Travel gives you excuses for social interactions

One of the great things I've found with travel is that it provides you with a lot of excuses that you can use to "trick yourself" into overcoming your anxieties.

For those of you starting out with so crippling approach anxiety that you find yourself becoming nervous about the simplest approaches - e.g. even asking directions etc. is a big thing, this is a useful trick.

One thing I found when I started desensitizing myself to approaches after I finally admitted to myself that my approach anxiety went well beyond something I could fix quickly, was that one of the things that was a major barrier to me was feeling I was inconveniencing people. Another barrier was feeling I wasn't being genuine.

E.g., early on, if I went out and walked up to someone to ask for directions or time when I needed neither, it'd be a major deal. While if I genuinely need directions, it's far easier.

Going somewhere new alleviates this and provides a lot of opportunites to push past barriers you'd otherwise struggle with.

So, go travelling, even if it's just to another part of town where you don't know your way. If you can, leave your phone behind, and go out without any means of knowing the time or where you are.

Make a point of being helpless and asking. Don't be self reliant, but rather play the dumb out-of-towner. Play this role to yourself too. Treat it as a role play where you're meant to be dumb.

Ask for: * The time * Where to find any sights. * How to get to your hotel * What places people on the street recommend for lunch. * Where to find a taxi rank. * Which bus to get. * What bars or night clubs are good. * Anything else you want to know.

And so on. You can use this no matter how anxious you are, as long as you can manage to approach for the very simplest questions, such as asking for time and directions.

Use the opportunity to try to add conversation, especially if you normally find this hard. E.g. add simple statements such as explaining that you're from out of town and have never been here before; give the circumstances: are you there for business, pleasure, how much you like it so far etc.

Give people a chance to boast and tell you about the good parts of the place they live, or a chance to ask about where you're from. People love both.

And you can continue using this no matter if you're almost over your approach anxiety or even are great at meeting women - being an "outsider" is almost always a positive for starting conversations, unless you run into someone particularly hateful and bigoted.

But the power of it is when you're still struggling: It's not fake. You have one less excuse not to approach.