One of my favorite parts about traveling is the people you meet along the way. The locals and also the other travelers. When traveling alone, making friends is something you will find yourself doing as different adventures present different opportunities.
This process is actually quite easy on the road as other people are in the same position. At home, you would never catch me at a bar alone, but on the road, I do it all the time without question. The best advice I can give is to make yourself open.
When I arrived in Indonesia, I had no idea what to expect. I had gone there on a last minute decision and literally knew nothing about where I was going. Once I had found a cheap little hotel (a really run down place for $5 a night) I would walk up and down the streets, eating at various restaurants and mingling with people. One of the tour salesman (a young Indonesian guy) was super friendly and we became friends. He always had lots of people around him and as a local, could give me lot’s of advice. One day while talking to him, a blonde haired guy from Denmark came up out of no where and asked what I was doing that night. I said I didn’t know and he asked if I wanted to hang out and go to a nightclub. I agreed and told him I would meet him a couple hours later. While waiting, I went to a restaurant and met a guy from Spain. I invited him to the nightclub as well. That night me and the 2 guys went to the club and I ran into another guy I met the night before who was from Argentina. 4 different countries, 4 different people. 1 Great night.
I became good friends with the danish guy and we ended up renting scooters and touring Indonesia for a day with some of the people he was there with. Had I not met him, I would of never went to see elephants and ride scooters all over the country. Had he not met me, he would of never gone surfing.
Be open to suggestions. Be open to friendship with anyone you come in contact with. Use some discretion of course. The main benefit to staying in hostels besides the price, is to make friends. Most people there are in the same spot as you and looking to make friends as well. Join some of the hostel hosted events and meet people. Join up with others on their adventures.
That’s what making friends on the road is all about. I never would have rented a scooter in a busy place like Indonesia but since he pushed me to do it, I had a great time! Though, I was pretty happy to make it back to the hotel in one piece 🙂
Get out there, make yourself available, make new friends, and you will have the time of your life!
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