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Traveling for me is not only fun and exciting but it has also broadened my perspective in many ways. As a kid, Mom would tell me not to talk to strangers but now I not only strike up a conversation with them but I also make friends.
Throughout the last 3 months of our road trip, we met a lot of people and befriended them. They have now become a part of our lives & we are in regular contact. Here are some tips on how we ended up getting to know amazing personalities while traveling and how we became friends.
DYI – Drop Your Inhibitions
As Indians, we are always cautious and wary of strangers but by keeping an open mind and putting your inhibitions, prejudices, and judgments aside one can meet people from all over the world and share amazing stories. All you need to do is strike up a conversation!
Stay in a Hostel or a homestay
Staying in a hostel or a homestay is the easiest way to make friends in India. It is very natural to make conversations with the occupants around you — and you’ll soon hear yourself getting into the, “Where are you from?” or “what do you do” conversation. While hostels are a meeting point for travelers from across the world, engaging in similar activities as yourself, homestays, on the other hand, provide you with interaction with the local families, understand their culture & way of life.
In Spiti, while staying at a homestay, we bumped into a group of locals who turned out to be exceptional singers. What followed was a night of partying, live singing and getting to know about the history of Spiti Valley and by the end of which we became friends.
Make Friends In Transit
A lot of us fly or make use of public transportation while on our trips and these can be a great way to meet like-minded people. Shared cabs, buses, trains are great places to strike up conversations with people. For all you know, they could be headed to the same destination, be from your alma mater or have mutual friends. These are great opportunities to meet other people whether it is someone sitting next to you or waiting in line at the airport!
Book Group Tours
Travel is a bonding experience and tour groups could be a good way to make friends as you encounter a variety of people and personalities! And since you are bonded to the group, you will have no choice but to interact with the travelers around you! For days together, you will share space and time with so many people, that it’s highly possible for you to make friends for life.
Connect With Locals
While traveling, opt for staying with the locals for a truly local experience and to get to know the culture, history, and pulse of the place you are visiting, talk to the people who live there and try to learn their language which will help you fit in and converse with others.
A lot of places we visited in the Himalayas have volunteering opportunities such as teaching in the local schools, conducting awareness drives about the environment, women empowerment etc. Engaging in such activities will not only help you give back to the place you’re staying in but will also allow you to connect with people who care about the greater cause. Such opportunities, help you connect with experiences and make great friends.
Traveling is not only fun but also a learning & fulfilling activity. A simple “Hi” can get you a friend for a lifetime. So don’t hesitate to make new friends, as life too short to not share it with others.
This article, written by us, was featured in Senhora Magazine and you can also read it in their July print or on their website.