Last year, solo traveling changed my life.

I got a ton of questions after, but “how to meet new people and make friends” is the number one Q I’ve received by far!

Here’s the best thing I’ve learned since being on my own: you cannot wait for people to magically speak to you. It’s not like the movies, sitting at the bar looking fab is not a social strategy. Using your intuition (it’s really a powerful thing), seeing who you gravitate towards, noticing things about people that you like, paying genuine compliments, and taking a true interest in learning about others is where it’s at. 99/100 times you have to be the one to take initiative, which is great, because you get to choose who you want to make a connection with!

You’ll see a theme of course: MUSIC! Music is your connector. Let it guide you in many ways as it leads you to your humans. And most of all, don’t be afraid to just say hi. People love connection, we are social creatures, sparks, and mirrors for each other. Most of us love to be asked about ourselves and to be seen. Just do so safely and carefully of course, and follow that intuition when anything feels off.

1.  Music brings us together, and it’s how you find your people! Smile, take genuine interest in and spark conversation with as many people as possible, everywhere you go- baristas, people working in shops/boutiques/vintage stores, waiting for the train or bus, working in the hotel. When your intuition speaks & you inevitably find the people you click and vibe with, ask them for local recommendations. Furthermore, ask about their music taste (“what do you like to listen to?”, “do you like _____”?). Shared musical love feels like speaking the same language – if you guys align, tell them you’ve been looking for a spot / DJ set that plays this kind of music. You’ll find even more incredible humans at that spot or event and be in an environment with like minds and souls. Let music guide you 🙂

  • If by the end of your interaction, you get repeated cues that they’re a good egg, see if you can exchange socials and ask if they can DM you if they find out about any good sets, spots or events coming up that week / weekend. (Obviously don’t tell anyone where you’re staying or post that info on social). Just like in most cities, locals often find out about the good stuff just a few days beforehand on the fly with friends. They may invite you out, or simply be kind enough to let you know where the real gems are happening! OR, you can take initiative and invite them to coffee or dinner if the vibe is really right. Get peoples Instagram as it’s a less intimidating and even more casual way to keep convo going (ie replying to stories) vs. texting. All you need is one awesome friend and a chain reaction begins as they can introduce you to others!
  • If you’re in a big city in a high season, chances are there’s an artist you like (or WOULD like if you look them up!) playing a concert. Doesn’t have to be a big artist, can be an indie or up and coming artist which is even better bc more intimate venue. Concerts are the best place ever to meet people- you already have so much in common and are doing one of the most natural primal connective human things together: singing and feeling the music through your soul. Did I mention music leads you?!

2.   If there are people around your age in your hotel or local coffee spot, make convo with them! You may have similar interests and they might be visiting & wanting to make friends too.

3.   As surface as this sounds, you will probably also find like minds by visiting stores of your favorite (small) brands or vintage shops. There’s a reason branding is a thing, it’s a shared feeling. If there’s a clothing brand that really represents your style / values / vibe, the people there are probably your kinda folks! Make friends and ask for recs as well!

4.   When you’re at a place you like, ask others there for similar recommendations & mention why you like this one. Of course, you’ll discover more local spots in alignment with you, but even more so, it’s a great way to break the ice and start conversation before you start getting to know someone!

5.   Sit at the bar or counter (!!!!) at restaurants, especially ones with an open kitchen! Not only is it so fun, but you’ll probably be seated next to other solo counter eaters AND be able to make awesome convo with the staff. People who work in the restaurant world are super cool & love to have a good time (of course just make sure they’re down for the convo and not being too bothered while they work!)

6.   Bring a conversation card game everywhere you go! Yes, EVERYWHERE lol you never know when you’ll meet someone. I brought Liz Moody’s healthier together deck but there’s also we’re not really strangers. If you’re sitting having a drink or eating at a bar one night and meet someone but have trouble starting good convo or just want fun talking points, pull out the cards and ask if they want to play! It gets DEEP!

7.   And most important: it’s okay if you DON’T always talk to someone or make a friend! You’re here to be alone and be with yourself. Plenty of my meals have just been me, myself and I which is why I bring a book and sketchbook everywhere. I’ve been loving sketching my meals and the beautiful architecture around me to spend quality time with myself and get lost in the bliss of my environment & experience. Your own company is the best company, allow yourself to be alone at times (you’re gonna need it especially if you are socializing), and it’s okay if you don’t spark up a conversation right away at a dinner or concert. Plenty of conversations go nowhere, too, or are just pleasant, momentary passing connections! 🤍

Leave a Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *