If you are wondering how to meet people abroad when traveling solo, don’t worry, it is basically inevitable. Even if you are an introvert like I am sometimes, I guarantee that you will get into a conversation quickly!
You may wonder about language barriers, rejection, safety, and even what to talk about. I assure you now that most people abroad love to talk, especially about their country or their travels! It all starts with a simple “Hello”! And usually, it continues with ” Where Are you from?”The result is a lifelong memory of that time when you made friends with a man from Rapa Nui on Easter Island and he showed you all the secret places of the ruins on his motorcycle.
Whatever it is…Of course, there are other things to consider; like Where to go to meet people abroad, whether it’s safe to talk to them, and so on, so I’ll start with basics, and get to everything!
I just came to say hello.
“Hello!”A universal word that almost everyone on earth can recognize. Also a great way to let him know you speak English. Although I usually recommend learning to say it in the local language, saying it in English will usually directly raise the question: “Where Are you from?”
Do not be afraid of this question. They don’t ask for your home address. Most people are really curious! In addition, it opens the doors to conversation, because usually everyone has a friend of a cousin who has been somewhere near you.
If they don’t ask where you’re from, ask them! People like to talk about where they come from, and if they don’t, you can ask questions about how it is there.
Where do travelers hang out?
If you’re really eager to meet people, like you don’t want to be alone at all, I recommend staying in a hostel like the one you can find on Hostelworld. Hostels are actually meant for travelers to meet. Personally I don’t do hostels because I’m an “extrovert introvert” and also an entrepreneur who needs her own space to work, so I usually stay in hotels and end up talking to people at the bar.
That brings me to my next meeting-a no-brainer: bars and cafes! I’m not saying at all to go to a bar or nightclub alone in the evening. I’m talking about a hotel bar, a happy hour, maybe a beach bar, etc. Sure, and you’re more likely to find people who want to talk about substantial topics and not just try to get you home.
Travelers also tend to go around the best photo sites (like these 8 best secret photo spots in Bali!). So it’s very easy to recognize them and drop the question: “Where Are you from?”If you’re not that bold, think about asking what kind of camera they have, or if they’ve seen good views.
Start a conversation with the locals
Since you don’t know who you could talk to in a bar or on the street, I always suggest starting conversations with working locals! Sit down at a bar or cafe and ask your waiter if he has any tips on things to see in his city! It’s a great way to meet people abroad while also doing things on your bucket list.
Ask them what they prefer to do on weekends, or if there is a must-try local cuisine. Because they work, this provides an easily accessible, yet safe environment for you.
Try using a Dating App
Yep. You heard me right, I recommend that you try a dating app to meet people when you are traveling solo! I’ve done it a lot, especially to find people to hang out with or take pictures with, and I’ve always had good experiences!
You don’t have to look for romance or a connection, you can just say on your profile that you’re just looking for friends while you’re in town.
If you are going to try a dating app when traveling solo, be sure to check out my article on safety tips for using dating apps abroad!
Forget being shy or embarrassed.
You’re not at home, and you’re not around someone you know. You have absolutely nothing to fear or be ashamed of when it comes to starting a conversation. If you’re afraid that people will think it’s weird that you’re alone, remember that it’s cool of you to travel solo, and also that it’s a popular trend to travel solo now too!
Some people have also heard the lie that foreigners don’t like American travelers. This is absolutely wrong, if not exactly the opposite. You have to keep in mind that the majority of Europeans and Australians travel all the time, and doing it solo is not a big deal at all, so for other travelers or locals, seeing an American abroad is also not that big a deal. Except that many countries sometimes consider Americans to be celebrities!
Fun fact: I was ashamed to be an American citizen when I was traveling. I thought everyone hated Americans; thought we were silly, loud, fat and spoiled, hated our president and shook their heads at our mass shooting problem. Five years after, and I proudly say, ” U.S.!”when someone asks for and shows my passport at the airport.
It’s all because the positive reactions I’ve had over the years when I say I’m from the United States have caused a few laughs about the way we talk. If you are wondering why, remember that there is only one Hollywood. And we can all do what we want, including meeting people abroad!