If you want to get out there, discover yourself and figure out what you want to do with your life, then it’s advisable to get out of your home town. Taking a gap year or even just going on a solo trip by yourself can provide you with so many great insights. That way you can build your confidence, build your friendship base, and learn how to be a leader in your everyday life.
Travel can be a great teacher, but only if you open yourself to it and connect with the culture and the people that you meet. To help you accomplish such a feat, we have put together a great little guide to get you started:
Know What is Popular in Your Destination
You don’t necessarily need to go out and watch the hit shows that are dominating the entertainment magazines at your destination. But it’s a good idea to find out what shows, movies, or books might be big in the area you’re travelling to.
Superhero movies from the Marvel and DC franchises, for example, are massive around the world. Just look at the familiar names that dominate the box office in this Cash Lady infographic. Finding out what is popular in the destination you are going to is a great way to start a conversation with the locals and to find common ground while making new friends.
Read Up On Cultural Dos and Don’ts Beforehand
Some dos and don’ts are universal, especially if you are visiting an overcrowded city that has frankly had its fill of obnoxious tourists. For example, don’t urinate on the streets or littler. Other cultural don’ts will be more nuanced.
It is a good idea to look up what is and isn’t considered polite when you are preparing for your trip. That way, you can be respectful and get along better with the locals.
Go to Hostels or Other Group Activity Organisers
A great way to connect with others and make friends is to look at hostels or other group organisers, like this Forbes article suggests. Typically there will be activities like a bar crawl that you can go to and make friends while sharing this new experience. If you hit it off, you can easily organise something else together at another time during your stay.
Don’t Be Afraid to Start a Conversation
A lot of people are nervous about being the first one to strike up a conversation. If you see a small group or someone on their own in a social environment like a bar, then don’t feel nervous. Start that conversation and if it fizzles out, don’t worry about it, because a little small talk never hurt anyone.
Making friends and trying to connect with people on your own while travelling can be an absolute nightmare for some, but the more you do it, the more confident you will become. You’ll have friends around the world, learn more about people than you ever expected, and realise you are developing your internal leadership skills all at once.