How to make new friends the fast and easy way

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Every frequent traveller knows how important it is to make new friends quickly. Travelling with a smartphone in your pocket enables you to do more than you might think. Besides skyping your grandma, you can also meet awesome friends. Of course, you can do it the old school way by approaching people in a bar or the streets. But let’s talk about finding new people online, because it is faster and more focused.There are plenty of free networks to choose from and all you need, is to create a profile with your email address or mobile phone number. Remember that they are based on mutual respect, understanding, trust and common goals - just like every meaningful real life encounter

Networking: meeting professionals and sharing your hobbies

Maintaining balance between meeting locals and expats turns out to be the best way of learning the most about new places. While locals can offer the authentic experience, foreigners usually provide more diverse and less biased insights. For this kind of socialising I use InterNations, a network for people living abroad, allowing them to discuss various issues in topical forums and to connect with the others. The “communities” there are divided according to a local jurisdiction into relatively small units, which helps to keep it more detailed. Perfect for meeting representatives of other than the local culture or discussing legal matters and experience.

new friends from the wisdom 2.0 conference in San Francisco
new friends from the wisdom 2.0 conference in San Francisco

For meeting up with people of similar interests, and by that keeping up with your hobbies, there is Meetup - rather self-explanatory name, isn’t it? Wherever you are, in order to find the right kind of group or event, you just type in the field of your interest and the city of your current location and choose. The groups there have a partial autonomy and kind of personal attitude. After every attended event you will get an email with all attendees’ contacts, which is very helpful to make new friends.

Travelling: living and experiencing distant places like a local

Stargazing and sleeping in a tent is nice, but so is showering and sleeping in a bed from time to time. Flats and houses are dry places with electricity and running water, with stoves and washing machines. Those are items you do not need on a daily basis and you can find or supplement them each. To keep the course of your adventure smooth and safe it comes in handy to have them all around at once every now and then.

One of the options is CouchSurfing. You plan your trip through official requests and messages with the other users. The idea is to host and to be hosted, to provide for the community, to repay for the hospitality by sharing something new with the others. Staying with locals in their homes is a great opportunity to learn more about the everyday life or cuisine and to see places most travellers wouldn’t stumble upon. The safety and satisfaction is based on a system of mutual references. You can as well just use this website to find a local or another traveller to hang out with and quickly make new friends.

Another recently growing network is Airbnb. It is a network for arrangements of short-term rentals of accommodation spaces from the owners. The actual stay is again preceded by a series of messages with the provider. Membership is free, but the service itself is paid. There are many filters to help you find the most fitting place and also reviews written by the previous users. By staying with a local host, you start every journey with a friend. Not only do most hosts provide their guests with regional information, but also can you get a glimpse into local homes.

Dating: not always a soulmate, but more than just a flirt

Remember the cute restaurant with the breathtaking sea view? Or the movie you were dying to see and they were even showing it with English subtitles? And you had nobody to go there with? Of course, you could go by yourself… But honestly, having a charming date, meaningful conversation and a bit of flirting can improve your day, or even a week. Tinder has been going through such a boom lately that you can easily use it almost everywhere. The application effortlessly connects people in the same area and of the same age.  Despite having a reputation for casual promiscuity, it allows for more than that alone. Getting to know new people and making new friends is equally inspiring and enriching. Be it a casual flirt, a long lasting friendship or the one and only soulmate, everything is possible.

Travelling is not only about visiting distant places, but also about meeting people… because people are cool and worth meeting! The longer we travel, the more time we spend with humans with a different background that we have just met. Online platforms allow us to find and meet the right people in less time, with less effort. All we have to do, is using those tools appropriately and later making the best out of it.