Not socialized? Really?
My mom gets asked all the time how we can travel full time in a RV, be homeschooled, and still socialize with other kids. After moving and living in a RV for three years, I have learned a few tricks to share with you.
Let’s start with easy ways to meet potential new friends. Find someone with a dog because a dog can be a good excuse to approach a new person. This method also works vice versa. A few good ice breakers are to ask the pet’s name, or simply compliment the pet. If you have your own animal, then take it for a walk. If your pet wears clothes or accessories, it is a great way to start a conversation.
A good way to make new friends, is to show something that stands out about you. Sometimes this encourages others to approach you. I wear cowgirl boots with American flags on them. Instead of cowgirl boots, it can be sneakers or any other type of shoes or accessories that stand out and draw attention.
Another great way to make friends is to compliment them, because everybody loves compliments! Say something about them, or their bike, or something they did that you liked. It is sure to break the ice.
You can also make friends by joining national groups such as Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, Sea Scouts, Adventure Scouts, Lone Scouting, Explorer Scouts or even 4-H. These are all national clubs which you can visit and attend meetings or activities while traveling. It is a great way to make new friends that have the same interests as you.
My family enjoys visiting museums while we travel. My favorite types are hands-on science museums. Museums usually attract many youth that you can meet and make friends with. Some museums even offer homeschool days where kids our age, who are homeschooled, come to learn about a certain subject taught by an instructor at the museum. These programs usually meet education standards, as well.
We travel to, and stay at, as many national parks as we can. Most of the time these parks offer a Junior Ranger program. You work from a booklet and attend a couple of ranger-led programs. When you complete the requirements, a ranger swears you in, and awards you a badge and a certificate, which are usually free. I have teamed up with other people to complete the booklet and found it another way to make friends.
Churches offer a great amount of fun and kids to meet. The best part is Sunday schools which are separated by grade, so you are certain to have something in common with kids your age. You can learn, have fun, and make a new friend at one of these programs. Most churches also offer Wednesday night youth groups for middle school to high school grades. You can expect music, games, lessons and sometimes food at these gatherings. Most of the churches I have been to were very welcoming to me.
These are all ways I have found to make friends while traveling the United States in a RV. But, during my travels, my experience has not always provided other youth my age at my RV park. If you stay at a Thousand Trails park, you may see more full-time youth. However, during the winter, we stay at a park with older, retired people. Don’t let this stop you from making a possible friend. I started talking to a widowed lady in an RV next to us, and we ended up meeting daily for card games. We became good friends, fast.
If you find one sour apple (or unfriendly person) in the bin, don’t let it set you back. If you let it stop you, you may never meet your new best friend. And as my mother always tells me, if you never take a step forward, you will always be in the same place!
For more information on national youth associations, visit: