Skip to main content

Connecting With People

This cute little girl in Diskit, Ladakh wanted to me to play with her in the fields.

One of the most difficult and challenging tasks while travelling is connecting and bonding with the people you meet. If the people you meet, travel with or stay with just remain acquaintances, then it actually beats the whole point of travelling (at least as per my view about Travel). “Why do you travel? Why travel solo?  Why backpacking? What do you accomplish by travelling alone?” If you are just starting out as a Solo Traveller, you will definitely be asked such questions and it is always better to have an answer ready; because if you lack determination or there’s nothing that drives you to go travel & explore the globe, these generic (and irritating!) questions might demoralise you.
It is no Rocket science and is quite simple. Multiple ways exist (although you discover numerous new ones as you travel) to approach people. My way is quite basic and has helped me make a lot of friends wherever I have visited. Give it a read and try it out yourself.


Talking or Speaking is the most effective way to communicate with people. I know that the Language Barrier is major restriction and we generally by-pass it by using written or non-verbal comm. methods. But, they aren’t as effective and sometimes misleading too.
When I travel, I always speak up! Gesturing or writing down stuff to ask just doesn’t agree with me. If I am lost and need directions or be it my wish to dine at the finest restaurant in town, I never use maps, internet, pictures or gestures to communicate.

Sipping coffee with my new friends by the serene Pangon Tso, Ladakh

English is a global language and most of the people you meet will understand it, but if they don’t, try speaking the local language (even if you can’t). Just like when I was stranded in a deserted place in Karnataka (India) and my bag was stolen which had my Passport. I had to deal with the local police officers to file an F.I.R for loss of passport, who couldn’t understand me nor could I understand them. But I tried speaking in English and Hindi, fortunately one of them spoke a little bit of Hindi and I was able lodge the complaint successfully. Waiting for 5 hours to get a copy of the complaint and an affidavit, I actually learnt some words of the local language, a lot about the cities of Chitradurga, Belgaum, Hubbali, Bangalore and made friends with many lawyers while sharing my travel experiences (in Hindi!). If I had just kept bickering about the language barrier and hadn’t tried to speak with the officers, I might have ended up in deep trouble.


When I’m travelling, I walk up to a local vendor or taxi driver and casually strike up a conversation. I actually gain some trust and the people feel free to share the information. If they feel that you aren’t sharing your true identity or intentions, the local people are bound to ignore you for their own safety (which isn’t a bad nor is it their fault). Calmly chatting with them and sharing a few laughs is enough to clear their doubts.

The shop vendor gave us quite a lot of serious instructions but cracked a few jokes too!

I got to know a lot about the Indian state of Manipur, its vibrant cultures & traditions and the political conflicts between Manipur-Nagaland-Myanmar on a train back home from Assam. 8-10 Army (BSF) personnel posted at the Indo-Myanmar border check-posts were travelling in the same coach as me and 4 of them happened to hail from Maharashtra. I simply asked them about their living conditions in such extremities of the country; but they were more fascinated about how I travelled solo, on a bike in that terrain and climate being a civilian (although they’re used to it!). They voluntarily began telling me stories from the time they spent in those parts of the country. This only happened because I didn't hesitate or act coy and approached them willingly. Without taking initiative and waiting idly for others to come by will increase your difficulties in connecting with people.


The most effective means to win over and connect with people is to share your travel & life experiences with them. Once you open up, the people & you yourself feel an instant connection with each other. Sharing is great because it helps both you and your new friend to get a different (sometimes better) perspective of life! There are numerous instances when sharing my experiences helped me discover incredible things about travel, money & life.

I had the time of my life when I stayed at one of the oldest homestays in Leh city, Jammu & Kashmir. The founder and owner of the homestay, a 75 year “young” Ladakhi man gave me quite an insight into travel and the way of life. “The adventures I went on in the Himalayas are not ones you kids these days can fathom! It was a different story altogether back then”, he said, drinking his 3rd  glass of local rice whisky. He was quite interested in knowing why I had changed my career path from Engineering to Travel and loved the fact that I wanted to follow my passion. I have yet to travel the way he did and I hope I do, in the future, so even I can look at my life and say, “Now that’s how you live!”

The family at the home-stay in Leh who considered me as one of them!

How do you approach people on your travels and make friends?


Popular posts from this blog

My Accident, Recovery and Facing & Accepting Reality

It’s been almost two years since my accident today, as I write and publish this blog post. I was avoiding writing about my accident and kept postponing it, ignoring people when they told or rather urged me to share about my accident. Family, friends, fellow travelers and every person who has met me after my accident said “why don’t you write about this? Have you written about this ordeal on your blog?” But now I think it’s high time that I share the story. Honestly, I’m at a loss of words, literally, and am clueless as to what title should I give to this blogpost. So the title that you see is the last thing I’m writing before I publish this blog. Disclaimer: This is a rather long blog post with very few pictures and a lot of reading is required. There are pictures of my wounds just after the accident as well as after my surgeries and they might be too graphic for some people. I am going to share the story of my accident and my recovery (which is still ongoing) in detail.

Travel Experience - What does it mean to you?

I have been pondering what the term Travel Experience actually means. To me, to other travelers and to every person who has ever traveled with a sense of freedom. I was surfing on YouTube for some good videos relating to travel and I came across a video of a TED talk by Rick Steves. He shared several experiences from his travels which taught him a lot and changed his perspective on various aspects of society and life. The video has been rightly titled “The value of travel”. I have met hundreds of people while traveling and very few of them have had the same purpose and thought process behind their travels – to learn something new. It can be trivial or quite significant, it doesn’t matter to me as long as it teaches me something of value that I can hold on to and possibly share with fellow travelers through my blog. I would like to define travel experience as an experience you have after visiting a place, trying a weird new cuisine (like eating snails & crickets!), meet

LADAKH ROAD TRIP- Adventure Travel in India

Adventure Travel is the calling of new age travel enthusiasts. The first thing that comes to mind is a thrilling road trip expedition. Almost every youngster desires to go on a Road Trip, be it in a car or on a motorcycle, and preferably with their closest friends. Many make it their goal to go on at least one such journey; either before they graduate or before they get married. In India, these adrenaline junkies have several options to choose from, but a few specific regions make their eyes sparkle, these regions are Spiti Valley, Tawang (Arunachal Pradesh) and the infamous Leh – Ladakh. These days the phrase ‘road trip to Ladakh’ can be heard so often, it might have lost its charm and gusto, although the place itself continues to astound travelers from across the globe. This blogpost will revolve around the idea of planning a road expedition to the high mountains, the actual appeal that attracts adventure travelers, few travel tips and a lot of information! Why