These past couple of weeks, I’ve met people from all walks of life. Despite being a self-confessed introvert, I must say that meeting these like-minded people energized and uplifts me.

bel around the world september 2016 schedule

I sure learned a great deal about them. I’ve learned more about how startups work, met entrepreneurs, interacted with creatives (illustrators, photographers, videographers, graphic designers, etc), learned of the life story of a travel blogger who travels for work. I even made friends through this travel blog, which I am very grateful for!

Oryukdo skywalk|What to to Do, See and Eat in Busan

It’s an exciting period for me. I came across lots of opportunities in my area of interest. I’m in talks to collaborate with companies that I am very thrilled to work with. The prospect of this just excites me!

I’ve had the privilege of living the life I’ve always wanted – from exploring new places to trying new food establishments. Essentially, I got to be a tourist in my own hometown, Singapore.

If you’re an introvert (like me) and yet still want to expand your network and meet new people, here are 8 tried and tested tips you can work on.

How to make friends as an introvert

versailles france

1. Be proactive.

First and foremost, you will never go far meeting new people or maintaining existing relationships if you refuse to take the initiative. Drop a message to an old friend. Somebody’s birthday coming up? Wish him/ her happy birthday! Know of somebody going through a rough patch? A short note would most certainly make his/her day a tad better.

2. Attend events/ meet ups. Stay in hostels!

Have an interest in typography/ scrapbooking/ soccer? Join an interest group! Be it food, travel, yoga or beauty, there’s always a community out there for you!

Don’t be afraid of going alone. Going on your own opens up opportunities to meet new people.

I would take part in Lululemon’s yoga community classes, even if no one would go with me. The community is uplifting – everyone is so kind and friendly that you don’t ever feel alone.

milos boat tour, milos greece beaches, things to do in milos island, Where to Stay in Milos, Greece3. Don’t be afraid to strike up new conversations.

So what if you don’t know anyone? There’s nothing to lose about saying hello. Avoid awkward conversations by asking general relatable questions, such as learning more about the person you’re speaking to, the reasons you both are in the same event, and interests they have.

Don’t be afraid to share about your life and common interests too. The enthusiasm of finding out you are actually more similar with this stranger than you thought is contagious.

4. Tap on your existing network.

If throwing yourself into the unknown intimidates you, reconnect with old friends/ seniors. Ask how they are doing, catch up over a meal. It’s always nice to hear stories from different perspectives, or seek an opinion about something you care about from someone totally out of your realm.

5. Be open, be spontaneous!

So a stranger plucked the courage to strike a conversation with you? Be friendly, be interested. This can happen whether you are online or offline. I recently connected with Expat Edna when she came to town. She has the most exciting life story ever! I also met a reader from Germany who came to Asia for a visit. I enjoy listening to people’s stories.

bel around the world meet reader

6. Smile!

Nothing puts people off more than a grumpy face. I’ve had people commenting I have a nasty-looking face, but since the beginning of this semester, I put in the effort to appear welcoming. These days, the comments I hear are mostly positive, even from people I barely know. So a smile does really work wonders on your outlook in life as well as on others’ impression of you.

7. Be interesting.

Had an extraordinary experience? Find the opportunity to share it! That helps in starting conversations. My past experiences travelling to 55 countries under $7000 gets people wanting to hear more. So did my experience couchsurfing in Europe and driving a campervan in New Zealand!

Rent Campervan New Zealand Road trip

8. Share your knowledge.

Know someone in need of tips on studying abroad or advice on travelling to Prague? Don’t be afraid to share about your experiences and things to look out for! You wouldn’t be blowing your own horn if the things you share are beneficial to him.

Read other useful guides:

Isabel Leong

Isabel Leong

An explorer at heart, the world is Isabel's playground. She enjoys seizing every moment exploring every hideout and doing the unimaginable, like bungee jumping in Phuket and couchsurfing in Europe. If she had wings, she’d definitely be soaring right now. Also a fitness trainer, if she’s not at the gym, you can find her doing yoga or rock climbing! Read more about her on


  • Interesting read. As an introvert, it is indeed difficult to make friends. Sometimes, actually very often, I do not even want to. Heck, I am my favorite person. I do enjoy my friends and I even like making new friends.

    • Hey Charles. You are right, as long as you’re comfortable in your own skin, that’s all that matters! I like making new friends, though I enjoy solitude as much too! You’re not alone. 🙂

  • Great post. I find travelling a great way to overcome my introverted tendencies as I’m more likely to meet like minded people. It’s definitely easier if I can work in some cool experiences to the conversation like my bungy jump. Always good to know there are other travelling introverts like me!

  • Lorna says:

    I’d heard about Meetups but only recently plucked up the courage to give it a go now we’re based in a new city for a few months. I wasn’t sure if there’d be many groups I’d slot into but have been really pleasantly surprised at the variety of interests represented. There are even some introvert-specific groups! 🙂

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