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Old 03-17-2009, 09:13 AM   #1
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Default meeting people. groups, tours etc.

heading to europe alone for the first time in may. (for 3 weeks) planning to spend most of my time in london and paris. can anyone suggest good ways to meet people, not be lonely etc?
im not really a tour-person. but can anyone reccomend good tours, group activities...that kind of thing. thanks!
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Old 03-17-2009, 09:17 AM   #2
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Hostel common rooms are the best place. Tours could work out but it's really hit or miss when it comes to who else is on the tour.
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Old 03-17-2009, 02:35 PM   #3
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Wouldn't worry too much about that, and as I've said in other threads, living in a hostel is liking living in a perpetual first day of school - no one knows anyone, everyone's afraid to be lonely - so you make tons of friends.

If you don't know how to approach someone, but start with the 5 questions:

where you from
when did you get here
when are you leaving
where are you going
do you want to get a drink

I usually save that last one for cool peeps or hot girls =)
Vincent: "So what you gonna do?"
Jules: "Well, basically, I'm just gonna walk the earth."
Vincent: "What you mean 'walk the earth'?"
Jules: "You know, like Kane in 'Kung Fu'...go people...get in adventures."

Trips (only counting recreational travel):
FIRST TRIP (2005): FIRST EUROTRIP EVER! UK, France, Spain, Italy, Germany, Holland
SECOND TRIP (2007): First Solo Trip! Greece, Turkey, Syria, Spain
2008: China (Beijing, Shanghai, Yangshuo) ...right before the Olympics!
2009: Japan & HK, Southern Spain
[size=1]2010: All over Lebanon, Ibiza (Spain), Oktoberfest (Germany), Thailand.
2011: India (Goa), Jordan, Jerusalem, San Sebastian (Spain), Amsterdam (again), London, Driving from Vancouver to L.A. (stopping in Portland, Seattle, San Fran and all the little stops), Montpellier (France), Geneva and Lausanne (Switzerland)

"Bite off more than you can chew, then chew it."
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Old 03-17-2009, 05:45 PM   #4
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As long as you're staying in hostels, you'll have no shortage of people to hang out with. If you're on the shy side, you may have to push yourself a little to get out of your shell, but there won't be any shortage of people to hang out with. CB's five questions are spot on coversation starters. Another opener is "Could you pass the... (name of some item on the breakfast table)".

Group activities usually develop naturally around the breakfast or dinner table at the hostel. Along the lines of "I'm going to the ...., anyone want to come along?" Or "Anyone up for a drink?"

I think another thing that first time packers worry about is looking inexperienced, making the assumption that everyone else in the hostel is an experienced traveler. And that experienced travelers will make fun of a newbie. Hopefully by reading these boards you've figured out that most experienced travelers are passionate about it, and are both enthusiastic and generous about sharing their love of travel, adventure, etc. with anyone who expresses an interest. Another really great thing about travel vets is that most of us remember our feelings and insecurities when we took our first trips, and try to help others over those early challenges.

And it's amazing. When you first arrive, you are the greenest traveler in the hostel, and the next day, you're not.

If you're not staying in a hostel, I would think the best kind of tour to take would be a walking tour of the the city or a particular site in which you're interested. On a walking tour you can mix better with more people than if you're on a bus or boat or whatnot, because you're not pinned down to a particular seat. If you take a tour of a place you're particularly interested in, you'll probably meet people with similar interests, which gives you common ground to start with.

Good luck, and enjoy your trip!

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