Travelling in your younger years can be the most enriching, fun and memorable experience of your life. From hostel backpacking across Europe, to festivals in the United States and culture hits in South America, it’s never been a better time to see the world.
However, beyond our vast list of countries to visit and enormous amount of liquor/s to consume, it’s often the people you meet that define your trip (and provide you with countless new homes around the world to visit). And if you’re staying in hostels during your next trip (likely cause we’re all poor af), it’s the perfect melting pot to meet some absolute legends from all corners. But how do you meet people that you actually get along with, and not just a bunch of travel idiots? (They exist, trust me).
Open That Mindset
If you want to meet people, it’s important to be open to all the types of people you may meet. And while you will no doubt meet some dickheads, you’ll find some absolute gems in the mix, too. So when you get to your hostel, walk in with a mindset that is open to chatting with people and try to avoid assumptions. It shouldn’t really matter how old they are, what they do for work or where they’re from (even though you’ll no doubt cover these areas). Just be positive and be your best confident self. You’ll be much better for it, and who honestly has time to be judgemental when you’re with people for a few days at best?
Suss ‘Em Out Early
Think about it like speed dating. There’s probably a good chance you will only have a few days in each city and/or hostel you’re visiting, so try and figure out if you vibe with people early on. If you’re not on the same wavelength at the start of a conversation, it might not be worth your precious travel time to chip away at them. So bounce of different groups / people and find the ones you get along with the most (trust me, you’ll know when you find them).
Find Your Inner Extrovert
This one might be a little harder for you hyper-introverts out there, but it’s all about making the effort. Dig a bit deeper if you have to find that extrovert at heart, or even just the openness to have a conversation. Regardless of your personality, try and keep conversations flowing, involve others and try to be as inclusive as possible. Don’t get me wrong, don’t try and force yourself to be someone you’re not, just try not to be too unintentionally cold. Remember that whole open questions thing you learned at high school? Yeah, time to start using that.
Throw Out The Rulebook
I know many of you may have a rough set of ideals or rules for befriending or dating someone back in your home city. But when you’re travelling and keen to meet people, it’s time to bench said rulebook (or at least put it on the “I’ll come back to you later” shelf). It’s perfectly fine to have a different game plan when approaching and chatting with people overseas. After all, you’re not at home, you’re in some of the world’s most amazing cities, (hopefully) meeting some amazing people.
So forget about what you might normally do at home, and start getting outside your comfort zone. The beautiful thing about travel is that everyone else is just like you – so start getting involved.
Explore Together, But Do You First
I’ve had some of my best experiences wandering through new places with new mates, but make sure you do you first. If you want to go to that touristy icon, go do it. If you want to visit that stunning look out, get it done. And if you’re pretty chill and like to travel on a whim, then do that too. As a result, you’ll probably find people who want to do the same things as you in a hostel, so you’ll vibe with them a lot more anyways.
We’re pretty blessed to have such easy access to travel, and we all naturally want to share those times with other people. So keep an open mindset, have decent banter and go create some memories you legends. You deserve it after all.