Only recently did I finally take the plunge to become a fully fledged digital nomad. It took me a good two years of dreaming and a break up before I eventually packed my bags and took to the road (or aeroplane in my case).
But while mid pack, I thought it was probably a good idea to come up with a bit of plan for how I was going to meet people when I finally got to my first nomad destination, which for me was the one and only Chiang Mai Thailand (read about my first week in Chiang Mai here).
I spent time searching through the internet and forums, listening to podcasts and watching numerous Youtube videos. But only when I finally got out here and started talking to people did I finally learn some of the best ways in which you can actually meet other digital nomads, these I will discuss in the rest of the blog post.
Meet digital nomads through Meetups
One of the quickest and easiest ways to meet other like minded people in the same boat as you is to check out whether there are any nomad specific meetups in the city you’re in or moving to.
A meetup if you haven’t come across the term before is basically an informal meeting or gathering where you get to meet other people, normally in a certain context whether that be to meet other digital nomads, learn another language or play some type of sport.
All you need to do to see if there are any of these in the location of your choice is to simply visit Meetup.com, change the location to your city and then type in digital nomad or something similar.
If there are any nomad meetups you’ll be able to see them in a drop down list, but if there isn’t any try typing in a hobby you’re interested in or just try scrolling through all the meetups in your area, I’m sure you’ll find something!
Try digital nomad Facebook groups
This is another really great way to meet people straight as you arrive. Facebook has a crazy amount of users now and with everyone having the ability to create a page or group you’ll be surprised at how many you can find.
For instance when I first searched Chiang Mai groups in Facebook I ended up joining about 20 different groups, a bit mad I know… But the digital nomad one in particular has been on absolute fire with me getting loads of awesome relevant notifications on a nearly daily basis.
I also started connecting with people on there before I even landed meaning I at least knew a couple of people and events going on that I could get involved with straight away.
If you don’t want to get involved before you actually arrive then that’s absolutely fine, but when you do try posting a quick message in the group and see if people fancy grabbing a coffee or drink sometime.
Digital nomads are pretty sociable people and very welcoming in my experience so I would think you’ll get at least one or two people that will be game for meeting up, and if not, you’ll be no worse off.
Get to an event!
Now if you’re looking to setup a whole new group of friends in your location as soon as you get there then I would really recommend arriving when there’s an event you can attend.
I’ve heard from numerous people that they’ve been able to create a great social network off the back of going to an event as the people they meet there are interested in similar things and are living in the same location. You should be able to find one with a simple Google search.
You’re also going to be there for at least a full day if not a weekend or week meaning you’ll get to spend an extended amount of time with these people and a chance to bond over a common topic.
Depending on where you’re going and your area of expertise or interest I would think there would be a good chance that there will be some kind of event being hosted that you could attend.
As Chiang Mai is a bit of a Mecca for digital nomads there seems to be a fairly regular amount of events you can attend and there is event the first ever solely digital nomad event each year called The Nomad Summit. I haven’t had a chance to attend one yet but planning to head to the 2018 one in January of next year. If you’re interested in going definitely go and grab a ticket and maybe I’ll see you there!? (but honestly if you do go drop me a message!)
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Head to a Co-working space
Now if you’re a digital nomad and work online whether it be via your own business, as a freelancer or as a remote worker, it’s going to be important that you find somewhere good to work.
I know some people prefer to just work in their hotel room or apartment and then go out adventuring when they’re finished for the day, but if you’re looking to meet other digital nomads it could be well be worth checking out a local co-working space or coffee shop with other nomads in.
You don’t have to go to one all the time but as some occasionally have events such post work drinks or lunch with other coworkers, it could be worth popping along to check it out, and while there why not try and strike up a conversation with the person you’re sat next to or opposite.
You should be able to find co-working spaces with a simple google search, but if you’re looking for ones that are particularly good for digital nomads I would recommend checking out Nomadlist.com. There you’ll be able to search your city, look at events and of course check out the best co-working spaces.
The good old fashioned night out
If you’re completely by yourself this may not be something you’ll want to do as it can be pretty daunting walking into a bar alone, but if you don’t mind it or can find one other person to join you a good old night out could be a great way to meet some more people.
We all know that a couple of drinks is a great way to for us and others to loosen up a bit so this could be a great way chance to start up a conversation with someone you’ve never met before.
Depending on where you are in world, what city and what bar or club you’re at in that city, you could very well be starting a conversation with another digital nomad. One tip, try a bar close to a co-working, you may have a better chance…
Moving to a new place whether it’s on a short trip or long trip can be pretty daunting, particularly if you’re by yourself, and I completely understand that one of the scariest things can be the prospect of making friends with new people.
But honestly, if you’re open to starting a conversation or two and are up for going to places where other digital nomads hang out, I’m sure you’ll be absolutely fine!
If you’ve found this post useful why not share it with a friend? They may take something away from it as well…