Traveling is one of the greatest things one can do. It broadens the mind and expands our horizons. Both literally and figuratively. Seeing beautiful new countries and cities is always a pleasure. Experiencing new and exciting cultures helps us grow as people. But the greatest part of traveling is meeting new people. Seeing how they live, sharing experiences and stories with them, and getting to see how other people live in different parts of the world. But it can be quite a daunting prospect. Talking to strangers and making new friends.
The easiest way to go about this is to simply be yourself. But that is often easier said than done. So we are going to help you understand what it means to truly ‘Be Yourself’ and talk through the benefits of making friends while abroad.
Importance of Being Yourself
You will hear people mention being yourself a lot. It is some of the oldest and most sound advice on the planet. But what does it actually mean? Surely you are always yourself? Well, this isn’t strictly true. We constantly put on an act around other people, and sometimes even to ourselves. People do this for any number of reasons. To fit in. To detract attention from themself. To mislead others. Or even to mislead ourselves.
A common example of this is changing the way you talk and think to make friends. Maybe there are some popular people at work who love football, a sport you usually hate. You might pretend you like it just to fit in with them. But have you really bonded with them? Since it is all based on a lie. And as the days go by you’ll soon realize you don’t actually like being around these people who you have nothing in common with.
Being yourself is about more than just letting people get to know the real you. It is about you not shutting away your true self. Because if you spend all your time pretending you’re someone else, eventually you lose yourself along the way.
How to Be Yourself
So how can you go about being your true self? The first step is getting to know yourself. This is quite difficult in our modern age. We are constantly flooded with distractions through technology, TV, and, worst of all, social media. Social media is a cesspool of fakeness that has convinced millions of people to lose touch with themselves. So the first step in getting to know yourself is stepping back from all these distractions. Spending time with just yourself and your inner thoughts. No social media, no tv, no distractions. Just you.
Then you need to try to stop comparing yourself to others. Comparison is the thief of joy after all. This is no easy task but once you do this you’ll find yourself not putting on an act around others. You’ll start being yourself. You’ll also start enjoying yourself a lot more as well as you find you will only engage in activities you really enjoy.
How to Make Friends While Abroad
So how does this all translate into making friends while abroad. And why is it extra important to be yourself while abroad. The first truth is this, the way you think and act will be drastically different from the way people in different nations think and act. Culture norms change. And if you have spent all your time imitating those around you, then you’ll end up embarrassing yourself when you try to do the same abroad. These people will know you’re putting on an act and will instantly be less inclined to interact with you.
But if you’re being yourself then people are going to be more inclined to get to know you. When people are honest with themselves they put out positive energy that other people naturally pick up on. It makes people more amiable to you and makes it far easier to bond with them.
But how do you actually go about making friends while abroad? The first step is not being nervous and simply going up and striking up a conversation. Not everyone will be willing to chat, but a lot of people will be happy for the company. Maybe start with some jokes, even very bad jokes are a great way to break the ice and start up a convo. Then maybe ask them about their country. People love to talk about their home and it’ll show you’re genuinely interested in what they have to say.
Then share something about yourself. And this is where it is really important to be your true self. Don’t be afraid to open up to them, Share a story about your home country or city. And maybe a funny story or two about yourself. You’ll find that, even if you don’t have much in common with them, you’ll start to bond and have a good time. And it will make your whole holiday experience far more fun.