My best friend Ikran has been a true inspiration to me and has the same craving for travel as I do. She has lived and travelled to Banff & Edmonton- Alberta, Kelowna – British Columbia. She has travelled all around South East Asia and is currently living in Melbourne Australia.She is beautiful inside and out and while she is travelling she seem to make new friends in a heat beat. She has friends all over the world and always has the best stories to tell of her travels.
How to Make New Friends When Traveling Solo
Travelling alone can be a scary thing and sometimes trying to make new friends can be even scarier. However, I want you to remember that the people you meet on your travels are the reason why you will have so many amazing stories to tell.
Some of you are wondering, how do you make friends?
Easy… The number one tip is simply to …. Put yourself out there.
Make sure you are comfortable with meeting some of the most random people you can imagine and it is also important that you aren’t judging toward new people you meet because those people will surprise you.
Hostels are always a great way to make friends. Simply ask a group of people or even just one person if you can sit with them (I know it sounds a bit daunting, right?) However, to your surprise most likely everyone says yes. Start the conversation and find common ground, which would obviously be travelling.
You’ll realize that when you’re travelling the same conversations will come up like “Where are you from? How long have you been backpacking for? Where did you start off? Where are you off to next?” Use these commonly asked ice breaker questions to get the ball rolling.
These commonly asked questions are great to build a bond with a new group or individual and will also give you a good vibe regarding the type of person they are.
A bar is still a great place to meet people if you feel a drink will loosen you up. Sit at the bar if you see one other person. That’s how I made friends with a guy named “Vernon” from Texas in Siem Reap, Cambodia on Pub Street (which is party central in Cambodia). He was sitting alone and I just asked if I can sit with him. He was such a nice guy and I met some of his friends later on that night that he knew from Vietnam. Later that night I also met two Norwegian girls named Linda and Silija. I ended up traveling with these two girls for two and a half weeks. That night was a night to remember as we all danced on the streets all night long.
In Picture (Linda, Vernon, (Linda the 12 year old Cambodian girl known in the South East Asia backpacking world) Silija, Me, and a weird guy)
And guys you will meet some weird people so just embrace it.
Remember the key way to making friends is putting yourself out there and ask them if you can join them. It is as simple as that… Don’t be afraid to ask the question and know that all backpackers are in the same boat as you and also want to meet friends just like you.
Written By – Ikran Ahmed
Side note – Always be safe when travelling alone especially when drinking. 1. Keep an eye on your drink – drink only what you see prepared yourself 2. Set a drink limit and stick to it – it’s okay to loosen up with a couple drinks but don’t go overboard and end up making a fool of yourself and or getting yourself into something dangerous. 3. Have water in between drinks.
So I have a confession…
Okay.. I was naughty I admit it.. Want to know why? Whenever I tell this story to anyone, I always receive a wide-eyed, open mouth expression! Most people are stunned with disbelief on how I managed to hook up with a boy I had never met before, on a plane… That’s right I said it! When I was 19, I met this guy who was on my flight from Vancouver to Hong Kong. Pretty much, I got a smooch from this cutie!
How did this happen?
I had about 30 minutes before my flight boarded, so I decided to sit down at the gate and pull out my laptop and see if I could get some Wi-Fi signals… Around 5 minutes later, I notice a young boy around my age, sitting on the opposite side of me. I looked up and spontaneously made awkward eye contact with him. With embarrassment of being caught staring at him, I quickly looked back down at my laptop screen. For a while, I then realized after failed attempts, that I could not connect to any Wi-Fi signals and became frustrated…. “ I needed to look busy on my laptop. Hello…. Wi-Fi?” After multiple tries, I decided to be bold and ask the beautiful stranger, if his Wi-Fi was working. I looked up, swallowed, took a deep breath and asked, “Hey, is your Wi-Fi working?”
When did the sparks ignite?
He replied with confidence “Hey, no I can’t connect, I was just about to you ask you actually”. He smiled flirtatiously. He closed his laptop immediately and asked me, “What flight are you on?” I thought to myself, “holy shit he’s talking to you, don’t say anything stupid!” I pulled out my boarding pass and stated my flight number and destination. He widened his eyes and replied with a big energetic, “ME TOO, that’s awesome!” I smiled and replied with an “oh cool!” (as in I’m trying to act cool). He started asking me million questions at once like, “Where are you from?”, “Why are you going to Sydney?” and so on. I started to answer his questions simultaneously and bounce those questions back to him. I could feel my palms sweating and my face blushing. I pause the awkwardly happy question-and-answer session and told him my name, “Oh, by the way, my name is Dana.” He chuckled and replied, “Nice to meet you Dana, my name is Michael.” It turns out that we have the same age. He was going to Sydney for a year of backpacking around Australia. I could tell that he was very interested and super excited about his adventure. He was humble and down to earth enough, and seemed to have the same craving for travel as I did. We started talking, more comfortably, and I told him about my first year at University and gave him a little rundown on what Australia is like, where to visit and what to do in Sydney.
Then we boarded the plane…
While waiting in line, “together”, we constantly are talking each other’s ears off. One of us stopped and asked “Hey, what’s your seat number?” It turns out we were four rows apart from each other as we mentally calculated. He gave me a sad puppy face, displaying his sadness for the fact that we were seated so far from each other. We still had so much to talk about! Once we got on the plane, I sat at my seat, and I waved goodbye saying, “I’ll see you in Hong Kong.” I sat smiling to myself like a little schoolgirl with a crush. Three minutes later the beautiful boy appeared in the aisle with a random middle-aged woman beside him. He looked happily at me and said, “Hey, this nice lady is happy to switch seats with you, so we can sit together”… I looked at the lady and she replied, “Yea, not a problem, I’m happy to make the switch”. My heart melted….
Then the 14 hours in a cramped plane began…
I switched to my new seat, beside him, and our conversation started again! We talked about everything from high school, to our friends, and even to our past relationships. We watched movies together on one TV screen, and we laughed a lot. After about 6 hours of talking and laughing, it was time to have a little snooze as they dimmed the light and everyone around us was sleeping. Obviously it would have been rude to keep talking while everyone was in his or her sleep mode. As we position ourselves to sleep, we leaned against each other and shared the given blanket. After the awkward leaning position, for little a while, he reached out for my hand under the blanket. We fell asleep together, hand in hand. After around three hours of solid sleep and I repositioned my body… he woke up, from my movement and smiled at me. I asked him “Are you comfortable?” he replied… “Very much, thanks” … Then he .. leaned in for a kiss… My 19-year-old self was on cloud 9!!!!! I remembered that the kiss was just perfect. There may or may not have been a little groping under the blanket too… 😉
Arriving in Hong Kong.
We assumed that if we started on the same flight, we would also be on the same flight for our flight to Sydney too. However, his flight was different than mine. I was leaving in 2 hours and his flight to Sydney was another 6 hours after mine. He said he wanted to hang out with me while I waited for my flight so he convinced the airline employee to check in early so he could hang with me before I boarded the flight. We had dinner together and laughed some more. As we waited for my flight to board, we shared one more passionate kiss as we sat in a room with 100s of other strangers. He lined up with me until he could not anymore; we kissed goodbye, and I walked away onto the plane. That was it…
I never saw him again; we spoke on Facebook, but we never got a chance to see each other in Australia.
I am a lot older now but I remember everything about that flight like it was just yesterday. I still remember how awesome he was and how nervous I felt to just be around him. It was such a good experience and had shown me that a simple hello can go a long way..
Do you have your own version of travel confession or a similar story?
Have you met someone awesome at an airport or on a flight?
Let’s hear it! Share it!
You’re in the right place! Also if you’re reading this then you are pretty damn cool because well…. Scuba diving is freaking awesome!
Scuba diving is my little passion! I was brought into this world with scuba diving all around me! My parents were always on the coolest diving trips! My basement in my house was like a small dive shop and the hanging wetsuits would freak me right out!
So you wanna be a scuba diver eh?
Well let’s start with the basics?
Can you swim?
Are you over 10 years old?
Okay great.. You’re good! Anyone can scuba diver I have seen 80 year olds 100 ft down with me!
*Although you do need a medical form signed by your doctor as some medical conditions and diving do not go well together!
What Diving agency do I use?
I’m going to recommend PADI… personally as that is what I use at work and in my personal diving experience! However there is other agencies such as NAUI, SSI etc.
What’s the course actually called?
PADI Open water course – for beginners entry-level divers
How do I get my PADI Open Water Course?
You have a couple of options actually…
- You can do your full PADI open water course with a local dive shop which covers theory and pool session as well as 4 open water dives.
- You can do an online (eLearning) course with PADI eLearning and finish your theory on your own in the comfort of your own house! However… you then have to do the pool session and 4 open water dives with an existing dive shop!
- You can do a referral program! Are you going on vacation anytime soon? Backpacking in a tropical country? Well all you need is the first part of the course with a local dive shop (theory and pool session) and then when you get overseas or on your vacation you can then go to the local dive shop there and finish your 4 open water dives with an instructor. Doing a referral prgram is a huge benifit as your first dive will be in a ocean. Where the weather is nice and the water is warm (I started in a lake in Toronto, Canada and I couldn’t see a damn thing for the life of me lol)
How much we talking?
Let’s break it down! Each dive shop or center is different and the price ranges but..
PADI ELearning course is – $190
AN example of a dive shop – pool session and 4 open water dives is – $299
AN example of a referral program price (4 open water dives) – Ranges ($200 and up) Depending on where you do it!
- Remember sometime rental fees are not included in the price! (Watch out)
- Note – These prices are just an example every dive shop or center varies widely!
So you’re looking at around – $500 to $800 or more!
You might be taken back a bit by the price but I assure you it is worth it! Scuba Diving is amazing, picture yourself weightless swimming deep in the ocean seeing all kinds of wild life up close and personal and making friend with new fish and other divers!
Does it ever expire?
Nope the PADI Open Water Never Expires! You’re good to go! I do recommend if you haven’t dove in a very long time that you take what’s called a refresher course. You can do this course with a local dive shop – it helps you touch up on your skills and tune up dive knowledge! Price usually around – $150 – 200
Is the course hard?
Not at all, it’s made to be fun and exciting and a good experience for you! It’s actually really interesting and gets you pumped to be a diver!
What if it’s not for me?
That’s totally fine, diving is not for everybody! Most divers and instructor understand this! I mean your breathing in a complete foreign environment, we get it!
Will I meet new friends?
100% scuba diving is a VERY social adventure sport and most dive clubs meet regularly and dive together! You will also learn that diving uses a buddy system which means every dive you go on you ALWAYS have a buddy! So you are pretty much guaranteed to make new friends! If you don’t have a buddy on a dive trip you will be paired up with someone every time!
Well I hope you enjoy this little blurb about getting into scuba diving!
Check out these links for more information on the PADI Website and you can also find different dive shops in your hometown and anywhere in the world!