The nomadic aspect of being a digital nomad can be the most appealing part about it. You could be constantly jetting off to new places, or you’re doing a stint in some of the most beautiful corners of the earth, or you’re creating a life you want where a mix of both is possible. That’s all great until the reality of being away from home and constantly in new locations kicks in. When it comes to being a digital nomad dating and fostering relationships can be tricky and can be downside to the life of a remote worker.
If that scares you then don’t fear, aspiring nomads. There are few things you can do to meet new people and build friendships in a new country. Digital nomad dating and friend-ing won’t be so hard or daunting with these five ideas.
1. First Things First, Facebook is Your Friend
Privacy breaches aside, if you are one of the people who took part in the #deletefacebook wave, you may want to reconsider your decision. Truthfully, an entire article could be written on just Facebook groups alone. There are so many informational groups uniting people in the digital nomad world based on cities, interests and career fields.
Where To Start
The great thing about utilizing Facebook to meet new people is the fact that you already have a profile on the site and don’t have to create new profile on other forum websites.
Start off by searching ‘digital nomad’ + the name of the city or country and you’re bound to find a group full of other expats from all around the world. Most expat groups regularly post meet-ups or events in the local area which is a great place start meeting people. If you’re looking to make a new friend or a prospective boo, these Facebook groups are essential and easy.
Find your Niche
Digital nomad groups can be overwhelmingly large, with some groups containing over 30,000 members. Joining such groups is a great place to start, but finding friends who share your similar interests will most likely put you in a better position for digital nomad dating and making friends. Look for a local English-led yoga class or take up new salsa classes with other expats and locals. Use your passions and interests to help fuel your search for relationships in your new home.
Some great groups to join are:
2. Find Work Buddies
When it comes down to it, the real difference between the digital nomads and the traditional 9-5 is simply location. Whether you’re in a cubical in New York City or at a cafe in Chiang Mai, you’re still a working adult looking to network with others in your field. Networking is not only great for getting the scoop on possible job opportunities (hello freelancers!), it’s also a great place to meet people.
Finding friends who work in a similar field as you can lead to a world of opportunity, and some great relationships can develop from it. Digital nomads are constantly looking for the next gig or a great opportunity. What better way than to discuss it over some drinks in a beautiful city?
It’s truly all about putting yourself out there, and believe it this is something that both introverts and extroverts can struggle with. Talking to strangers can seem awkward and contrived, but remember that most people are in the same boat as you are. That being said, you never know who you may meet. The next time you’re at your local coworking space, take some time away from your laptop screen and chat up your neighbor.
3. Get Ready To Start Swiping
Despite what you’re friends back home may think, being a digital nomad isn’t about being unable to find love or stay committed. Many nomads are open and genuinely seeking a partner to travel the world with. Dating in a new country is both exhilarating and anxiety inducing. If you aren’t someone juggling a long distance relationship then dating in a new city may be on your list of priorities.
If you’re someone who has no issue going to a bar alone, then more power to you. But for the rest of the world who would rather curl up into a ball, get ready to start swiping. A great way to meet locals in your new city is through the millennial treasure that is Tinder.
Tinder, and many other dating apps are a great way to meet locals who can spill all of the insider tips of the city you’re in. Similarly, meeting other like-minded digital nomads is also a great way to start navigating the dating world. Apps like Meet Me Outside help connect you to other travelers and suggests dates based on interests and passions.
While Tinder exists in many countries, there are definitely more apps to try. Ask the locals what they use.
4. Learning the Local Language
Don’t make the mistake of limiting your socializing to the expat community. It’s tempting and easy to move to a new city, join your local expat groups and create a new English-speaking life in a foreign country. If you’re living in a country for longer than a few months, consider taking up some language courses to expand your knowledge and connect to the local culture.
Nowadays, you can attempt to learn a language in so many ways. Let’s face it, Duolingo can only take you sofar and real language learning happens when you put yourself out there, interact and mingle. If the traditional classroom setting isn’t for you, try a one-on-one class, an English-language exchange, or even do fun events that are catered to locals. Once you step outside of your expat bubble there are plenty of amazing people to meet.
When meeting locals, having a basic knowledge of the local tongue puts a layer of trust that otherwise wouldn’t be there if you approach people in English. It shows that you care about the local culture and are making an effort to immerse yourself in the hostcountry. On top of it all, you be meeting your next significant other or even a lifelong friend.
5. Start Your Own Community!
Facebook has thousands of niche groups that cater to just about every lifestyle and interest. Even then, there still may be a gap or inactivity in a particular niche area that you love. Take matters into your own hands by creating your own community. Websites like Meetup and Facebook are great places to start groups catering to whatever your interests and passions may be.
Book clubs, running and hiking clubs and even single digital nomad clubs are among some of the many communities and groups you can start. And depending on how big or small the digital nomad community is, you can always find a market for something when there is a demand.
Do you have experience in making friends and digital nomad dating? Let us know in the comments below how you build relationships while abroad!