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Five Websites Solo Travelers Need To Connect With Locals and Other Travelers

Five Websites Solo Travelers Need To Connect With Locals and Other Travelers

Traveling solo is awesome. It’s why we do it. But those of us who travel solo don’t do it because we don’t like the company of others, we do it because we like the freedom to do anything we want to anytime we want to, or we need the break (from an overly social life…) or because none of our friends are ever available at that time.

Most of us who solo travel, love to meet new people. Some of us love to be social every day and every night. Others like more alone time, but appreciate a little company once a while, like a dinner partner or some hiking buddies. Regardless of how much or how little socializing you like to do as a solo traveler, finding unique ways to connect with other locals and travelers while you’re traveling, makes a trip infinitely more fun and rewarding.

Whether you’re looking to meet up with some fellow travelers for a hike or a pub night, eat traditional food prepared by a local in their home, or mix and mingle at a cocktail party with an international crowd, these five sites will hook up you with something just your style:

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1. Withlocals.com

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    Connects you with locals for experiences ranging from wine tastings at local vineyards to things like architectural or history focused city tours or a cooking class in someone’s home. Though this site is relatively new, it’s grown significantly over the past year to include more and more local hosts in more locations. Guests rate and leave comments about their experiences.

    2. Homestays.com

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      Connects you with accommodation in local hosts’ homes. This is a great way for solo travelers to save money while also getting a more unique cultural experience and a personal connection with a host (versus other travelers/tourists). For example, a private bedroom in a nice Porto or Lisbon apartment including breakfast provided by your local host can cost you as little as 18-25 Euros a night. Talk about a bargain.

      3. Vizeat.com

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        Connects you with home-cooked meals in locals’ homes. Options range from experiences such as simple tapas and wine on a secret rooftop in Spain, to full on five course meals cooked by a French chef, to outdoor ‘al fresco’ dining at someone’s villa in Italy. Take a look, your mouth will start watering just looking at some of the pictures.

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        4. Meetup.com  

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          Of course Meetup has been huge in the U.S for a while now, but it turns out it’s also gone seriously global. More and more meetup groups pop up in European cities every day. Just like in the U.S, this is a great way to connect with people who have similar interests, in a place where you might not know many people yet. From language exchange groups (very popular), to artist and writer and hiker’s groups, Meetup has got something for almost everyone. Groups are often a mix between travelers/expats and locals.

          5. Internations.org 

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            Connects travelers with the local expat communities in cities. This is an invaluable resource for solo travelers who are less backpacker and hostel type travelers. Solo travelers who are perhaps simply looking to stay longer in a city or working towards relocation and want to get some networking or socializing in. If you have ever thought about re-locating or moving abroad, this is the community you want to connect with. And even if not, it’s a thriving international community of people who can help you with finding accommodation, social, educational, or networking events to attend or just helping you deal with culture shock. Remember to check out their housing forum which boasts of quite a few short term and sublet options that can save you a lot of money over nightly places.

            Featured photo credit: Chris Biron via Unsplash via images.unsplash.com

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            Last Updated on January 21, 2020

            The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

            The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

            Creating a vision for your life might seem like a frivolous, fantastical waste of time, but it’s not: creating a compelling vision of the life you want is actually one of the most effective strategies for achieving the life of your dreams. Perhaps the best way to look at the concept of a life vision is as a compass to help guide you to take the best actions and make the right choices that help propel you toward your best life.

            your vision of where or who you want to be is the greatest asset you have

              Why You Need a Vision

              Experts and life success stories support the idea that with a vision in mind, you are more likely to succeed far beyond what you could otherwise achieve without a clear vision. Think of crafting your life vision as mapping a path to your personal and professional dreams. Life satisfaction and personal happiness are within reach. The harsh reality is that if you don’t develop your own vision, you’ll allow other people and circumstances to direct the course of your life.

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              How to Create Your Life Vision

              Don’t expect a clear and well-defined vision overnight—envisioning your life and determining the course you will follow requires time, and reflection. You need to cultivate vision and perspective, and you also need to apply logic and planning for the practical application of your vision. Your best vision blossoms from your dreams, hopes, and aspirations. It will resonate with your values and ideals, and will generate energy and enthusiasm to help strengthen your commitment to explore the possibilities of your life.

