New friends in new places
I am awkward.
I am awkward in my home country and when I stay in a new country, by myself, sometimes it's hard to meet new friends. The introvert in me wants to play it safe instead of take any risks.
If you're awkward or get nervous easily like I do, hopefully this will help a little bit when trying to break out of your shell or at least give you a couple ideas.
While living in Mexico last summer I was lucky enough to be in a language school that lead to me meeting some truly amazing people.
But journeying can be lonesome and can lead to some worries or expectations that you hold for yourself.
So, tip 1 is:
take a tour, sit by someone on the subway, ask someone for directions or where a good restaurant is. An art class? Sure, why not. A museum exhibit in a language you can't speak? Why not? Other people in your hotel or hostel? They're in the same boat as you are.
Foreigners must band together and take the locals by storm.
How else will you learn the local language enough to order a latte (wrong coffee in Europe)?
make a pact
when I left for Mexico I promised myself I would do things that I wouldn't do in the U.S. Most of these were talking to people, random people. Starting conversations that I didn't know would lead to a magical friendship and grand adventure.
Anytime I was faced with a decision of whether to do something slightly crazy and unlike me or stay at home and study I would think back and my promise would make my choice for me.
Play the "yes" game and agree to more than you ever thought you'd want to. You won't regret it.
Ask people to take your photo, hope they speak English, then ask if they'd like one. see if they are from here, ask them questions, maybe get coffee and talk about your experiences so far.
Dont do anything stupid, but do something that you definitely wouldn't do back home and will look back on and smile.
My 3rd tip is:
although, you want to encourage the craziest, freest version of yourself, don't pretend to be something you're not.
Embrace who you've already created and expand on it. You're a new person. But don't act totally different and then go back to how you were before you left.
Be an even grander version of yourself. You'll enjoy it that much more.
Tip 4 is:
get out of your comfort zone
this is a no brainier and goes sort of without saying, but you're already somewhere new, and foreign, so it only makes sense to do all the things!