To the Boards dttravler!!! And congrats making your first trip soon!!!
How to meet people???
Good people skills are a must, you need to be able to get along with people dispite language barriers and cultural differences.
Good conversationalist (<- spelling?), be able to talk about where you are from and where you are going, and where you have been...people you meet will want to know, just like you will want to know the same from them.
An the most importent thing is BE YOURSELF, don't try to be what people want you to be.
Trust with Wit...You must know when someone is really trying to make friends with you or is trying to take you for a ride
, The relationship with the people you meet will progress over the course of several hours, days or weeks, and they will be from all walks of life, locals and other packers...BUT...When someone comes up to you and treats you like they are tryng to be your best friend, I would be cautious, watch out for the pharses:
"My Friend, Where have you been?"
"I have a great deal for you my friend"
"Do you remeber me?"
"I can help you?" ( When you have not asked for help)
"I can watch your bags"
These are potential scam artists trying to take advantage of you being from another country.
Places to meet people...ANYWHERE!!!
On The Street
Tourist Info Offices
Treat people they way you would like to be treated basically.
Once you get used to the customs of where you are, the adjustment is easy, you will be too stoked to even notice, It will just happen...