Meet People While Travelling: Is it Hard to Build Friendships Abroad?

spellbound travels meet people while travelling

Making friends as an adult isn’t always easy and it can be especially nerve-wracking if you travel solo! If you’re looking to meet people while travelling but aren’t quite sure where to start, you’re in the right place. As someone who’s travelled mostly by myself, I sometimes struggle to connect with new people on a deeper level. During my most recent travels, I met a fellow Canadian, Adrian Morris and we quickly hit it off. Since Adrian is often away from Canada as well, we had a lot in common and today he’s sharing his thoughts on making friends in new countries!

Tell us a bit about yourself!

Hey, I’m Adrian and I play drums in a band called Neon Dreams from Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. Right now we’re touring South Africa but we’ve been travelling the world for the past few years. 

How did you and Amy (Spellbound Travels) meet?

I met Amy at a weekly gathering in Cape Town called Promenade Mondays. It’s a meet up where skateboarders, longboarders and any other wheels ride along the Seapoint promenade. It was initially started roughly 10 years ago to celebrate the lifting of a ban on riding the waterfront. The community is amazing, some of the friendliest and most welcoming people I’ve met and I’ve made some great friends there!

How have you made friends while travelling in the past?

I’m a pretty social and extroverted person. Inserting myself into social situations has been the best way for me to meet new people regardless of whether it’s within my comfort zone or not. Stepping outside of that has always been the best way for me to experience new things and meet new people. 

What has travel taught you about friendships and maintaining relationships?

Promenade Monday – Photo by @ohdiehard on IG

Being away from home for long periods of time makes you realize just how much you value the people in your life. You also see which friendships and relationships are the strongest – the ones that are forever and have true meaning behind them. 

What do you struggle with most when you’re away from home? 

I struggle with leaving family and those friendships/relationships that truly matter. Time is so precious and you only really come to realize that when you’re forced to be very selective about how you spend it. Because I’m away from home for a big chunk of the year, I prioritize communicating with those closest to me but it’s not always easy.

What do you enjoy the most about making friends in different countries?

The Canadian crew at Promenade Monday – photo by @ohdiehard on IG

I love hearing people’s stories about what life was like growing up and living in another country. It’s also interesting meeting others that are travelling and hearing about how or why they ended up where they are. You meet so many people that have unique stories or pasts that you wouldn’t typically get a chance to hear without travel. I think the life lessons you take from those conversations hold so much value for your own self-growth. 

What advice would you give to someone who’s nervous to travel alone?

Breaking out of your comfort zone will teach you more about yourself than you could ever imagine. Solo travel can be difficult and also lonely but I find that’s where I’ve grown the most as a person.

Where can people connect with you online?

You can follow me @Adrianmorris_ and @neondreams on Instagram!

Final thoughts

I love how when you meet people while travelling, you never know who you’re going to cross paths with. In my opinion, the best way to connect with like-minded people is by engaging in new activities or hobbies that interest you. If Adrian or I hadn’t decided to show up alone to a skateboarding meet up in Cape Town, we may have never met! Take those risks and you may just end up making a new friend along the way.

Read my other blog on making friends while travelling or living abroad for more tips and head over to my Instagram and TikTok for all things travel.

I’ll see you shortly with another blog!


Amy xx

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