Every time you leave for a new destination, you feel anxious about how you are going to meet other nomads and you wonder if you will meet someone inspiring. You probably wished you already knew someone who would introduce you to other people. You’ve picked a place everyone recommends, but you have absolutely no contact person to help you settle in. You’re afraid you might end up alone. You know what? Every single nomad has the exact same struggle. And I assure you, there is a way to get past it. Let me give you a couple of tips to connect with nomads in a new city.
Join Facebook groups and meetup of your city
Let’s start with the easiest way to meet people. If you go to a popular destination for nomads, you can usually find Facebook groups of digital nomads in that city. Simply type “Digital Nomads” + [city] on the search bar of Facebook and you’ll find what’s out there. If the city doesn’t have a strong nomad vibe, you can also check expats group where people are usually happy to meet internationals. Once you are part of the group, first research if someone else is organizing a get-together. If that’s not the case, write a small intro about yourself, tell them how long you’ll be staying there, and ask people to meet for an after-work drink. You’d be surprised how many folks show up! An alternative to Facebook groups are Meetup.com groups. People usually organize interest related events. Join one that feels like you will enjoy.
Identify relevant events to attend
Attending organized events is one of the easiest way to start a conversation. Research nomad Facebook groups to see if an event is planned. Tip: on the right-hand side bar, Facebook shows related events that might also interest you.
Additionally, Eventbrite remains a good search engine to discover what is happening in your city. No matter what platform you use, just be careful to pick events that have a description in English to make sure that you’ll meet an international crowd.
Organise an event for nomads
Organizing an event gives you a lot of exposure. You don’t need to overthink the planning. The simplest events are usually the best. Depending on your mood, here are a few examples of events that work very well.
Coworking day: invite fellow nomads to cowork together from a café for a day. This works wonderfully since everyone is welcome to join at any time during the day. And you all have breaks together. Great motivator to get work done!
After-work drink: that’s an easy one. Pick one bar you like and create an event any day of the week. You’ll be sure to have a crowd around!
Activity day: depending on the town you’re in, you could organize a boat tour, a hiking day, a Sunday picnic, a movie night and more. People love when someone makes plan for their weekend. Even if one person shows up, you are already making a friend.
Check out coworking spaces
Coworking spaces are great to find entrepreneurs, freelancers and remote workers. In most cases, you can request a trial day where you can test the space for a few hours to decide whether you like it or not. I’d always suggest visiting at least two or three different coworking spaces since the vibe, community and the spaces are always dissimilar from one another. Also, don’t forget to check out their event. Some coworking spaces organize yoga sessions, lunch together, after-work networking, movie night and more. This is always a great time to meet new people.Tip: make sure that they have an English-speaking community (their website and social media will show you whether that’s the case or not). Especially in smaller town, coworkers are likely to be locals and won’t be keen on speaking English.
Spend some time in a coliving space
Visiting a coliving space for a couple of days - or even weeks! - remains a great idea to meet nomads. This is especially true if you plan to visit a small place where the expat or digital nomad community does not exist. For most coliving spaces, community building is an important part of their offer, therefore you’ll be well taken care of. The job of the community manager is to ensure that everyone feels included in the group. More often than not, people who arrive as strangers leave as friends. Since you live together, you share many experiences – whether personal or professional – and that immediately creates a bond between the colivers.
Whether you are shy or not, meeting new people and making friends takes effort. Keep in mind that the first 2 to 3 days in a new place are usually intense, psychologically speaking. You need to adapt to a new culture, language, currency etc. It’s also the perfect time to start making plans of how and when you want to meet other nomads. My final advice is don’t wait for too long, go ahead and plan a drink within the first few days after your arrival. You won’t regret it, I promise!