If you take a look at blog articles about meeting people whilst travelling, you’ll see tips like “stay at hostels, do a walking tour and meet up with people.” These are all great tips if you travel fast i.e. you spend a few days in a place and then move on. If working is less of a priority then you’ll have a great time and meet some brilliant people.
But when you’re passionate about your work and maintaining this way of living, it’s nice to be able to spend time around people who are on a similar wavelength. If you’re travelling solo, this can be a little bit more of a challenge, so here are our top tips to get you started!
1. Facebook Groups
There’s a Facebook group for everything and for everyone, digital nomads included. There are facebook groups for people looking to find love, groups for women, groups for men, groups for the LGBT community...if you can name it, there’s a group for it. So when you’re looking at going to your next location, look for a location specific digital nomad group to join. All joking aside, these online communities can be an incredible, ready-made support network for you, even before you land in a new place. I know that we’ve all been raised not to talk to strangers online, so this would generally go against our in-built better judgement. But, if you’re careful, you can really take advantage of meeting people this way. They’ll already have a good knowledge of the area as well so it makes acclimatising that much quicker. Also...it’s FREE.
2. Nomad List
Nomad List are like an online encyclopedia for digital nomads and travellers across the globe, with markers and stats on a whole host of different criteria. But added to this is their huge network of over 62,000 remote workers from the digital nomad community in over 287 cities. The community is always active, you can meet loads of new people, get involved with different trips and it is buzzing. So I’d definitely recommend signing up.
3. Digital Nomad Events
Digital nomads love a good event and they certainly love a good meet up. 9 times out of 10, there will be food and beverages. Events are often promoted on Facebook which is helpful, but do your research to see if there’s anything happening in your area of choice. Sometimes there are huge events you can attend. Most are on land, but you can also cruise your way into new friendships via Nomad Cruise - these guys are getting ready to set sail in November so click here for more details.
It’s very inspiring when you get in a space filled with motivated, positive, idea generating people. The ambition to do amazing things is infectious in these places and people are always so FRIENDLY!
4. Coworking Spaces
If you find yourself alone in a digital nomad hubspot and you don’t like or use facebook, look for your nearest coworking space. It’s always an excellent option, particularly for building those professional networks. There is almost always a cost involved; some are more expensive than others but at least you can guarantee they’ll have great Wifi ;-).
Coworking spaces normally hold workshops and events so again they are a great central spot to get connected. If there is more than one coworking space in the area, try a few to find the place you like the best. As an added note, if there are local coworking groups set up by locals from the area, be sure to visit them as well and not just give all your money to the bigger companies that have parachuted in. It’s just a nice way to support the local community, so do bear that in mind.
5. Coliving Houses
Coliving houses are popping up all over the place in recent years as more digital nomads and remote workers hop onto this idea of coliving. Places like Roam, have a membership model where people pay a membership fee that allows them to live in any of their houses across the globe. When you get to the house of your choice, you get yourself a readymade bunch of friends in a really nice location kitted out with coworking facilities, and nice accommodation. There are also loads of independent coliving spaces all across the globe - check out our top picks for this year.
These houses are generally set up for long term lease, so you could stay a month, or a year if you wanted to in the same place. People will still come and go, but largely it’s a lot more stable than the ‘here today, gone tomorrow’ hostels you may have stayed in. You can build great relationships with people in coliving houses but...
They can get pretty expensive, which may or may not be a turn-off for you so it would be up to you to decide whether or not you think it’s worth the investment. But it does put you in touch with other digital nomads who have maybe done all the frantic travelling you do when you first get the travel bug, and are looking for a less transient experience, in order to maximise productivity and really get to know some new people they never would have met otherwise.
The number of people in the houses will vary, but generally it’ll be quite a small group which promotes a closely knit, friendly atmosphere designed to make you feel relaxed and comfortable.
A lot of these places require you to apply, but not in a scary way; it’s just to make sure that everybody who joins is on the same page.
6. Coliving Communities
The cheaper and more happy-go-lucky alternative is to become a member of a coliving community. They also fuse adventure and work, they organise great accommodation for you and they are much more flexible (depending on the community you choose). Now it is still a little pricey but you can definitely make it work if you are on a tighter budget.
The best thing about joining a coliving community is that you still get that delightful awkwardness when you all first meet; you know that feeling that makes travelling exciting and fun? But you’re around these guys for a little bit longer...well long enough to fall in love with the brilliant people you’re staying with. Then you all go your separate ways and you now have friends/extended family members stationed all over the globe.
Coliving communities tend to go to all the familiar digital nomad hotspots but sometimes, they go to less well trodden places in the globe, so that feeling of exploring the not so touristy areas can still happen.
Group sizes vary quite a bit. Some places champion smaller groups of maybe 10.Other organisations facilitate groups of 25+ people. WiFi Tribe have a maximum of 25 people per group - it’s our way of wildly defending the ultimate group dynamic. We love it that way. But you might believe more is more so go for what works for you.
Remote Year give you the option to travel for a year with the same squad, or you can shorten it to four months. Hacker Paradise have a model that means you can do a two week stint or a 48 week stint. To see how WiFi Tribe works click here.
Long story short, there’s plenty of options.
These are the top 6 ways that will definitely get you in touch with other digital nomads and remote professionals. Add these ideas to the walking tours, and the cool hostels you stay in from time to time, and you’ll have a wonderfully rounded experience! As much as travelling on your own is one of the most freeing experiences, the added bonus of meeting new people to share your journey with, is too good to miss at times. If you can share your most amazing experiences, why not go for it?
As ever, be sure to leave your top tips and recommendations in the comments below. Always good to hear from you all!
Amanda Scott is the editor in chief for The Wifi Tribe blog and passionate about creating an excellent resource for remote workers near and far to draw from. When she's not editing and writing, she's either cooking, eating or reading a good book. You can never go wrong with a good book.