How to rekindle and make new friends, while on a work trip to a new country/destination?
It was a beautiful Monday morning and I was checking my E-mails in the office, while one of the E-mail suddenly grasped my attention. My boss has asked me to provide my passport details, in which later on I found out that I am supposed to travel for work perspective to Hong-Kong for a month. It was surprising and intriguing to me. This was a short trip where I was supposed to meet clients and channelize the desk work to foreign clients of my company. Being an introvert guy and single, this notion of travelling alone to a different country makes me crazy. It is not that I have not travelled before, I did and I was always accompanied by some of the other office colleagues which were not the case this time. Anyways not much of the option the day of my travel arrived and finally I departed and landed in a new country, Hong Kong.
I reached to the hotel, settled myself and then rushed to the office as it was my first day in the new town. I was decked up and then the day came to an end and my fear started popping up, more I was closer to my hotel, lonelier I was feeling. It was just the first day in the country where I have landed and has not spent even 24 hrs and already homesickness started biting me. After dinner, I went for a walk down the lane near the central park. I saw all the new culture and people around me. Sitting quietly on a bench, I was browsing on the internet and saw an ad of an app which mentioned how you can make friends at an alien place. For an expat like me, this idea of making friends at foreign territory hit me though I have not registered myself.
Registering and Rediscovering
Next day after my office I moved out of my hotel and went to a pub, sitting alone and lonely watching people talking, laughing, and smiling with each other. I gulped in a couple of drinks and saw one lady name not revealed was sitting alone. I approached her and we started chatting here and there. I asked her number so that we can connect later on and she politely denied and I understood this was a very short meeting which can only last for some hrs etc.
When I was heading back to my hotel I decided that I am going to give it a shot. I registered and started looking for accomplices who are there in Hong Kong and soon I found one person called Rachel (name changed).
She was a lawyer and was there in Hong Kong for an assignment for a couple of weeks. We met at a place called SpeakEasy (old town of Hong Kong) and get along immediately. We started talking about how lonely and alone a person feels when they are in a new city or a new country. How you feel lost in the new culture and new place? And how apps help in making life easy for all those people who are just looking for a good and genuine company when you are travelling. It can be for work or you are just a traveller, everyone needs to be with someone to share thoughts. Even if you are a backpacker or a solo traveller, you would like to explore and mingle with local culture and communities, which is again a daunting task. Nevertheless, this app helped me in achieving that a bit.
Finding a companion while travelling
We met a couple of times and roamed around the city together visiting new places. She has been to Hong Kong before that makes it easy for me since she knows a lot of places and helps me in discovering those which was not easy for me to explore so easily without me wasting time looking on the internet.
Before we said a final goodbye to each other we met one last time where we first met and I told her that it was really good to have a new friend for a short period with whom you can roam around and share some experiences of yours and listen to other person’s experiences. Rachel immediately agreed to me and said that how her last couple of visits were not that great and this time after we started moving out together exploring places was a different experience altogether.
Those people who are going on a short or a long tour and are looking for some companionship since they feel lonely, I will suggest them to look for mobile applications like Couchsurfing etc. and register as it a different experience to be with some person chatting and talking and exploring new destinations.
Leave your comments on how you met your friends while travelling!