As people, we are innately gluttonous for human interaction—touch, dialogue, validation, competition, all of it. And we live in an evermore hyper-connected, almost borderless world divided today only by native tongue. Inevitably, we’re seldom alone.
Even when we travel “alone.” It’s easy to meet other people while traversing the globe solo, since you’ve everybody to meet and a million ways to meet them—especially virtually. But approaching women, in particular, can be intimidating without your confidence-boosting buddies.
So how do you meet women alone on the road (without resorting to apps like Tinder)? Try the following…
1. Send a drink on over.
This move is pretty clichéd, but it’s still around for a reason—it works. Find yourself a popular bar in the area that isn’t so loud that you won’t be able to hold an audible conversation. Bring a book or something else to keep you busy. When you spot a woman you’re into, have the bartender send her a drink. Even if she’s not into you, she’ll likely feel obliged to come thank you and make small talk until her friends swing by.
2. Check into a shared dorm instead of a private room.
If you’re traveling alone, consider staying in a hostel or a more social hotel, where you’re bound to meet other solo travelers who are also looking to meet people. If you’re in a hostel, and don’t mind a possible snoring symphony, staying in a shared dorm room will introduce you to (female!) roommates who might want to explore the city with you. Make a plan to go sightseeing or something outdoorsy that day and invite them to come along.
3. Join a group tour that genuinely interests you.
Simply put, humans convene over shared interests. That means if you choose an activity that intrigues you—such as a surfing lesson or a group hike or a cooking class or something else entirely—you’re bound to meet women who have similar likes. And that makes for easy conversation, since you already have topics to discuss, like the last time you tried surfing and epically survived a shark attack… or your favorite dinner to cook at home that you’d love to make her sometime.
4. Volunteer for a worthy cause.
Get involved with anything from forest restoration and marine conservation to infrastructure development and refugee relief. You’re likely to meet women with similar values as you while volunteering, since they’re spending their free time the same way you are.
5. Leave your phone behind.
Meeting women regularly means messaging strangers on smart phone apps these days, but leaving the phone behind could actually introduce you to a world of women—in real life. The science is simple: You’ll have an easier time meeting women and making candid connections when you’re not stuck with your nose buried in emails, texts, Facebook notifications, Instagram direct messages, whatever it is. You’ll actually be forced to ask for directions or recommendations—a.k.a. the perfect excuse to talk to a woman you find attractive.
Photo: Getty Images/Klaus Vedfelt