I am lucky enough to have travelled extensively across four continents, and met some amazing travel friends on the way. Todays blog is all about meeting people on the road and how many of those connections can be lifelong.
Meeting Travel Friends on the Road
One of the best things I do as a solo female traveller is to stay in Youth Hostels. I usually go for an all female dorm – not because I am against men – I just feel safer and more comfortable in an all female dorm. I’m married too now and don’t want to attract make attention! Saying that, I’m ok in a mixed dorm from time to time. I’ve stayed in mixed dorms in many cities including Ayutthaya, Thailand, Riga, Prague and Katowice.
I generally find that many other girls are travelling solo and more often than not, there will be someone I click with in the dorm. It’s so lovely when you chat over breakfast and say where you want to go and someone else pipes up ‘oh, I want to go there too!’ Solo travel can be lonely but doesn’t have to be – it’s easy to meet other travellers on transport, projects and hostels or hotels.
I also meet a lot of travel friends in the blogging community by attending conferences and events such as TBEX and ITB.
Meet some of my best Travel friends from around the World!
When I was eager to see the Blue Mosque in Istanbul I booked a room at Sultan Hostel where I met my friend Tatiana. We had a lovely group of girls to hang about with and had a great day shopping at the Grand Bazaar. Tatiana and I instantly clicked and spend the following few days exploring the sites of Istanbul together visiting the Blue Mosque and taking the boat to Princes Island.
This week, a friend of mine, Valerie, who I met in Rwanda four years ago, came to visit me in my hometown of Oxford. We spent a fabulous weekend visiting Blenheim Palace and drinking Peach Bellinis on the roof of the Ashmolean Museum!
I’ve also got some fabulous travel blogging friends including Barbara (Barbaralicious) and Rachel (Blond Wayfarer) who I know will be lifelong blogger friends. Rachel and I connected online through Facebook originally and then met in Copenhagen a few days before we were due to attend TBEX Stockholm. We’ve kept in touch ever since and try to connect in European cities when we can, but what’s great about modern technology is that we can support each other via tech such as What’s App and Facebook Messenger. Here’s me and Rachel in Copenhagen – please pin on Pinterest!
5 Reasons why your Travel Friends will become Friends for life
Here are five reasons why your travel friends are the most likely people to be your friends for life…
1) They are on the same Wavelength
Travellers are dynamic and flexible. They rarely judge and respect each others boundaries. They are always enthusiastic about their next trip and have a lust for life. Many ditch the 9-5 daily grind for a nomadic laptop lifestyle. Sharing these ideals and values with someone means that you are completely on the same wavelength. It’s often a challenge to find people with this level of open mindedness and an understanding of the nomad way of life back at home.
2) They may know you even better than your family back home!
Those you will travel with may end up comforting you while you face poverty head on, or offering you baby wipes while you sit on the loo with Diarrhoea! Because travel brings out both the best and worst in people, travel friends are the ultimate buddies. Travel buddies know you out of your comfort zone, and because of this, they know who you really are. They even may end up knowing you more than your parents or partners.
3) Your Friendship Transcends Cultural Boundaries
No matter where you are both from, the friends that you meet travelling are the ones who will connect with you like no others. Travellers are often the most open minded and non-judgemental people that you meet. You may speak different languages and live completely different lives at home, but non of that matters when you’re best travel buddies!
4) You become Dreamers Together
Many travellers say no to the conventional lifestyle often imposed by society. You are not afraid to dream together, plan the next amazing trip and put the world to rights! The most amazing talks with your travel friends will be those where you dream together. I always love it when I have someone who I can bounce ideas off knowing that they are as passionate as me! Where’s your next flight? Would you rather hike Kilimanjaro or explore the temples of Angkor Wat? Hours of dreaming and inspiration together!
Sometimes, you get back from the most amazing adventure, but back at home, no-one can relate to it or truly understand. Other than your travel friends, of course. How amazing it is to pick up the phone or dial into Skype to look back on your amazing times in ….(fill in the country!). It reminds me of the friends episode when they all go to Ross’s wedding – ‘London Baby!’
Top Tips for Making Travel Friends
- You can start on Facebook – there are many groups such as GLT and blogger groups where you can connect with other solo travellers and bloggers. Remember to look out for the ‘Catfish!’ and always meet in person for the first time in a public place that is safe and secure.
- Don’t be stingy – by a fellow traveller a beer if you see them sitting alone in a pub – you never know – it could lead to you getting some excellent travel tips.
- Stay in Youth Hostels – they’re the best way to meet with fellow solo travellers. You can always go for a private room if you don’t feel comfortable in dorms, but dorms are generally safe if you lock away your valuables.
- Chat to other backpackers if you are getting the same long distance coach or train. You can share ideas and maybe accompany each other on a trip when you arrive at your new destination.
- Walking tours are also a great way to meet and chat to other travellers.
- If you fancy going out for a drink but not on your own, many cities and youth hostels do pub crawls that you can buy a ticket for. You will be taken to bars and pubs by a local guide, along with a load of other travellers who are up for a drink and socialising too.
Please leave me a Comment about your top Travel Friends!
What do you say about your travel buddies?