How to Make Friends While Traveling

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This podcast episode is a little different from the other ones because I don’t have a guest. I am speaking about a topic that I am very passionate about and that is: making friends while traveling.

Over the past six years, I have traveled all over the world. I have lived in four different countries and traveled to almost 60. I have worked as a tour guide and a pub crawl leader. Most of the time, I travel solo as well. And people always ask if I get lonely while traveling solo and the answer is no because I am always meeting people!

I wasn’t always so social though. I used to be a lot more reserved and anxious, but traveling and exposing myself to so many different people from so many different countries opened me up.

A few years ago, I wrote a book called How to Make Friends While Traveling, but I never published it even though I wrote over 100 pages! At the time, I was living abroad and traveling and I began to treat meeting people like a science. I would go out every day and try to meet new people and experiment, like a scientist on the brink of a big discovery. I would go to every meeting I could and talk to strangers on the street and attend strange events.

The very first day when I sat down to write the intro to my book, I was at the library in Puerto de la Cruz and I had to go to the bathroom. I asked a girl to watch my laptop while I went. And later that day I saw her sitting on a bench across town and I said hey. We spoke and exchanged numbers and I invited her to the weekly meeting of my friends every Wednesday at a bar called Agora.

And every single day for the next two weeks I met a new person. I kept a journal and I thought maybe I could meet new people every day for 100 days and then write a book about that. But the truth was that it was exhausting and I ran out of steam.

So here is the podcast version of that book, I drastically shortened it down and went off the cuff so hopefully it isn’t boring. But I really enjoy talking about this subject and even though I talked for over an hour, I could have easily talked for another two hours if I wanted to.

I talk about such things as: Staying in hostel. How to travel solo. How to overcome social anxiety. Tips to travel as an introvert. How to use meetups to interact with more people. The difference between meeting locals and meeting other travelers. How to meet people at language exchanges. Using CouchSufing to meet new people. Why it’s easier to meet people when traveling. How to talk to strangers. How to overcome limiting beliefs and become more social.

If you like this episode, you might enjoy my talk with Marina Zoppei or Andy Steves, who are both very social travelers.

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