In this episode B and Jack talk about 31 ways of making friends while traveling to a new city as a digital nomad. First, they go over why the topic of socializing is important for digital nomads. After that they recap the 4 main types of people you can befriend. Finally they present the 31 ways you can meet people in your base by divining those into 3 categories (e.g. places, activities and online).
Table of Contents
1.1. Why are we talking about socializing as a digital nomad? [1:49]
- After a digital nomad covers the basics of a nomadic lifestyle, like making money online, understand the basis of travelling, and finding accommodation, then it is natural for him to start thinking about how to socialize on the road. This is because the people you meet makes a stronger impression than the place itself, so they might determine your experience of a city.
- Also, according to surveys, loneliness is one of the main problems among digital nomads.
1.2. Why are we talking about these different ways of making friends while traveling to a new city as a digital nomad? [2:18]
- In the previous episode we talked about what makes a city “good for socializing”. In other words we provided what features a city might have that would make it easier or harder to meet certain types of people. (click here to learn more)
- In this episode we talk about different things. We talk about what are the best ways, methods and places to meet people IN a city as a digital nomad.
- Thus, this is an important episode because not only you need to select a city that is good for socializing, but also you need to know how to meet people once you get there. And that is what we aim to explain today.
1.3. The topic of “Ways Of Making Friends While Traveling” within the Digital Nomad Life System [3:16]
- In the step of arriving process, the digital nomad needs to do certain things as soon as he arrives at the base to make sure his stay will be as smooth as possible.
- We recommend digital nomads to create a social circle when they just arrive in a new base. Although you can, in theory, make friends during any time of your stay, it is still better to meet new people in the beginning. Doing so, you can spend more time with your new friends. Also, making 2 or 3 friends does not take that long. If you proactively implement the things in this episode, you should be able to do that in 1 or 2 weeks.
1.4. A quick recap of 4 types of people you can befriend as a digital nomad [4:47]
- We established in previous episodes that simply talking about socializing as a digital nomad is too general. So a better way to talk about this issue is to classify the people you can meet into different “types”.
- But that begs the question, what are such “types” of people you can meet and befriend as a digital nomad? The full answer to this question is in a previous episode (this one).
- The main types of people you can befriend as a digital nomad
- Tourists: People who stay short in a place
- Main benefit: Good to have fun with
- Digital Nomads: People who work remotely and travel around like yourself
- Main benefit: The easiest type of people to relate to since they live the same lifestyle as yourself
- Interested Locals: Locals that are interested in meeting foreigners like yourself
- Main benefit: They want to meet you the most
- Typical Locals: Locals that have no special interest in meeting foreigners like yourself
- Main benefit: Knowing them offers the most authentic experience
- Tourists: People who stay short in a place
- This classification is relevant to this episode (i.e. the 31 ways for making friends while traveling) because each of the ways to meet people will generally lead you toward meeting one or more of such groups. Thus, it makes sense for you to know if the way that you intend to use can actually allow you to meet the group of people you want to meet.
1.5. The list of possible ways of making friends while traveling [7:22]
- The list below of 31 ways for making friends while traveling to a new city as a digital nomad is not in a hierarchical order of importance.
- In this podcast/post we are simply listing the main ways to meet people in a city as a digital nomad. The “how-to” strategies to befriend people in some of these places will be explained in a future episode.
- Great place to meet other people due to the social vibe
- The easiest places to meet people within a host are in the common areas (e.g. kitchen, lounge, shared bedrooms)
- The most common type of people to meet in hostels are tourists
- As a digital nomad you should be very familiar with Airbnbs. This is a service that allow individuals to list their property for other people to stay at.
- The type of Airbnb you choose its important in terms of socialization
- If you want to meet people you need to choose Airbnbs in which you will stay in a private room or a shared room. By doing so you will be able to meet interested locals (the host) and tourists (other guests in the Airbnb)
- University campuses
- Many areas within a university campus are good to meet people (e.g. cafeteria, sports centre, entrance of the university, libraries.)
- If you go to the departments of areas you enjoy then you will be able to meet people with similar interests
- Really good place to meet typical locals and interested locals (many university students are open to meet foreigners)
- Hotel bars
- Hotel bars are a great place to meet people since many individuals that go there are by themselves
- Usually you will meet tourists (more specifically business travellers) in hotel bars
- Food courtyards
- Food courtyards and food markets are great places to meet people since these tend to have a social vibe where it seems quite natural to strike a conversation
- These are great places to meet typical locals
- Street markets
- Similar to food markets, street markets also project a sociable atmosphere in which is easy to meet people
- Great place to meet typical locals
- This service allows locals to open their house to foreigners to stay there for free
- Good to meet interested locals
- Foreigner neighbourhoods
- Usually big cosmopolitan cities have one or two areas that are known as “foreign neighbourhood” (i.e. areas where foreigners tend to live and/or hang out)
- If you want to meet digital nomads and interested locals these are great place to go. Coworking spaces are places you go and pay a fee to work on there for a certain period of time.
- Coworking spaces
- As a digital nomad you are probably very familiar with these places. Coworking spaces are places you go and pay a fee to work on there for a certain period of time.
- These are good places to meet digital nomads as interested locals. In some cities, depending on the coworking space, it might also be a good place to meet typical locals
- This basically means going to bars or clubs
- You need to keep mind which kind of club/bar you are going to. Some can be classified as “foreign clubs” and some are “local/normal clubs”. In the former you will meet tourists, digital nomads, interested foreigners. in the latter you will likely meet typical locals
- Taking public transport
- This basically means taking a public transport like bus or train
- Apart from taking public transportation, public transport hubs are also good places to meet people, since usually these are full of people waiting.
