Before I first went traveling in 2006, I had these expectations in my own head — predicated on only my imagination and popular culture.
My trip would be considered a nonstop adventure filled up with colorful and exciting people. Crazy things were likely to eventually me. I’d socialize everywhere. I’d be speaking with strangers on buses. Locals would invite me out for drinks. I’d be sipping a latte, strike up a conversation with my beautiful waitress, and the next matter I’d know we’d be at a wine bar, staring into each other’s eyes while she taught me French.
It had been going to be exactly like those articles I’d read or travel movies I saw. One adventurous scene following the next.
I QUICKLY went overseas.
There I was in the hostel, on the highway, seeing amazing attractions in historic cities simply by myself. I possibly could do whatever I needed when I needed. I was beating to the sound of my very own drum.
Initially, it had been exciting as I set my daily schedule and did things without any help.
But, as the times wore on and my tongue forgot what speech sounded like, that excitement dissipated as I started to crave human interaction and companionship.
Suddenly, I was alone — and in the bad way.
I was lonely.
I was so busy those first few days that I forgot I was alone. And that was fine — until it wasn’t. Where were the locals who were likely to show me around? The cool travelers I’d spend nights out with? Once I ran out of things you can do, I could no more hide my aloneness.
I started to realize the only reason I was alone was due to fear.
As a big introvert, it isn’t natural for me personally to just walk up to strangers and speak to them. It creates me nervous and that was particularly true in the past in 2006 when I had first started traveling.
But that fear was keeping me from living the dreams I had in my own head. EASILY wanted them to occur, I would have to make sure they are happen.
Many people wonder if traveling alone means they’ll continually be alone. How will they socialize? Could it be hard?
It’s a valid concern and, for all of us non-natural socialites, it’s a challenge. But without a doubt: it’s easier than you imagine.
There are a great number of people traveling solo.
People like everyone else.
People looking for an adventure.
Individuals who crave interactions with others.
And that other is you.
I overcame being alone when people in my own hostel started speaking with me. These were the first ones to attain out. They broke the barrier I was too afraid to break myself. I was in a hostel in Prague sitting there looking forward to “something to occur.”
But things rarely happen if you don’t make them happen. You have to venture out and speak to strangers.
It took the introvert in me some time to discover that truth, but once I did so, I had no trouble meeting people. After those travelers said hello and showed me how easy it had been, I realized I was making a mountain out of a molehill. There is nothing to be frightened of.
Because most of us start in the same boat: in a foreign country without the friends, not speaking the language, and looking for folks to invest time with. Once you understand that, you understand how easy and simple it is to create friends — because many people are like everyone else.
The main element is to start out small and use of your shell. Speak to the individual in your dorm room. Say hello. Inquire further about themselves. They’ll respond. They’ll ask you about yourself. It’ll be fine rather than scary.
Do the same to other travelers you see. Search for that group leaving for the bar and have, “MAY I join you?” Walk to that pool table in the hostel and have, “Who’s next?” Do you know what? You are!
And because of the growing sharing economy, there are plenty of methods to meet people. I’m sure you have a very important factor you are passionate about, right? Well, people all over the world have that same passion. Use a website like Meetup.com to find local groups that form around that passion. It’s a terrific way to make new friends as you have an instantaneous thing to share with you, something you can speak fluently and excitedly on. It generates an instantaneous connection.
Moreover, you can test the web site Couchsurfing. It’s not just a spot to find accommodation; there is also a great deal of meet-ups you can focus on find other travelers and like-minded people.
Initially, I came across it hard to talk with others, nevertheless, you either sink or swim on the highway. My options were to be alone or even to overcome my fear, make the leap, and speak to people. I pick the latter.
And on the days I was sinking rather than swimming, other travelers came up if you ask me and said hello. They made the first move therefore i didn’t need to.
Why? Because these were looking to socialize, too, and understood that if indeed they didn’t take action either, they too could have been alone.
Travelers certainly are a friendly bunch. They would like to meet new people and make new friends.
And among those friends is you.
You should never be alone on the highway. There are people everywhere who’ll be constantly speaking with you and inviting you out.
Traveling alone doesn’t mean you may be alone.
Take it out of this introvert: you’ll meet more folks than you’ll know very well what related to.
And you’ll realize there is never grounds to worry to begin with.
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