Part 2 out of 5
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The idea is very simple: people around the world open their homes and offer "free" hosting. Why would anyone agree to do that? Well, for many people it is a way to expand their horizons and meet new people who share the love of travel. It's not just free hosting.
The advantage of Couchsurfing
is that you meet locals who know the region and can offer you a different perspective from what you would have had as a "simple tourist."
Couchsurfing is not dangerous ... even if you're a woman! I met a lot of girls there and have never had any problems. What these girls do is only contact people who have received positive reviews from their previous couchsurfers.
- Use your favorite hobbies
A site like Meetup
can be a very good tool. You will find many groups formed around the same passion, such as a sport or other activity. So if you're a travel fan you will have no trouble finding a local group. One of the fastest ways to meet new people is to share the same passion.
- Learn a new activity
What do you do if you have no passion to share? The trick is to try an activity specific to the area where you are.
You can take language courses, learn to play flamenco guitar, discover Tuscan cuisine or even put on some "ceilidh dance" (Scottish dance) shoes.
Not only will you meet others like you; you will also get to try new experiences. I recommend you begin by using a travel guide. Try to see what is special about the area you are visiting, and ask around about someone who can give you lessons. Sites like Craigslist
have many posts devoted to local activities, as well as posts by people who can provide you with information or lessons.
- Pub Crawl
This advice is, I think, for the youth among us. A good way to make friends quickly is to do a pub crawl. This consists of visiting four or five bars in one night while making friends over a few drinks.
Youth hostels (and some hotels) are perfect places to start a pub crawl. You will often see ads displayed at the reception.
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