Solo travelling advice: The importance of appearing happy. . . 

Over the course of this trip, being a relatively sociable chap I’ve spoken to a lot of people. Quite a few expressed major concerns over doing a trip by themselves. Some because of safety concerns but for a lot of people they thought they would get a bit lonely. This post addresses those people. 

If I was to give one piece of advice to someone embarking on a solo trip for the first time it would be SMILE. Very simple but very easy to forget, especially when things aren’t going your way. Regular smiling will make your trip so much better. Gain eye contact, smile, get a smile back and go from there. People will talk to you. 

Going on the principle of you reap what you sow.  Be friendly and approachable with people and they will probably treat you the same way. A smile goes an awful long way, whether asking for directions, dealing with cranky immigration official or you just want to have a chat with someone. Your chances of getting what you want are also vastly improved if you start with a friendly look on your face. 

Don’t take this too far, if you’re sitting on a 6 hour bus ride with a massive shit eating grin on your face people will think you’re mad. Quite rightly, no one should be happy on a bus. 

The other advice if you want a sociable time while travelling by yourself.  Be approachable, lose the big sunglasses, headphones and smart phone permanently 6 inches in front of your nose.  No one is going to speak to you if you sit in the corner of the bar, train or hostel like that. I met a couple of people who complained of loneliness but they nearly permanently spent their time int hat state. 

Finally, if you do find yourself in need of a chat stay in a hostel, there so much easier to meet people than hotels. Get a private room if you don’t fancy a dormitory, but you will be able to meet people in a similar situation there. 

One last tip, take a good book, you’re never alone with a good book.

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4 thoughts on “Solo travelling advice: The importance of appearing happy. . . 

  1. I’m travelling with my husband, and I think we have a harder time meeting people because we’re together. We sleep in dorms sometimes, but people sense that we’re a couple and tend to just leave us to it – there’s friendly chitchat of course, but just in passing.

    I wonder if its easier to get to know people if you ARE on your own.

    • I certainly think it can be, there’s a couple of factors. Solo travellers probably attract other solo travellers as they are in same boat. Combined with the fact if you are by yourself, you have to be proactive in speaking to other people. If you’re in as a couple or group the need isn’t as great, although it’s probably very welcome after only speaking to your partner for a few days.

  2. Being a solo traveler myself, there is nothing I find more frustrating than when you walk into a hostel and everyone is glued to their smart phones/tablets. Sure I like a good Facebook session myself but like you said above some other solo travelers do not seem to know any different. Being outgoing does n’t come naturally to me, but i’ve learnt that a smile and a friendly hello goes along way into fellow travelers warming towards you.

  3. What an amazing blog. I am in awe of your travels and must commend you on taking the time to share your wisdom.

    Definitely inspired. Will be in touch! 🙂 Sort of overwhelmed by all the information just now. Amazing, and thank you! 🙂

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