Making Friends when Travelling

by Bert van Spronsen on Saturday 20 2019

“G’day!”

“How you going?”

“Where are you headed?”

“Where have you come from?”

“I see you are from Victoria, where abouts?”… And so the conversation starts……

Making friends when travelling can be really easy. It’s interesting how in most caravan parks when you meet up with other travelling nomads, striking up a conversation is not hard! Having just spent four years on the road, it really amazes me how quickly you can make friends.

What is it about that? It’s funny how we can strike up a conversation so easily in a park. Yet at home we may only give a friendly wave to our neighbours – if that. When we are home, I think we tend to live insular, inwardly focused existences at times when we can lock ourselves behind closed doors and gates.

That is the beauty of a caravan park and the way many of these barriers just break down. I must say though that I am referring to caravan parks where you will find many of the travelling nomads spending some time. There is always a friendly greeting and any chance possible to have a chat. 

Even better is that impromptu call for happy hour. One evening, just two vans from us, two couples were having a chat and with a friendly wave, we were invited to join them for happy hour. Within 20 minutes there must have been at least 12 of us there. How hard was that? We knew nobody, but that changed so quickly as we enjoyed the company and shared experiences. Importantly for us, there was heaps of humour in our conversation. What a great evening!

I guess this is the beauty of being out on the road. Our inhibitions and barriers break down. We have no extended family or friends around us and as a result we seek that bit of socialising. There is always something we all have in common. Places to go, places to stay, things to see, experiences enjoyed. For the blokes, often the conversation will migrate to the rig, the van or something about how well the vehicle is towing etc.

There is little doubt that engaging with neighbours, who are also on the road for long periods of time, makes the journey and the experience that much more pleasant. We have even developed some great friends from just an experience like it.

We all know how hard it can be to make new friends as you get older. But as a travelling nomad, the opportunity to make friends with little effort is a real bonus. This makes the time on the road that much more of an enjoyable and pleasant experience.

So next time you are in a friendly park with other travelling nomads, don’t be scared to say good day and have a chat. You might just make a new friend or two.

What experiences have you had that have made socialising a pleasure on your travels?  

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Bert van Spronsen
Founder, Managing Director & Fellow Traveller
bert@kuiparks.com.au