The biggest fear of a solo traveller sometimes is not safety but the anxiousness before talking to new people or fellow travellers in a place. It gets ten times worse if you happen to be shy or introvert by nature. People walking alone may not be lonely exactly, it could be out of sheer choice. But what have you got to lose if a wee bit effort cn get you some great friends along the way. Here’s how you can make your next travel trip different from your previous one’s; by trying to open up a little.

Take a walking tour or join a local meet-up

Not only walking around a great way to acquaint yourself with a new city, but also lend to easy conversations with people around you. You could ask someone standing next to you for a piece or information or share your knowledge on the subject to break ice. Another way of getting friendly is sitting with your group for a quick bite or some drinks. Food is often the trigger for superb conversations; after all there’s hardly a soul who doesn’t like a burger and instantly lights up after a bite. Also, if you’re really bent on socialising, go for a local meet-up. From cooking courses to salsa classes, interacting with other travellers over a shared interest is bound to turn into friendship.

Stay at hostels or rented rooms

Hostels are a fun and easy way to meet strangers. You often end up sharing rooms with three or even four people and chances are that they’re all from different parts of the world. Where else would you get a chance to befriend people of various ethnicities under one roof?  From fighting over the room temperature, to discussing politics and religion to sharing a cold beer over a game of chess, if you’re not staying at a hostel, you definitely are missing out. Another way of doing it is staying at a home-stay and bonding with your local host. You can connect with them by sharing your thoughts on how different your culture is from theirs and taking their help on local travel. You’d come back with a family in another country.

Just say hello and offer to take photos

You must know the basics of photography whether you are a photographer or not. You have no idea how it’ll come in handy in situations where someone goes like ‘Could you please take a photo for me?’. We’re all obsessed with the idea of capturing moments be it on our DSLR or phone cameras. And if you do it right for somebody, you’ll not only get a thank you but also an invitation for coffee. You could also reach out and simply say a hello to anyone randomly sitting from you at a cafe or a bookstore or even a mall. It never hurts to try. The human species has survived for 2,00,000 years because of the ability to communicate; use your skills, mate!