let me first say that I am probably the most antisocial outgoing person
I hate being around people, especially those that I don’t know, but at the same time I love being in a big group and being social and doing stuff
I always get really nervous and anxious when I’m with people (even those I’ve known for years) because I always think that everything I’m doing is annoying or weird and people just hate me.
Coming to Australia and travelling in the last few months has honestly been the best thing I could have done. I’ve always thought myself as an independent lady (shout out to my destiny’s children) so going out to the city or going for food by myself wasn’t really that big of an issue for me. (the worst that happened was i was walking around at the botanical gardens, got swooped by a magpie and had no one to laugh with)
But then I joined loads of backpacker groups on facebook and found loads of people just being like “hey I’m going for drinks in the city this weekend, anyone keen?” and I was just like woah stranger danger no thanks.
and then i started getting bored, and you can’t really go out into the valley and get drunk by yourself (well I could but people are judgey)
so i put myself out there and posted on
numerous facebook pages asking if anyone wanted to be my friend in the least saddest way possible, so now im gonna make a list of a few ways you too can make friends in different countries and (hopefully) not die 🙂
1- facebook is your friend
okay so I’ve already mentioned that I’ve met most people through facebook. I feel these are the people who you can get on with the most when you’re travelling, because they are in the exact same boat that you are. I posted on a few Brisbane Backpacker groups literally just saying “Hey I’m Leila, I’m living in Brisbane, don’t know anyone here and would like to meet some people who want to hang out or meet up even if its just the once” Yes you have to be careful who people are on Facebook, but you can guess from their profile pictures and the way they talk (and type) who the weirdos are and who are the genuine people. Obviously, with meeting people online always tell someone that you’re going to meet them, meet in a public place and go with an open mind. I’ll put my hands up and say that half the people I met back home I’d take one look and be like “nah thanks” but at this stage in my life I literally could be hanging around with a potato and have the time of my life.
Working in a sporting club 5 minutes from where I live was great for 2 reasons. 1, 80% of the staff were my age with it being hospitality and 2, they were living in my area so they were people I could go out with near home on a weeknight after work. Even the staff members over the age of 30 were awesome and being there over Christmas meant I got to go to the end of year staff party and hang out with everyone afterwards and get drunk off the free bar (best work party ever). Just being there for 3 months I feel like I’ve made good friends with a few of them (a number of them had travelled so we had common ground) and they all gave me advice and tips where to go locally and just anywhere in the world.
3 – traveller meet ups/public events
this one also links up to facebook, a girl started an event to try and get travellers together so we could all meet new people. I’m pretty sure the one I went to had 50+ people there and every single person in the bar was a traveller/backpacker. From this I met so many people, a few of which I’m still in regular contact with. (one who I am planning on doing my regional work with too!). Meetups are great, you can go and talk to people and find who you click with, and those you don’t seem to click with? easy to excuse yourself “oh just gonna go get a drink” and then go back and sit with someone new. The people I met at the meet up are also the reason for some of the best nights out i’ve ever had, not only in Australia but in my life. Which brings me to the next point….
4- bars/night outs/parties/anything involving alcohol
okay so nearly everyone i’ve met on a night out I haven’t spoke to since, but I honestly think that you can meet people easier when you’re out. Alcohol just does this thing where you can find it 100x easier to talk to people and not really care because what are the chances you’ll meet them again? (note, the last few times we’ve gone out we have ended up seeing the same people but….). These people could be complete strangers you meet in the middle of the dancefloor or could be the friends of friends of friends who you’re going out with that night, either way it’s another person you’re meeting and who you’ll always remember as that one random guy who spent about 30 minutes talking about the way the club was built bc they’re a builder and drunk you was like yeah best convo ever mate lets go get a maccas.
5 – mutual friends
living with family has been great because I’ve met people through them and their friends. My first friend I made in Australia was an English girl who I met at the races and she was a friend of a friend of the daughter of my auntie’s friend and now I am moving to Cairns with her in the next week! She was the person who I spent most of my first month here going out in the city, going to the beach and doing day trips with and have kept in contact with her ever since. At least with meeting people through mutual’s you at least know these are the people who are least likely to follow you home and murder you
6 – hostels
another easy ish way to meet people are the hostels you will most likely be staying in whilst travelling. the first people you’ll meet in a hostel will be your roomies (if you’re paying for the luxury that is shared dorms) and depending on peoples plans, these roomies will come and go, so even if you don’t like them they may not be there the next day. many hostels have “event nights” for example the one I am staying in currently has a pizza night on a thursday and a bbq night on a monday, which can also be a good way to meet people who are in your hostel and also travelling which means there is opportunities to then go travelling with the people you meet!
Yes of course there are hundreds of ways you can meet people but these are the ways I’ve met people and feel most comfortable with (im sure ill think of more when i press post.) You can meet people anywhere any day just remember to always be safe and careful. I have heard way too many horror stories of how people have met through facebook or other social media and it’s not always had a happy ending….
Personally, my favourite way to meet people is through Facebook/backpacker meet ups or at work, just because you can then choose who you want to be friends with. Don’t think your selfish for not wanting to meet people or not liking people because you’re never going to like every single person you meet. The people I met in hostels, I am 99% sure I won’t talk to again but the people I’ve met through Facebook and work I can see myself being good friends with and meeting up with whilst in Australia or elsewhere.
Meeting new people and constantly being social is, for me at least, very exhausting and some people are naturally better socialising, so don’t feel down if you think you should be trying more. I will probably never be good at socialising with strangers but that’s okay because i hate people
until next time, stay safe, dont die and you probably wont see another post from me for about a month bc i am still really bad at this blogging thing