One of the many joys of being a traveler is the many varied people that you get to meet and greet. Some may become your life long friends and others you may pray to all the gods that you never come across that person ever again. If your not on a guided tour, and even if you are, how is it that some people just naturally make friends?
Here are a few of our tried and tested tricks~
*Learn to drink. Now I’m not saying that you should go out and practice sculling a pint of stout in under a minute. Drinking is a great social activity and can help put people at ease. A lot of hostels will have a social area with a bar set up. Providing you with a great spot to meet new people and enjoy a beverage or two. If your not a bit alcoholic drinker order a drink that could look alcoholic, like a soda and lime. No one else needs to know that it isn’t hitched up with a shot of vodka.
A drink is also a fantastic prop to hide behind if the moment gets awkward. A finished drink is an even better escape plan if you need to politely leave.
* Tell your tale. Despite what you might think you are not a boring person. You and your backpack have made it how many miles to get to this spot? Something has happened from when you left to when you arrived. One of my closets friends come from Texas. I meet him in a bar in Tokyo. I was traveling on my own, he was on a mid-semester break from an exchange program. The first thing I remember is blaming him for President Bush, smiling and sitting down with a drink. Nearly 5 years later and back in our respective home countries we still regularly Skype, with plans to visit soon.
*A budget friendly trip- Your smile is free. Give it out generously. Don’t be afraid to use it. You never know how bad someone else’s day has been. You might be the first person to give them a smile and a slice of hope.