How to meet people as a solo backpacker

Fear of being alone? Fear of the unknown? Backpacking solo actually doesn’t really mean alone. You will meet plenty of new people along your journey. All you need are tips for a kick start!


How I managed to travel alone at a young age? Travelling alone is never actually alone. You’ll meet plenty of new friends along you journey of backpacking. I believe some worry about becoming lonely and trying to find a travel buddy.

There is absolutely no need to find a travel companion before going travelling. Solo backpacking is the most rewarding way to travel and you will have no problem meeting people, so long as you make the effort to be sociable.


“Backpackers Are In The Same Boat!”

Hundreds of thousands of people go backpacking alone every year, so there are plenty of people to meet in the same boat, every backpacker wants to meet new people, is there to have fun and is in a friendly mood!

Be confident, approachable and cheerful and you will have no problem finding travel partners or drinking buddies.

However, you just can’t sit and lying around and wait for people to approach you, you have to make an effort for the first move at times.

You will have a hard time to socialize if you are staying in a private room or hotel. The best way to socialize is staying a Hostel and you’ll be amazed on how sociable backpackers are.


To get going, simply start a conversation by just saying “Hi, how’s it going?” You can usually judge by a person’s response if they’re in the mood for talking. If someone doesn’t seem receptive back don’t feel down, they may just be having a bad day or want some peace and quiet. It’s nothing to do with you, just move on to someone else.


How to break the ice between other backpackers?

These are the questions to break the ice;

  1. “Where are you from?”
  2. “Where have you been?”
  3. “How long have you been travelling for?”
  4. “Where are you going after this?”
  5. “Is there anything you would recommend?”

You can talk to someone for half an hour about the above and by then you should be very comfortable with that person.


Best Places to Meet People on Your Backpacking Trip

DORMS

The first spot to meet new people, the bigger the dorm, the more people to meet.

TOURS

A bunch of people taking tours and heading to the same destination as you.

ON BOARD

Most people take the same routes. If someone has a massive backpack with them they are probably a backpacker so talk to them.

Met Rafal from Poland, he was heading to Singapore and was kinda lost, while I’m heading back home.I sat beside him on my flight and offered my help to tour him around. Still keeping in touch.

ATTRACTION SITES 

You can usually spot a backpacker a mile off at tourist spots. Ask them to take a photo of you and go from there.


Meeting The Locals on Your Backpacking Trip

THE FRONT DESK

The person behind reception is usually a local and therefore a valuable information source for everything local.

 

TUK-TUK / TAXI DRIVERS

You must be careful on this one as some might rip you off, but some of them I’ve met are very friendly and willing to help me out.

GUIDE

You can even make friends with some of the locals by picking up an activity. They are usually locals and they can be a local friend that you could spend hours talking to.

COUCH SURF

You might eventually find the best local friends to hang out with, followed by free accommodations, blend well with the local and most importantly, adapting to the local lives.

Met this bunch of locals in Jakarta, friends of the couch surfer owner. Touring around Puncak, Jakarta.

CAFE

You might get lucky when you can even make friends at a Cafe.

Met Syarikin in Penang, the owner of theTablePenang cafe. Offer for a tour around Georgetown and it has been a pleasure being around him.

It is all pretty simple really,after you start travelling you will wonder there nothing to fear about.

Your people skills will improve noticeably after travelling.Its great and reassuring news for those people worried about how travelling will influence your career.

So go ahead and backpack solo, start talking and make new friends!

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