There is nothing more nerve wracking than being an adult and trying to make friends. Anyone over the age of 18 who has thought about extending their friendship circle will tell you that they would give anything to go back to their childhood days where they could just ask some random other kids to play and next minute you’d be BFFs. Sadly, we cannot go back, but there are some tips to making friends if you’re a solo traveller on a Contiki and trust us, it’s easier than you think…
You are not alone
Firstly, you will not be the only person who has come on the trip solo. There will be others we promise (in fact, around half of all people who travel on Contiki do it solo)! This means there will be other people wanting to find someone to sit next to and room with. You’ll likely end up paired with another solo traveller as a room mate, so go into this remembering you’re not going to be the odd one out!
Suss people out before you go
Everyone has done a bit of social media lurking in their time and there’s no shame in a quick look. It might help ease your nerves to know the faces of a few people in your future squad so you know who to look for on the first day. To help you out we have an online platform called My Contiki where your trip will have its own group for everyone to connect in. You can get the low down on that entire thang here.
Fake it til’ you make it. Social anxiety effects all of us differently; some people are fine in a crowd but struggle to be the centre attention amongst their best friends, while others are great one-on-one but become shy in a rowdy group. The best advice we can give you is act confident, even if you don’t feel it, and the confidence will come as you get more comfortable. Smile, ask questions and tell people you’re a bit nervous if you want, it shows you’re confident with yourself (even if you’re a bit intimidated by all the new faces).
Always be yourself
A lot of people go on Contiki alone because it’s a great way to make friends. This is good news because people have come here looking to meet people like YOU. That’s why it’s so important to just be yourself. Don’t waste your precious time (or trip) by putting on an act, when you’re far more likely to make real connections with people by owning your truth and letting your personality shine. Be open, talk about your undying love for Joss Whedon shows, the fact you have a Spongebob tattoo or that your ultimate party trick is fitting your entire fist in your mouth! You’re best at being yourself, so why be anyone else?