Ten easy ways to get friends on the road

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So you want to travel alone but…not really alone? Congratulations! I have created a list of shortcuts for ways to go off on your own, but where new friends (and maybe travel partners) are guaranteed.

But why should you get friends when you might as well take ones you already know? Two reasons:

  • With old friends, you are likely to fall into the same old patterns and jargon, whereas with a new friend, you will definitely explore new ways, and new sides of you will be brought out.
  • I want to give you this comfort so that your friend’s lack of time and money doesn’t stop you from going.

Anyway, the list:

WWOOFing
World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms. Looking for free accommodation and food? Fresh air and exotic fruits? Cultural exchange? Volunteering at an organic farm somewhere in the world is sure to bring you experience and an unforgettable exchange.
There’s a homepage for every country and its many hosts. Here is Ireland’s, the one I used years ago when falling in love with the country.

Workaway
Similar concept. Free accommodation often food too, for just a couple of hours of work a day. This is a homepage that has collected all hosts and you can find anything. Eco villages, childcare, hostels, farms. Anything. Click here. HelpX is another great site I know many who used.

Hostels
Simple recommendation. If you stay at hostels and hang out in the kitchen or bar, people will talk to you. And sometimes, you end up hanging out later too. A lot of hostels arrange social nights. Out of experience, I can guarantee you that there will be other solo travelers too and social people in general dying to meet you.

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Arranged bus tours
This way, you get to spend all day traveling around a place, talking to fellow travelers having chosen the very same destination. These are easy to find online, but hostels usually have agreements with the best tours. I ended up traveling together with some once. There are also organizations who arrange the entire trip with itinerary and that way you get days or weeks with those other solo travelers where it comes naturally to befriend each other on day one.

Couchsurfing
If you haven’t checked it out – it is perfect! Log in here, find locals in the city you are traveling to and ask if you can stay overnight at their place. This way I have made pen pals, tried plenty of new food, gotten tips on hidden gems and been saved from spending the night on the street when missing my train.

Couchsurfing II
On the homepage, you can find events hosted by random locals, anything, and just join! People create these events to actually meet new people and some even announce that they are looking for someone to spend a day with, sightseeing. I have ended up going to potlucks, language exchange meetings, yoga sessions etc. Also, use Google to find other backpacker forums.

MeetUp
This is an excellent page, more active in some countries than in others. Find that (weekly) meetup for people with your specific hobby. Check it out already, here.

Tinder App
I know, I know. But be clear that you are on there to meet locals for coffee or something. There are people on the app who will seriously meet you and show you the city anyway, without “getting something in return”. I tried, it was amazing.

Air BnB
This is a homepage where locals sublet their homes way cheaper than hotels, in case you need your space and don’t want a hostel bed. But it is also an excellent way of asking your host to connect you with their friends. That way you don’t have to walk up to a total stranger, it is more like a friend blind-date. Exciting! Click!

 

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Challenging yourself
Talk to strangers, go out at night, hitchhike. Just embrace the free and brave version of you that comes with knowing that you did it – you took off by yourself! That is brave and people will want to know your story.

 

 

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