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What you can do to get in touch with new friends

The fact that 43% of the Western population sometimes feels lonely is nothing new. It is still a shocking fact, especially that it does not only affect the elderly, but also more and more young people. It seems that the more we connect to the online world, the less we feel connected to people around us and the lonelier we become.

But how do you reconnect with people when you experience feelings of loneliness? What can you do and where can you go to meet people again and possibly new friends?

What can you do against loneliness

Consciously or unconsciously: everyone wants to belong to something and nobody wants to be left out. There is a connection between the need to belong and the need to be accepted. You can achieve this in the following ways, among others:

Looking over the sea alone on a pier

1. Join a hobby club

By joining a club or group with the same goal or hobby, you create a form of connection and the threshold to make contact is lower. You can count on a common interest and appreciation for what you do.

2. Become a member of a sports club

You can become a member of a sports club. Besides getting to know new people who love the same sport as you, it’s also healthy for you. It has also been proven that endorphins, dopamine and serotonin are released into your brain during the practice of a sport. Among other things, these components make you feel better about yourself and make you feel happier.

3. Go to a cafe, a museum or theatre

Although you will meet most people in the cafe, a museum or theatre is also a good place to meet new people. They will be less tipsy and you’ll see a nice performance too. Especially during the break and afterwards it’s nice to have a chat about the performance you’ve just seen together.

4. Travel close to home or abroad

You usually need a bit of savings , but when you travel you always meet new people. There are trips for everyone’s budget and wherever you go, you’re sure to have something in common. Namely, the location where you just arrived.

However, not everyone is equally enthusiastic about traveling alone. Contrary to popular belief, it is the easiest way to make new friends. When you travel together, you are more focused on each other, but when you travel alone, you will be welcomed with open arms by everyone.

Travelling solo

What journeys are there when you’re alone?

You might want to leave but you don’t want to spend two weeks alone in a hotel room. Of course you can rent a cottage on some holiday park or set up a tent on a campsite in France. The disadvantage is that you don’t always have a say in who your neighbors are. Two weeks of wild teens next to you partying late into the night isn’t always fun either.

Group travel for single people

That is why many single people opt for group travel. Usually you will walk behind a guide with a flag that shows you the highlights of a certain place. This often happens at a rapid pace and can cost a lot of money. And who says that you don’t end up in a bus full of couples, which might just enhance your feeling of loneliness? Luckily there are also trips especially for singles.

The active travels

If you like sports and lots of exercise, there is also plenty on offer. Think of trips with a sporty character, such as sailing on the Wadden Sea, survivors in the Ardennes or skiing in the Alps for example. The journey begins at the harbor, bus or airport on the way to your destination. Again, you have an active goal together, whether it’s hoisting the sails, rock climbing where you have to help each other or conquering that one piste together.

Travelling with friends

The cruises

Most people remember the series Love Boat. All the fun, romance and intrigue aboard a beautiful cruise ship. Well, the truth doesn’t lie, because that’s the way it can be. But of course you don’t have to. A cruise is available for almost every budget, you can cross from IJmuiden to England for a weekend or discover the entire Caribbean during a luxury holiday of several days or even weeks.

This is a holiday par excellence if you like to be entertained, want to know exactly where you are going in advance and don’t want to have to organize too much yourself. And there is no doubt that you will meet many other people aboard a cruise.

The sailing trips

For people who want a bit more action or want to have something to do themselves, you can book a sailing trip in the Netherlands or anywhere really If you don’t really care what the destination is, just as long as you’ll meet like-minded people, then you can consider booking ‘a sailing together’ trip.

A sailing ship has fallen dry in the Wadden area

They come in all shapes and sizes and for all ages. So you are not condemned to a week of pub crawling and beach hanging but you can also choose to go on a cultural trip ora visit the five Wadden Islands. The goal is to make an unforgettable journey with a group of individuals with a common passion, discovering new places and making friends.

Marie Antoinette aboard the sailing ship the Waterwolf

Sailing in the Netherlands on the Wadden Sea or the IJsselmeer is our specialty and the experience of last weekend gave me the inspiration to write this article.

From afar I see a spirited lady approaching with a light step and a twinkle in her eyes. As soon as she climbs aboard she burns loose: she feels like sailing again after a long time. As a Fran├žaise, she recently moved to Amsterdam and after all these months of working alone at home, she looks forward to meeting other people again.

Suddenly I realize the importance of our sailing trips. We too had to spend months at the quay, so it felt like new again. By joining a trip on board, you are not only engaged in a sporting hobby, sailing is pre-eminently an activity that you do with each other and where you make new friends.

It requires cooperation, communication and combined strength to hoist sails, set or keep course. But of course also to get a drink for each other at the end of a day full of sailing adventures.

The common denominator is sailing, Marie didn’t have to worry about whether others would have the same interests. An opening sentence, a topic of conversation or what you are going to do with the others comes naturally.

Sailing and the love of nature and being on the water creates a shared passion and then the rest comes naturally. Especially for someone like Marie who prefers not to visit a pub alone and doesn’t have the budget to visit a theatre every week.

Sailing on the open sea

After Marie confidently stepped aboard, she was engaged in an animated conversation with one of the other guests within minutes.

I felt proud again that we could play this role for this sweet woman who was locked up in her city apartment by necessity. I also felt honoured that we as a crew are allowed to function as a kind of glue between all the people on board.

Because there are also participants who are maybe a little less self-confident. Especially when the forecasts indicate wind force 7. Because we always provide clear instructions and help by chatting or serving good food, the ice soon breaks for everyone.

When we moor again on Sunday in the harbour of Enkhuizen and our guests all disembark satisfied with a broad smile and a backpack full of new experiences, I also see Marie Antoinette leave. All the more I realise that we are of value to people who want to get in touch with others and make friends. And that’s why we’re doing it. Because everyone deserves contact with others and friendship. And what beter way than a stray trip sailing in the Wadden Sea area.

Is sailing the best way to make contact with new friends?

I don’t want to claim that sailing is the best way to make contact with new friends. On the contrary, because there are plenty of other ways. I understand very well how people prefer to go to an island in Thailand and meet their new friends or climb a mountain and get their satisfaction.

Every human being is different and there’s something for everyone. More importantly, each individual with any kind of budget can overcome loneliness. Whether you’re young or old, rich or poor. With our sailing trips we contribute to fun for everyone.

Families, friends, colleagues, alone, everyone is welcome on board and together we make it a fantastic holiday.

Sailing holiday to meet new people

Because we want to connect people and give them the day or days of their lives, during unforgettable trips to the most beautiful places in the Netherlands.

This post is also available in: Dutch German