Making friends as an adult

Updated: May 31

How do I make friends as an adult? I want to go traveling but my friends don't want to come with me. Ive just moved and I'm finding it so hard to meet new people. Ive lost touch with everyone and I'm feeling kind of lonely.

Do those thoughts ring any bells?

Here is why you shouldn't give up your dreams of travel just because your friends cant go with you, some great tips to help make grown up friendship whilst traveling, or at even if you are staying at home.

You don't have to be alone on a beach somewhere!

When you decide to go travelling whether it’s for a few weeks a month or year, it can be a big decision.

Maybe it’s your first time and the thought of being in a new country where you don’t speak the language can be a little nerve wracking....but you've done all the research, you are completely pumped about all of the new places you're going to visit, the beaches you will lie on, the mountains you're going to climb and you're thinking to yourself what better than to have a friend with you...

You want your friends there and you are probably thinking it will be a to easier to have someone to giggle with when you inevitably ask for something completely different than your morning coffee, or when you get lost off the trail you won't be alone, you'll have those experiences to share for years to come. Seeing, tasting, feeling and living many firsts with an old friend can be a great idea.

BUT LET'S FACE IT...sometimes it is just not going to be possible. Actually being able to plan, organise and make a trip with your childhood best friend can be hard. With conflicting schedules, or they aren't interested in seeing the places you want to visit, maybe they haven’t yet jumped down the rabbit hole of self discovery and think you’re absolutely mad packing up your life and heading across the world. But that doesn't mean you should give up, close your laptop and stay in your hometown always dreaming.




I know for some of you the thought of doing it alone seems terrifying.


BEING SOLO IN A NEW CONTINENT COULD YOU DO IT?


I want to tell you about one of the best parts of SOLO TRAVEL, and how making friends and new grown up friendships can maybe even become the highlight of your trip.


Partying around the world with your new friends!

This post has been on my finger tips for a while now, as it is something I have become quite the master in. I had such an urge to talk to you about how making friends as an adult, can be one of the most memorable parts of your new experience.

Obviously submerging yourself in the culture, trying the food, the amazing places you will see are without a doubt an incredible part of traveling, but along the way you are going to meet many like minded people who are going to enrich your experience, change your life and way of thinking and sometimes become amigos forever.



Becoming friends with people you meet after childhood is pretty special, these are not forced friendships they are people you are interested in knowing more about and creating deeper connections with. Making memories and learning about the things your new friend has experienced in life up until meeting you can be powerful and the foundation for a strong friendship. Normally you are naturally drawn towards others with similar mentalities who have often experienced similar things strengthening the connection in an instant.

When I moved to Mexico at 19 years old, initially I went with one other friend, but after a few months she left and I was in a country that was totally foreign to me. I was feeling a lot of new feels, experiencing lots of things for the first time and I was pulled by the universe towards people in a similar situation.

Dreamers, adventure seekers, young independent women who had packed up their life and moved across the world looking for a new start, something so different to the life they had been living. With some I had immediate connections, they understood what I was feeling and for many they were experiencing these places and situations for the first time too.


Some of the girls Im talking of have become some of my closest friends over the last decade, I've stood by them in the alter, I have listened and supported others as they eloped with new loves, they have had children, started incredible businesses and even though we all live in completely different corners of the globe our friendships are still so strong. Based on a love of adventure and that power we had us young girls to dare greatly, travel, and reach out to one another.


This pattern continued through my life, not only in Mexico, meeting awesome people, the kind where you would sit back and chat about life and the world, some who you would only enjoy days with and others who I kept in contact with for years to come.


When you put yourself in a vulnerable position to make new friends you will find you meet people with similar opinions and outlooks as you, your MADNESS that everyone back home sniggered and questioned becomes seemingly normal.


Ibiza for me was no different, it’s a very magnetic and energetically charged island so it takes care of bringing really incredible people into your orbit. I’ve met some of my best friends on the beaches of the Mediterranean, powerful women with an amazing hunger to be free, independent and a want to know the world.

I know it can be a scary thought to go travelling alone, and of course there are places that need you to be much more streetwise than others. But you’re allowing yourself to be open to the misfits, the nomads, the dreamers, the seekers the ones who can’t settle for a simple life and need adventure.


Travel brings those people together and turns it into love stories, best friends, business opportunities, memories for life.



Here are some tips for making new friends:

(whether you're far from home or just needing a new amigo)


  1. Dare to be vulnerable. Remember when we were younger, making friends was pretty simple, there wasn't much to it. Somehow growing up it all becomes a lot more daunting and feels a lot harder. But somebody has to make the first move...and why not make it you? If everyone sat around waiting for someone else to make the first move we would be a lonely bunch of people all craving connection. Perhaps there is a girl with a nice smile you´ve seen the last few days at the local beach or coffee shop, a guy reading the same book as you? Make an effort to start a conversation, give them a compliment and see how the conversation unfolds, ask for some tips about the neighbourhood. Remember: Not everyone you talk to will be a friend for life but you might just of started the beginning to a great friendship. You have to dare a little to start.

  2. Allow for spontaneity. You might be used to following plans, or a structured way of life but when you're travelling and even when you're not, some of the best moments, experiences and times to really get to know people are often spur of the moment. You might of planned to get dinner somewhere this evening but your new friend is having a party, or knows this awesome place you should try...well it's time to be spontaneous, be free and just go with the flow.

  3. Put yourself out there. If you really want to make friends and your struggling to muster up the courage to speak to a complete stranger in the street, well maybe something like joining an excursion or going to an event might be more up your street. This can be for both solo travellers and also those looking to make more grown up friendships in their city. By doing something you love or you´ve always wanted to try in a group activity environment or attending a local event you are inevitably going to be surrounded by like minded individuals. Maybe you've always wanted to go white water rafting, or there is a local reggae festival, go along, those people who are there have a common interest and it will be hard not to spark up conversation with a stranger when you are spending the whole day together. “Usually the basis of making a friend is a shared experience.”


Everyone is worried about rejection, and it can feel funny making that first move, but like most risks in life it will be worth it. You will find most people are nice and there will always be something to keep a 5 minute conversation going at least, and if it's getting uncomfortable and you're struggling for things to say, round it up say goodbye and try the next person.

You have absolutely nothing to lose, only those rosy cheeks, it gets easier, and you get better at it, and you will find it easier to navigate through the jungle of adults to find your tribe. Just stay true to you, don't start making up new interests to try and fit in, and don't feel the need to exaggerate your personality to be accepted, relax, say hi, and if it starts to flow just go with it. Your vibe definitely attracts your tribe and you have to radiate and be brave to meet them!






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Jamila Wardknott - jamilawardknott@gmail.com