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Along with all the adventures and memories, meeting new people and making new friends all over the world are the most fun parts of traveling. Travelers, backpackers and globetrotters have all experienced that sense of disorientation in a place where you don’t know anyone.

That’s why, in general, everyone is quite nice and easily engages in conversation. However, there are two types of people in the world: those who know how to make friends as they breathe, and those who need more time out of their comfort zone.

To make the whole friendship process easier, it’s important to be open and curious, while doing a fun activity that interests you.

1. Take language lessons

If you have to stay in a particular country for more than two weeks, why not immerse yourself in it seriously by taking a language course? You will be able to learn some key phrases that will help you in your daily life, so that your travels will become even more entertaining.

Plus, study mates often turn into fellow travelers, which would almost be like hitting the jackpot.

2. Or register for any other course

Perhaps you love these rabbit dishes so much that you kept eating in Malta that you decided to learn how to cook them yourself and, as a result, signed up for a Maltese cooking class. Or maybe you would like to know how to make a cute origami swan in Tokyo – and, of course, there is a class for that too.

Whichever course you choose, you’ll be able to make friends with fellow students and travelers – it’s like school, but a little more fun, since you’re abroad.

3. Immerse yourself in the local people

Obviously, you can’t just ring someone’s doorbell and ask them to let you in, invite you to share their meal, and befriend you. But there are plenty of opportunities to immerse yourself in the heart of a culture by embracing the local way of life – whether through Couchsurfing or Airbnb.

Living in a real apartment or house is a great way to experience a city by meeting its neighbors and locals.

4. Volunteer

Why not do something good, both for your soul and the community, by volunteering? Not only will this allow you to improve the world and show your gratitude to your adopted community, but also immerse yourself in the local culture and bond with people who have a great cause at heart (not to mention that it’s an ideal way to pursue or discover a passion for yourself).

5. Eat and drink

Everyone should eat and drink, and by choosing the same restaurant or cafe, you will already have something in common with other people. Just look around for someone else who is eating on their own. This can be risky because the person might actually want to eat on their own, but you can just approach them and say, “Hello! I noticed that there were two of us eating on our own so I wondered if I could join you.”

You will have everything to gain – you will step out of your comfort zone and at the same time, perhaps have a very pleasant conversation.

6. Book a day tour or sign up for activities

Many hotels, schools or cities offer free (or inexpensive) tours, excursions or activities. This will allow you to explore your new adopted city and gain insider knowledge that you would not have had access to in the books.

Usually these are group tours and activities, so you will be surrounded by people with whom you can chat and take selfies. Who knows, maybe you’ll end up trying that restaurant you had passed by some time before, or continue to explore your new surroundings together.

7. Be smiling and curious

This is certainly the most important piece of advice I will give you today. Your two greatest assets for making friends will be smiling and showing interest in others. If you already physically communicate your openness and sympathy, you’ve already won everything! Don’t hesitate to ask questions of other travelers or locals. Ask them for advice, take an interest in their lives, their daily lives, their desires … Most people like to share and are very receptive to this kind of approach. Don’t hold back, you have to be daring, go to people and you will win everything. This way, I made friends in all types of places (parks, inns, restaurants, etc.) everywhere I went.

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