartment, we cooked risotto together after grabbing some ingredients from a local market, and we stayed up late, partying with friends into the night.
You never know where you're going to find friends while abroad. I was lucky enough to meet three new amazing people who rescued me from a homeless night on the streets of Paris. Keep an open mind and heart when traveling and good things will come.
Making friends out on the road can seem like a daunting task at times, but if you give it a shot and pout yourself out there, others looking to do the same will respond with open arms.
Carpe Diem Amigos!