Tips for Overseas Travellers: The Importance of Community Connections and New Friendships While Seeing the World

Tips for Overseas Travellers: The Importance of Community Connections and New Friendships While Seeing the World

It’s extremely important to make connections as a traveller, as it just makes the whole experience so much richer. Let’s talk about why new friendships and community connections are integral while travelling, and then discuss how it’s done.

We humans are social animals, constantly needing interaction and meaningful connections with like-minded souls. This is most apparent when travelling, as just a little bit of time on your own in a strange place, with little to no friendly interaction, can truly get a new traveller down in the dumps.

When in this situation (which every dedicated overseas traveller has experienced, the writer of this article included) you’ll find yourself going to stark places in your mind that you’ve never been before, thinking there’s something wrong with you, and maybe even getting a little desperate for any type of interaction or friendship. It can be very far from pleasant, and oftentimes very confronting. 

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Travel can quickly become very lonely if you don’t choose to interact.

Don’t worry though, there’s nothing wrong with you. Admittedly, you may be a little shy and naive, but now that you’re a bonafide international traveller it’s time to nip that in the bud. 

When you travel, if you want to have a good time and create lasting memories and make new friendships, you’ll learn very early on that you have to be a little brave. You have to often make the first move, and you’ll probably need to do it every-single-day.

It’s tough, I know, as I’ve been there numerous times, and crashed and burned with the best of them. There are people out there that you just can’t click with, that’s assured. Yet, for every crash and burn there have been so many more incredible friendships made. Friendships (in my experience), that 10 years later span the globe, are still going strong, and mean more to me than any material possession ever could. 

And looking back, wouldn’t you just kick yourself if you hadn’t been the one to make that first interaction with a loyal and lifelong friend while travelling? You know you would.

The Benefits of Connections

Think of every new and vibrant connection as a ticket to brilliantly rich experiences that cannot be measured in dollars and cents. If you make the effort to get to know someone from a different culture, let down your guard and show them your best side, they can often be your VIP pass for amazing food spots, the coolest bands and acts, and maybe even help you learn the language? Just for starters. 

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Be brave, dare to connect, and who knows what could happen?

Loneliness while travelling is suddenly minimised when you make these types of amazing connections, and there’s often a deep immersion into local culture that you never could have possibly experienced without making that first move and coming right out of your shell. 

Even thousands of miles from home, you can feel wanted and loved, and all it takes is you throwing away your inhibitions and making that first connection. It’s so important you learn how to do that. 

So, let’s learn how to do that.

How to Connect?

Ok, so we’ve covered the whole ‘be brave’ principle, and it’s up to you to get that happening. We sincerely hope you do, as it will undoubtedly open up your life in ways you probably can’t even imagine yet. 

Here’s some major dot points to take into consideration when you are being brave, and even when you are chilling by yourself too….

  • Be approachable

Undoubtedly, it’s great if you have the courage to approach people, but be sure to be approachable also. If your body language says ‘don’t bother me’ then it’s assured that no one will.

  • Minimise your use of electronics

If you look like you are fully immersed in your phone or laptop, no one is going to come near you, you can bet on it.

  • Avoid closed body language

Crossed arms, crossed legs, angling yourself away from another person, not making eye contact, or not looking at a person while talking, these are all things that signal to others that you are not interested in them at all.

  • Don’t come on too hard

If you declare your BFF status for someone in the first hour you meet, or just talk their ear off for hours, it’ll put up major red flags, and your supposed new ‘BFF’ will be running to the hills at the soonest opportunity, never to be seen again. Just relax, go with the flow. Be yourself.

  • Listen, and ask lots of questions

Don’t talk about yourself until asked. Be polite and ask nice questions. When a person is answering your question, listen closely, and actually take an interest in what they have to say. It makes all the difference.

  • Swap details, then continue to let them know they are valued – even when you leave.

If you hit it off, it’s imperative that you swap details. When you meet up again, do something nice for your new friend: buy them a meal/drink, or shout them something worthwhile. If they are showing you around their town, it’s the least you can do, and they’ll quickly know they are valued. It goes a long way towards a brilliant new friendship, and you should let them know how much you value them each time you see them.

*Be sure to keep in touch regularly, even when you leave. Nothing sours a friendship quicker than someone who shows they don’t care after the trip is over. A couple of calls or emails a year will keep you in good stead for the rest of your lives. 

So that’s ‘connection, friendship, and travelling’ in a nutshell, and we truly hope you’ve gained something from these tips. 

Most importantly, while travelling and meeting new people, just BE YOURSELF. If you can take a relaxed approach to this whole aspect of being a traveller, and radiate good vibes while you do, you will assuredly have a new posse of friends in each and every new country you visit. 

Like anything, it takes a little practice, but when you’ve been on the road a while, you will find yourself mastering the art of connection quite quickly.

If you are in Melbourne Australia,  and you are an international student, a backpacker passing through, or even a brand new resident, you can actually get a head start with all the social aspects mentioned above, and more. 

There’s professional people that help travellers, just like you, for a living, and they can put you in touch with lots of like-minded souls. 

The wonderful people at Settle Inn can help you with every single aspect of being new to Australia, and are always more than happy to do so. 

Welcoming, knowledgeable, and compassionate, the Settle Inn team (all from other countries themselves) have been where you are now, and can make your time here a much easier experience than you trying to work everything out on your own. Plus, the Settle Inn has a highly social lounge and study area where everything happens. 

Get in touch with Settle Inn HERE

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