back to your first day in grade one? You came into school excited
but a bit worried that you wouldn't have anybody to talk to. Who
will you play with at recess? Who will sit beside you in the lunch
room? Well, hold that memory because setting out on a solo journey
could include much the same set of emotions.
I've never been
afraid to travel solo. I've been doing it for the last 37 years
and I love it but I do work on ways of meeting folks along the
way. It's important to me. I feel cheated if I don't connect with
the locals. I'm bored if I don't chat with other travelers along
Here are my 26
tips for making friends along the way...
out connections even before you leave home. Chat with women
who've traveled before you. Make note of their tips, advice
and contacts. Some of your best adventures will begin that
your friends and neighbours who were born in the country
you're travelling to. There is a grandmother here or a sister
there who will happily provide some wonderful connections
for you. (And, even if they can't suggest contacts to you
they will certainly share their expertise on how to dress
appropriately and stay safe. This is a perfect time to ask).
a member of an organization that fosters the exchange of
Welcome Women, promoting visits between females in over
60 countries, is a perfect example and a practical way of
getting to meet the locals.
an international network of hosts and travelers building
peace by providing opportunities for personal contact between
people of diverse cultures and backgrounds.
impersonal hotels. Opt for a more friendly bed and breakfast
experience where guests enjoy the morning meal together
and often linger with coffee and great stories.
travellers tend to choose hostels because they are looking
for travelling partners. Take advantage of that fact. Don't
like eating dinner alone? Pack your favorite tunafish casserole
recipe and offer to cook dinner for your new hostelling
pals. You will be a very popular Journeywoman.
in a cafe? Keep an English book or newspaper on your table.
Inevitably someone will recognize either the book title
or the newspaper and will strike up a conversation. Likewise,
you can be the first to comment if you notice someone reading
a book that you've already enjoyed.
restaurants that offer communal seating at large dining
room tables. Journeywoman has tried this at the warm and
Quotidian bakery, bar and cafe all rolled into one as
well as Wagamama
a chain that serves tasty noodles dishes worldwide. The
fun part of these restaurants is you never know who will
sit down beside you and what the conversation will yield.
-- Don't tell a new friend where you're staying...
tell a new pal you've met on the road which hotel and
(gasp!) what room he/she can find you in. If arranging
a rendez-vous meet the person at a neutral yet busy spot.
Leave a note in your room describing who you are meeting
and where. In case you run into trouble authorities will,
at least, have some idea of your circumstances.