Traveling is a great way to explore the world and make new acquaintances. It means conquering your fears, trying out new stuff, and getting lost at some point. If you visit a foreign city, then you will have to approach strangers to ask for directions, buy things, and form relationships. While some find it easy to associate and create friendships, others feel awkward and are extremely shy to make the first move for fear of rejection.
There is no straightforward way to approach foreigners in their city, but there are foolproof ways to make your efforts less nerve-racking.
Equip Yourself With Gifts
Get some unique and yet affordable gifts from a souvenir shop that you can share with locals. A couple could be enough because you don’t intend to give everyone you meet. Sharing brings smiles to people’s face, and you will be hoping they reciprocate with friendship. Give them to someone you foresee having a great relationship with like your Airbnb host.
If you lack gifts, offer help when you find a local struggling with a task. This way you show that you care and want to be friends. If they are out for a morning jog, you can join them every day to offer support and cement your relationship.
Spot a Similarity and Mention it
You can birth a relationship with a stranger through highlighting something you have in common. Whether it is a hobby, dressing style, or interests, spotting and commenting on it shows you are keen about what interests them.
By mentioning this similarity, you set a stage for further outings, conversations, and friendships. Of course, you don’t need to pretend to be someone you are not. You won’t be comfortable, and the local person might notice you are exaggerating.
Set an environment for others to approach you instead. The first obvious thing is to smile. Also, show your interests for others to notice easily if they have similar tastes. You will look approachable and leave the hard work of approaching to others.
Your interests could be anything like a reading a book, to hanging a branded keychain on your backpack.
Sign up On an Online Meeting Platform
When approaching people on the streets is impossible for you, carry out research and find meeting sites locals of the city you are visiting could be using and sign up. Here, you can meet genuine people to have coffee with at a local restaurant.
The good thing with the social sites is that people are readily available to invite you and form a relationship.
There is nothing wrong with being a tourist and so act like one. You don’t know much about the city, and this opens the room to ask about almost everything in a genuine way. Avoid asking too much, or it might turn out to be annoying. Most local people are willing to respond to tourist questions and your situation won’t be different.
These five tips will help you approach locals in a foreign city without much struggle. You can then eventually go ahead and build relationships with the people you like. Be patient and vulnerable as well.
It’s my goal to travel the world as much as possible, seeing as many sights as I can and soaking up twice as many experiences to share with you!