In the first “Conversation Starter” post, we talked about whether or not making friends while traveling can transform and enhance the way we experience a destination.
Many of the commenters raved about the enriching nature of these connections and even shared a few of their own travel stories. But one of the commenters, Ben, raised an issue that I often hear and wanted to highlight. He wrote:
“OK, unlike the rest of the bunch, I actually do think it’s quite difficult to meet people in foreign countries in a short period of time, even if you speak the language! The fact is that even the most adventurous and immersion-minded of us can face issues stemming from the fact that a vacation is short by definition. To make local friends in a non-contrived way often requires an “in” of some sort – and getting that first step is often what’s hard. It also probably depends on what city / country you’re in – but short of making plans ahead of time through various social networks to “meet” locals, seems hard to do in a spontaneous way.”
I’m interested to hear what you think of this comment. Have you had a similar problem? Or if you have succeeded in making local friends on a short trip, how did you do it? Also, if there was a service or company out there that could solve this problem, what would you like it to be or to do? I know of many, I will share them with you on the next Conversation Starter post.