We’re all agreed that making new friends as an adult can be hard, right? When you don’t have school to force you together and your work environment isn’t one where you can get too chummy with the people in the next cubicle over, sometimes new friends can be hard to come by. All the worse for freelancers. All the worse for freelancers who are location independent.
Double the pain for solo traveling. If you’re a shy person that often travels solo (like me) you can have a serious recipe for quiet nights.
I’ve spent a lot of quiet nights alone around the world. Most of the time that was exactly what I wanted, and didn’t feel lonely. But there were definitely some nights that I wanted a friend to talk with and laugh about our days.
Last weekend, I went alone to London in part for the Sherlocked convention–I’m studying Sherlock Holmes adaptations for my master’s, so hearing the writers of the show talk about their interpretation was right up my alley. I was a bit nervous about spending time alone at this convention, but figured I’d be fine. I’ve traveled alone before, right?
Five minutes. That’s about how long I was alone at this convention. It was just enough time to get my badge and queue for the first talk. After that, it was a constant stream of new people, new accents, new friends–talking nearly constantly about the BBC show and Arthur Conan Doyle’s original stories and our theories for what Mark Gatiss and Steven Moffat are going to do next. It amazing. I left with more than just business cards (in fact, I don’t think I left with any business cards). I left with new friends in Germany, South Africa, Norway, and the UK.
It was our love for Sherlock Holmes (and this BBC adaptation in particular) that brought everyone together to Sherlocked and encouraged us to all talk to one another. Whatever our backgrounds and our lives outside the show, we were all the type of people that will pay money to attend a weekend conference about a TV show we love. That was very uniting. And I’m sure that applies across interests and genres.
This is the way to travel. Attend events in cities you want to travel to. See the city, of course, and make friends at the event as well. Because they probably want to see the city too, and it’s always more fun to see a new city with a new friend in tow. You never know what little secret spots in the city they might know about, or if they know about places to avoid. Maybe a life long friend is just waiting at the next convention.
If you were at Sherlocked–thanks for an amazing time!
Photo above of me at Sherlocked, mostly wishing I was as good an actor as Andrew Scott.