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As we get older and our friends get busy climbing the corporate ladder or settling down with kids, it gets increasingly hard to find compatible people to travel with. So how do you find someone you can tolerate, and who also shares your same passion for culture, food and sightseeing? We asked global nomads and travel experts to share their best advice on how to meet like-minded wanderlusters who will say “heck yeah!” when you ask if they want to book a trip to Africa… um, tomorrow.

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MeetUp

When you first moved to a new city, you likely joined MeetUp.com to find various networking, volunteering and social groups to meet new friends. While this online destination is still a trusted source for expanding your circle of pals, it can also be a place to find someone who is eager to pull the trigger on a trip to Iceland, too. “Meetup has all sorts of travel groups,” says Beth Santos, founder and CEO of Wanderful, a homes sharing network site for women.  “You can even find the particular type of travel you enjoy. Adventure travel? Volunteer travel? Luxury travel? It’s all in there.”

Facebook groups

The social networking app isn’t just beneficial for keeping tabs on your ex. Via private groups centered around travel topics like recommendations, safety and, well, venting, you can easily find someone within a stone’s throw of wherever your spirit takes you. As an example, there are more than 500,000 members in the trusted “Girls Love Travel” Facebook group, making it a go-to destination for travel agent Kim Hart. “This group connects female travelers by providing travel support, advice and socialization,” she says. “They also host member-driven meetups and group-organized trips. [However], it is important to note that only those who identify as female are allowed to join this group.”

Not a lady? No worries. A quick Facebook search will yield a wide variety of travel groups, regardless if you’re more into hostel hopping, mountain climbing or pub crawling.

Organized travel services

Since attracting a travel companion might sometimes feel far too much like those awkward conversations in first dates, plenty of organized travel services have started targeting young professionals to give them an opportunity to get out of town with others their age. The value here isn’t just the social aspect, but hassle-free itineraries where you merely need to show up to board your flight and you’re set. Hart recommends Contiki Tours—especially if you’re between ages 18 and 35. “Their trips are organized into different types of experiences to suit each type of traveler such as short trips and festivals,” she explains. Here, you can connect with another travel fanatic who could become your next go-to companion.

Happen to be a Disney fan? Hart suggests looking into Adventures By Disney for an adult-friendly take on the happiest place on Earth. “This is a concierge-level travel organization that hosts trips all over the world,” she says. “There are adult-only itineraries such as a Danube River Oktoberfest Cruise, among many others. While these trips are not designed specially for the single traveler, singles can feel comforted in knowing that they will be part of a larger group and well-cared for by Disney’s expert Adventure Guides.”

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Alumni groups

Depending on your alma mater, there might be dozens of nomads you’ve never met, but already share a commonality with. Hart says utilizing this vast network could create a new tribe of travel friends. Even if you don’t find a kindred gypsy like yourself, she  says often times the group itself might offer get-out-of-town opportunities, both for fun and professional advancement. “Many of these associations host trips each year where there is a natural connection due to being alumni of the same college,” she says. “These trips are usually adult-only trips with no specific adult age-group in mind.”

Nomad List

If you’re traveling for an extensive amount of time, meeting friends along the way will not only create a network of trusted advisors, but make beer gardens in Prague, hikes in Patagonia and surfing lessons in Sydney that much more fun. Konrad Waliszewski, the CEO of TripScout suggests joining online communities. He specifically vouches for Nomad List, a great tool for planning travels and connecting with others. They also offer a Slack group, where you can chat in real time about anything and everything that inevitably will come up while you’re country hopping.

Remote Year

For a true leap of faith into the unknown, programs like Remote Year give digital nomads the opportunity to take their work abroad, traveling through 10 countries and 12 cities over a year. For web developer Jessica Tatham, who is currently living in Prague via Remote Year, the choice to join the program wasn’t just about collecting passport stamps. As an avid traveler, Tatham wanted the chance to meet others who shared her same passion for culture, exploring and impromptu trips. “I came of Remote Year to finally find a group of friends that have the same passion for travel that I do,” says Tatham. “People that will drop everything to book a flight to Portugal to try the Pasties de Nata. People that will say ‘sure!’ to an adventure in Morocco to explore the spice markets. People that say yes to doing epic things, because why not,” she says.

Fly solo—and be open

The best way to find a globetrotter who could be your match? Go out on a limb and do the trip all by your bad self, says Janice Holly Booth, a National Geographic author and solo adventure traveler. “This is how I met someone with whom I traveled for many years until our interests diverged,” says Booth. “As a woman, it’s hard for me to find another female who’s into canyoneering or mountain climbing or high-risk adventure, so when I went on a solo trip to Costa Rica and met a kindred spirit, it was like winning the lottery! On another trip, I traveled alone on a horseback adventure in Ireland, and met a couple I’ll be traveling with to New Zealand this year. And next year, I’ll be heli-hiking with a mom and daughter I met on safari in Africa! People may be reluctant to take a trip by themselves, but it’s just the greatest way to meet people with whom you might be able to travel with in the future.”

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Lindsay Tigar

Lindsay Tigar

Lindsay is a lifestyle and travel writer, and content strategist. She is a passport stamp collector with an affinity for great wine, coffee and conversation. You can find a full collection of her work at lindsaytigar.com.
Lindsay Tigar

@lindsaytigar

Freelance Travel and Lifestyle Journalist for @travelleisure, @voguemagazine, @usatoday, @bravotv @brides, @weddingwire and many more.
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