The chances for you to increase your circle of friends is only when you take the initiative to do so. There may be that special person that you might not have met in your life, particularly when you keep yourself enclosed in a very small place within yourself. It may not be possible for you to meet people everywhere, so it is important for you to capitalize on the places where you do.
Most of the people meet people online. There is a great selection of hobbyists, groups of people that would like to organize certain activities and help you to meet up with each other. You can also find yourself to be a part of those clubs, and find yourself as a member of those hobbies. However, in order for you to not be awkward, you need to do your due diligence when meeting for such specialized groups. Try and learn a few things from the Internet about that group, understand the focal point of the group and try and put something of yours into the group in order to enrich it. It is only then that people would think of you as a contributing member, who would otherwise increase in the hierarchy within the group and help you become one of them.
When you are travelling around the world, you want to meet a lot of new people with new cultures, new identities and a different sense of thought and action other from yours. They might be vastly different from the cultural heritage that you might be looking at. Of course, this gives you a chance for you to look at new people, understand their culture and get to know about the wonderful things that they would be more than willing to share with you. Overall, it leaves you with a wonderful chance to meet new people, break old stereotypes and ensure that you enjoy everything that is at your disposal. However, the only way for you to not be awkward is to understand that there are certain things that may not go down with your sensibility. However, you need to be mindful of the local culture and heritage and go accordingly.
If you are seeking some kind of online friend group, then there are various matchmaking website as well as dating websites that enable you to get that done. However, that will also be awkward for people that do not have a sense of understanding and purpose on using such websites. Do not use those places in order to solicit for sexual activity, as you would be perceived as a pervert. Rather, you need to make use of it diligently, understand the basic essences of using the services and work accordingly to make yourself a valuable part of that online interaction. Awkwardness can be easily taken care of if you are free with your words, as well as have a genuine action behind everything that you say.