How to make and lose friends.
Sup Fellas! (and Lady Fellas) Cole here ... I know... It's been a while.
Today I am responding to a question we got Via our Instagram.
Here is that question
"Hi there, I was just wondering if you guys had a blog post or any tips on making friends while travelling, and how to maintain international friendships? If you have any advice I'd love to hear it."
I have decided I am going to go into a bit more depth than just travel friendships and talk about friendships in general. I'm gunna drop some truth bombs!
HOW TO MAKE FRIENDS WHILE TRAVELLING.
Making friends while travelling is interesting because sometimes it happens out of the blue and other times you chat to them online first and become close when you meet.
There are a few ways you can make friends while travelling. Here are some we are familiar with.
- Hostel events. Most hostels do events. Wether it's a game night, a night out, a class or a tour. The hostel we stayed at in Barcelona had all of the above advertised as you walked in; to encourage travellers to meet and spend time together.
- Couchsurfing Meets. The website/app Couchsurfing has a hangout option where you can meet other travellers in the area and do activities with them. Sometimes It's just a chat at the pub and other times its a planned activity. Couchsurfing Itself is a fantastic way to make new relationships!
- By Chance. While you travel, if you are open to exploring and open to conversation, you will no doubt meet people who will go on to become friends.
While April and I made our way around Europe we stayed with a few hosts through Couchsurfing that either ended up becoming our friends, or introduced us to friends.
Equally, when we went up to the Italian Alps we met a bunch of dudes who we befriended while we were there. We hung out and played board games with them while sharing stories and having a few drinks.
By making the effort to chat to people, attend events and network online you will find and make plenty of new friendships and relationships while you travel.
MAINTAINING FRIENDSHIPS ONLINE.
DON'T WORRY IF IT DOESN'T WORK OUT.
What I mean by this is. Although we had an absolute blasty blast with the guys at the Alps, we never added them online and when we said goodbye, it was for good.
Sometimes the vibe feels right to ask for online info and other times it's better just to enjoy the time with them and move on.
When we stayed in Belgium we stayed with two hosts. The first one we really bonded with and added on facebook with the intention of meeting up again sometime. The other host was not the best experience, however she had another guest who we really clicked with and befriended online.
This brings me to my segway - We are starting a new travel series on here! The first interview is with that very girl we met at our second hosts house. Stay tuned for that!
Maintaining online friendships can be as simple as chatting on Facebook, sending Snapchats, commenting on their Insta posts or watching their Youtube videos. Any method is fine. Equally, don't feel obliged to make these efforts if it doesn't feel right. Sometimes you gel better in person than you do online and thats okay. Just do what feels right.
If you really want to maintain the friendship, perhaps invite them to come visit you or you reach out and see if you can go visit them again. Making plans is a great way to maintain your LDF (Long distance friendship)
ONLINE FRIENDSHIPS IN GENERAL.
Here is the truth about friendships. They run their course. You might have a best friend just now, or a group of friends. But it can end. I'm not saying it will but the reality is everyone follows their own paths and sometimes it might mean saying goodbye to what was once an everyday thing. My best friends are back in Scotland, one even has kids. I see them less than once a month and talk to them maybe once every couple weeks, but I'd still take a bullet for them! No amount of distance or time would change how I feel about them.
I'm not saying you wont ever see these friends again or that you have to hate them now. But you have to accept that everyones life moves in different directions. If they don't reach out to you quite as much as they once did, it doesn't mean they like you any less. It just means they have their own stuff going on, and that's okay.
Recently, I made the decision to remove most of my friends off Facebook. Why did I do this? Well, a few reasons.
- I can't stand facebook, and rarely use it, but without it I wouldn't be able to chat to certain friends or family. It has a use for me still.
- Everyone I chose to remove I did so because we never chat. It has no reflection on my feelings towards them, everyone I had on there was lovely.. but if we ain't chatting and that's all I use it for.. then what's the point?
- I am very active when browsing twitter or instagram. If anyone wanted to reach out and find me it's not exactly tough.
Now let me tell you about the backlash. I went from 700+ friends to 111 on facebook. I genuinely figured that nobody would notice or care... Boy was I wrong. I have had multiple folk pop up and ask why I removed them specifically. To which I have explained the above to them. Aside from that I now get awkward looks from the friends I had where I live despite having no hard feelings towards them. And when I visited my old work place to catch up with my bestie.. yeah that was a very uncomfortable vibe. It's sad to think that people care that much about being part of someones online friend collection. Would I have received the same backlash had I just deleted facebook? Who knows.
Everyone is different and has their own opinions. Some people have thousands of online friends and would call each and everyone of them close friends. Other people, like my mate Lewis, will only add or accept people that he would genuinely go for a pint with.. not just folk he met once or used to know from school/work.
The conclusion of this segment is just to do what suits you best. If you wish to only have 2 or 3 people and remove everyone else then do what's right for you. If you want to have the most friends than anyone else then go for it. It's a personal preference.
Kind of an odd blog post but I'm hoping it helped to answer our readers question.
Thanks for asking it! We love doing things like this!
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