making friends on the road

When you get to a new city how do you get to know people you have something in common with ?
I had this problem when I returned to Australia after working overseas for a few years. It can be very lonely for a while.

In the old days (pre 2000) people met, travellers met in guest houses and exchanged information verbally. These days most social things happen online first, in forums, sites, interest groups, Facebook, meetup etc...
I found language exchange (Japanese, Thai...) to be a good way to meet people (only if languages are your 'thing' of course).
To make friends, I once started a movie club which ran for 2.5 years - it was all organized online.

So what are some online sites to meet people ?
People who are interested in travellers and foreigners hang out at: www.couchsurfing.org.
Here is an article on how to use  this site to make friends http://heikorudolph.blogspot.com/2009/09/how-to-dive-beneath-tourist-surface.html

To join an interest group there are sites such as www.meetup.com

and many big cities have magazines for social networking and what's on, a good example is the Tokyo Time Out magazine http://www.timeout.jp/en/tokyo .
the Mother website for many other cities is at: http://www.timeout.com/

Buying and selling stuff,  www.GumTree.com.au   Craigslist.com ....Google for more...

Some groups you will like, others won't be your style... try out a few... trust your gut instinct, :-)

NEXT steps.....
Google is your friend....search and you will find :-)
Every big city has websites for social networking, for expats, for buying and selling stuff.
The Lonely Planet guidebooks, the Thorntree forums are all good starting points.

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