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For over a decade, David Tian, Ph.D. — a uniquely qualified therapist, life coach, and former university professor — has coached tens of thousands of people from over 87 countries to achieve happiness and success in their relationships, dating, psychology, and lifestyle.

Dr. Tian has been featured in international media, as well as co-hosting a radio show on national radio and a weekly dating advice column in a national newspaper in Singapore.

The show, “Man Up: Masculinity for the Intelligent Man” (, is David’s way of helping as many people as possible enjoy empowering and fulfilling lives, while contributing to the global understanding of masculinity in modern times. In the show, he takes your questions posed in the Man Up private Facebook group ( and answers based on his experience coaching tens of thousands of students around the world for over a decade.

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“The Man Up Show” Ep.21 – How to Build a Social Circle While Traveling

How to Build a Social Circle While Traveling

  • David Tian Ph.D. tells men who constantly travel to learn how to just walk up to strangers and start conversations.

  • David Tian Ph.D. emphasizes the need to be completely socially connected on the internet.

  • In this Man Up episode, David Tian Ph.D. suggests men to stay active in their social media profiles to find connection and to stay connected.

In episode 21, I’m going to be addressing the question: How do you build a social circle while you’re travelling?

[Intro music]

Masculinity for the Intelligent Man. I am David Tian, Ph.D., and this is: Man Up!

[Fade music]

Hello, I am David Tian, welcome to Man Up. This is episode 21. I’m answering a question from our private Facebook group by David. This is his second question I’m answering and his question is, “If you are travelling and only in a city for a short period what are best ways to build a social life and social circle from scratch?” Okay, cool question. Traveling around – I do a lot of traveling, like a week in each country and I’ve been doing that almost over a year now. Generally, not in one country for more than ten days and sometimes just two days in a country, moving around. So this is very pertinent to me but I’ve been, many of my friends are this way, as well.

I’ve been traveling for 15 years of my life. So, good question. I’m going to give a few different answers. Again, I want to just give a plug to the Social Circle Mastery course we’re going to be launching at some point – enough of the plugs because we don’t even know when it’s going to be launched.

If you’re traveling, one of the greatest things to have under your belt is the ability and the skillset to be able to just walk up to strangers and start conversations. I covered that in the last episode but I just can’t emphasize that enough. If this is one of your skills, if you are comfortable doing this, the world is your oyster. You can literally just walk around and make friends. Obviously, going into settings where people are prone to be more social or primed to be more social is easier. So if you go to hang out at bars and meet new people there. Easy, you know. If you stay in hostels, that’s a great place to meet people. Bars and clubs or backpacker districts, those are real easy places to just walk up to people and make conversations happen. One thing that I do quite a bit is I have a concierge service.

I’ve hired a lifestyle concierge service and their job – I would source this to them – is to do the insider networking for me before I even arrive in the city. And they line up red carpet events or invite-only events. They send me the itinerary and they say which ones you want to go to and I just tell them which ones and I show up and go to fashion shows or boutique launches or restaurant launches and so on. There are many such companies. I think your platinum AMEX could do something like that, too. I depend on this company and I’ll give a plug – no money or affiliate relationship whatsoever but it’s called Quintessentially and I like them. But there are a few others around the world that will do something like that.

Here’s something else, though. In the modern world we’re incredibly socially connected. I noticed that, actually, David asking the question is using a fake profile. Well, it’s not so much fake it’s not his real profile and I kind of asked him about that. It’s quite common. If you want to join the Facebook group and you’re scared other people are going to find out that you need some help with dating and your social life, you’re awkward about that, just create a fake profile with zero friends or something. It’s kind of annoying but hey, I’d rather get your question if that’s what you need to do, to hide behind anonymity to get your question, I’ll take the question for now.

One of the things is that the world is moving towards, in my opinion, to be completely socially connected on the internet. So when you create an account on some new site like TripAdvisor or something, they’re going to prompt you to answer your Facebook. It’s easier to do that rather than having to memorize a password and a username for every site you have. Everything just gets linked through your social media profiles, like Facebook.

What’s happening is you keep your Facebook profile going and you generally don’t delete friends unless something bad happens, right? So over the years, you accumulate friends in all these different cities everywhere you go and you add friends instead of getting phone numbers. Phone numbers are useless, get their social media profile. Get their Line ID. Get their WeChat if you’re in China or something or Vietnam. With the WhatsApp you can keep the same number even though your actual SIM card changes. So the number on the WhatsApp doesn’t have to correspond to the number that you’re using to make actual phone calls. Nowadays, people don’t really even make actual phone calls. I mean, you can get Skype on your phone, you can get whatever and that actually will dial a landline through your internet, right?

The deal is this – my point is this: if you have a Facebook profile or any kind of complicated social media profile and you accumulate friends over the years, every city and country you go to – other people will be moving around and what’s interesting is, I found that almost every country I go to I happen to have, already on my Facebook list, some friend who lives there or is working there or happens to move there and they do that to me. They see me flying around a lot and when they go to a city that they see me frequent, they’ll ping me, send me a Facebook message or something and say, “Hey, I’m going to be in the city at that time. Are you going to be around?” And that’s how it’s done. It’s pretty interesting.

With social media you’re able to keep in touch with people that you don’t see physically very much. Like I have really good friends, I mean – I shouldn’t have done that – I have good friends who I don’t see in person because of our hectic travel schedules. I may only see them in person once every two years but we keep in touch over social media and it’s amazing how, when I meet them in person, it’s like I pick up where we – like we just met last week or something because I’m able to keep up with their activities over the time.

It’s amazing when you move to or you travel to a new city you’ve never been to before and it turns out you’ve got one or two friends, already in your social circle, who can either give you insider knowledge of where to go or can introduce you to a friend, one of their friends, who can show you around.

We’re getting incredibly connected socially through the internet so it’s getting harder and harder for guys – I know I have some player friends who purposely don’t want to have a Facebook profile because they’re not strong enough, they’re not masculine enough to tell the girls they’re seeing that they’re seeing multiple girls or whatever. So they don’t want girls posting on their profile and messing up their player life or something like that so I understand that guy’s situation, he doesn’t want to be on Facebook.

But it’s increasingly hard for that guy to continue doing that because he’s not in the loop. And it’s just part of getting plugged in. So once you’re plugged in, it becomes easier to travel the world. So that’s advice I’d give for number two – get a concierge service, get on social media, build your Facebook friend list, build your whatever list. You can use Tinder, wherever you are just open that thing up and make some friends. It’s that easy these days.

That’s episode 21. Okay, cool. So make sure you join our private Facebook group even if you need to use an anonymous, fake profile. I’ll take that for now. I want to hear your questions; I want to hear your feedback. I’m here to help you. So join the Facebook group, ask your questions to me directly and I will try to give you answers personally. All right, so until next time – man up.