05/29/2012 12:30 pm ET Updated Jul 29, 2012

5 Striking Spots for Chance Meetings

Meeting people does not have to be intimidating or even difficult. Oftentimes, it happens when we least expect it, and it can happen anywhere.

Because we meet people all the time and in unlikely places, it's important to note that we are always in the public eye. It may even be wise to heed the phrase, "Always look your best. You never know who you'll meet when you're looking your worst." Looking your best, though, truly only requires a smile and a positive demeanor.

Whether we find new friends or a romantic interest, these spots are known for chance meetings.

Sporting Events
The team atmosphere has been a staple of American sports since their beginnings. People create instant bonds over loyalties to the same team, making light conversation with the people around us effortless. On an even smaller scale, becoming involved in local leagues gives you a weekly activity, exercise and opportunities to grow your social life. Especially in smaller towns, softball and kickball games lead into dinner and drinks with fellow teammates and those who came to cheer.

Community Groups
The best advice in meeting new people who share your interests and goals is to join community groups with a specific focus. For example, enjoy food and wine? Join a wine tasting club. Value civic duties and leadership? Find a local Rotary or Kiwanis club to attend.

What's better than realizing that a potential flame shares your philanthropic or religious interest? Sticking around after church to socialize along with volunteering at local elementary schools, in retirement homes or in missions are paths to meeting people who share your core passions on a weekly basis.

Airports are known for bringing people together -- usually, though, they're known for RE-uniting us with our loved ones. However, some people actually meet their significant others on a single plane ride. Having college or interest-related paraphernalia attached to luggage or clothing can become conversation starters and break the ice for you. Additionally, Southwest Airlines' open seating policy has made it relatively easy to transition the conversation from the waiting area to the actual flight.

* The airport is a much different setting than a restaurant, church or ballgame because it is not rooted in the town itself -- it's a revolving door for people of all walks. The people I've met in airports who had become interests or great friends had always ended up going to my university or being from the same area. This goes without saying, but airports require more caution when talking to new people.

Coffee Shops
People usually don't just go to a coffee shop once; they often frequent the same one each day before work. Becoming a regular at a coffee shop opens the door for you to meet other ambitious young people. Plus, initiating a conversation in a seemingly never-ending line is natural, can ease your wait and would give you the chance to chat with a new someone.

Despite the boom of the Internet as a means of meeting others, people do still run into one another the old-fashioned way -- by crossing paths in everyday life. The above are simply avenues to those first introductions. Whether or not you take advantage of the roads you already travel is up to you.

For more by Leslie Reece Schichtel, click here.

For more on relationships, click here.