              What Do You Want?

              The question sounds deceptively simple, but it’s often the most difficult to answer. Allowing yourself to explore your deepest desires can be very frightening. You may also not think you have the time to consider something as fanciful as what you want out of life, but it’s important to remind yourself that a life of fulfillment does not usually happen by chance, but by design.

              It’s helpful to ask some thought-provoking questions to help you discover the possibilities of what you want out of life. Consider every aspect of your life, personal and professional, tangible and intangible. Contemplate all the important areas, family and friends, career and success, health and quality of life, spiritual connection and personal growth, and don’t forget about fun and enjoyment.

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              Some tips to guide you:

              • Remember to ask why you want certain things
              • Think about what you want, not on what you don’t want.
              • Give yourself permission to dream.
              • Be creative. Consider ideas that you never thought possible.
              • Focus on your wishes, not what others expect of you.

              Some questions to start your exploration:

              • What really matters to you in life? Not what should matter, what does matter.
              • What would you like to have more of in your life?
              • Set aside money for a moment; what do you want in your career?
              • What are your secret passions and dreams?
              • What would bring more joy and happiness into your life?
              • What do you want your relationships to be like?
              • What qualities would you like to develop?
              • What are your values? What issues do you care about?
              • What are your talents? What’s special about you?
              • What would you most like to accomplish?
              • What would legacy would you like to leave behind?

              It may be helpful to write your thoughts down in a journal or creative vision board if you’re the creative type. Add your own questions, and ask others what they want out of life. Relax and make this exercise fun. You may want to set your answers aside for a while and come back to them later to see if any have changed or if you have anything to add.

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              What Would Your Best Life Look Like?

              Describe your ideal life in detail. Allow yourself to dream and imagine, and create a vivid picture. If you can’t visualize a picture, focus on how your best life would feel. If you find it difficult to envision your life 20 or 30 years from now, start with five years—even a few years into the future will give you a place to start. What you see may surprise you. Set aside preconceived notions. This is your chance to dream and fantasize.

              A few prompts to get you started:

              • What will you have accomplished already?
              • How will you feel about yourself?
              • What kind of people are in your life? How do you feel about them?
              • What does your ideal day look like?
              • Where are you? Where do you live? Think specifics, what city, state, or country, type of community, house or an apartment, style and atmosphere.
              • What would you be doing?
              • Are you with another person, a group of people, or are you by yourself?
              • How are you dressed?
              • What’s your state of mind? Happy or sad? Contented or frustrated?
              • What does your physical body look like? How do you feel about that?
              • Does your best life make you smile and make your heart sing? If it doesn’t, dig deeper, dream bigger.

              It’s important to focus on the result, or at least a way-point in your life. Don’t think about the process for getting there yet—that’s the next stepGive yourself permission to revisit this vision every day, even if only for a few minutes. Keep your vision alive and in the front of your mind.

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              Plan Backwards

              It may sound counter-intuitive to plan backwards rather than forwards, but when you’re planning your life from the end result, it’s often more useful to consider the last step and work your way back to the first. This is actually a valuable and practical strategy for making your vision a reality.

              • What’s the last thing that would’ve had to happen to achieve your best life?
              • What’s the most important choice you would’ve had to make?
              • What would you have needed to learn along the way?
              • What important actions would you have had to take?
              • What beliefs would you have needed to change?
              • What habits or behaviors would you have had to cultivate?
              • What type of support would you have had to enlist?
              • How long will it have taken you to realize your best life?
              • What steps or milestones would you have needed to reach along the way?

              Now it’s time to think about your first step, and the next step after that. Ponder the gap between where you are now and where you want to be in the future. It may seem impossible, but it’s quite achievable if you take it step-by-step.

              It’s important to revisit this vision from time to time. Don’t be surprised if your answers to the questions, your technicolor vision, and the resulting plans change. That can actually be a very good thing; as you change in unforeseeable ways, the best life you envision will change as well. For now, it’s important to use the process, create your vision, and take the first step towards making that vision a reality.

              Featured photo credit: Matt Noble via unsplash.com

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