- A good way to approach people in public transport is by the “lost foreigner approach” (We will explain about these and other techniques in the next episode).
- Public transportation in a great place to meet typical locals
- Attending a course
- Taking a course is a great way to meet people. Not only in a course you will have a natural context to talk to other people, but also you will be learning about something that both of you are interested in.
- Depending on the nature of the course (e.g. subject and the language in which it is taught) it might be easier to meet foreigners or locals
- For example, if you take a culinary course about the local cuisine then you will likely meet foreigners.
- Pub crawls
- Depending on the country this might be an option available to you. This is a big thing in Europe
- Since people are drinking they tend to be more social, which is of course good news for you
- Great place to meet interested locals and tourists
- Language exchanges
- In a language exchange a local parson will teach you their local language and you will teach them back your native language (or English).
- There are many apps, university societies and public events that offer such language exchanges.
- A benefit of language exchanges is that apart from meeting people you can also learn the local language (if you are interested) for free. Yet, keep in mind that even if you are not that interested in learning the local language you can still go to language exchanges to meet people. Many people do so.
- Good activity to meet interested locals
- Language classes
- This might sound similar to the language exchange that I just mentioned, but it is different.
- The key difference is that if you go to a language class, rather than a language exchange, you are more likely to meet tourists or digital nomads (which will be your classmates) rather than interested locals (like you would in the language exchange)
- Temporary work
- The classic example here would be working on a hostel, but you can go beyond that. For instance, you you can try more unique things like working in a farm.
- The majority of the temporary work opportunities will allow you to meet foreigners, rather than locals, since most of your temporary coworkers will likely also be foreigners.
- Similar to the temporary work if you decide to volunteer then you are likely to meet digital nomad and other tourists since the volunteering will be guided in English. Locals tend to go for other types of volunteering.
- Walking tours
- Touristic cities tend to offer walking tours around the main areas.
- Joining walking tours is a great place to meet tourists
- Museum tours
- Similar to walking tours in one sense
- You will most likely meet tourists
- Any context in which evolves teamwork and excitement is a great setting to make friends. Team sports are no different.
- Usually if you go to any park or public sport centre then you can ask the people playing to join their game. Usually the people playing will be ok with that since they will be curious about how a foreigner like yourself will play.
- Good to meet typical locals
- Good to meet all sorts of people (i.e. tourists, digital nomads, interested locals, typical locals) depending on the subject of the festival or event.
- Research beforehand the most important events and festivals in the city in which you just established as your base
- Taxi rides
- A great context to meet a typical local (i.e. the taxi driver).
- It is a very natural way to meet the driver since it is considered normal to talk during a ride
- Some big pluses for befriend taxi drivers are the following: 1) Taxi drivers tend to be friendly people because of their jobs 2) Taxi drivers know the city well, so they can give you good tips 3) Taxi drivers, generally, have at least OK English.
- Group tours
- Group tours are a great place to meet people since you are “forced” to stay together and interact for a certain amount of time (i.e. the duration of your tour)
- Usually you will meet tourists
- Meetup app
- This is perhaps the most popular and widely used app by digital nomads to meet new people
- The best way to understand the app is as an aggregator app where people post about different meetings around a given topic
- Sometimes the topics are vague like” happy hour” but sometimes they are more specific like “philosophy club”
- Depending on the specific meet up event you decide to join, you might be able to meet different types of people there
- If you look for language exchanges, expat meetings, international meetings or anything along those lines then you are likely to meet tourists, digital nomads and interested locals
- If you go for more narrow topics (for example a philosophy club) then you are likely to meet typical locals
- Facebook groups
- There are two types of facebook groups you can join to meet people
- Facebook groups for digital nomads/expats in the location
- Facebook groups of people from your nationality living in the location
- You can message active individual members on such groups to try to befriend or attempt the group general meetings
- Good way to meet digital nomads
- There are two types of facebook groups you can join to meet people
- You can connect and hang out with individuals on Instagram that are staying in the city as your are
- The trick is to look for people that tagged the city recently and send them a DM. We will describe the method we use in the next episode.
- Using this method you can usually meet digital nomads, tourist and interested local (people that use English in their profile rather than the local language)
- You can look for the specific subreddit of the city
- Depending on the city people might organize meetups
- Good way to meet interested locals and digital nomads
- Showaround app
- This is an app that connect locals with foreigners
- The subtext is that the local will show you around the city
- The only problem with the Showaround app is that it is expensive to use it
- Great app to meet interested locals
- Eatwith app
- This is an app that allows you to have a meals with other people in the city
- Apart from meeting new people you can be introduced (by a local) to the country’s cuisine.
- Usually, you will be able to meet interested locals in this app·
- Couchsurfing hangouts
- Apart from being an accommodation service, Couchsurfing also offer a meetup feature based on the users’ location
- Very good app to meet interested locals and tourists
- Meet other travellers’ apps
- There are a number of different apps and websites that aim to connect travellers based on their location
- Some are better than others, so it is kind of hit and miss. Examples of apps that used to be popular were Backpackr app and Tripr app
- Usually by using these apps you can meet digital nomads and tourists
- Meetup app
Mr. B: Hey hello welcome to Nomad Tactics.
Mr. B: Here provide a complete how to guide for digital elements.
Mr. B: I'm a host B. and I'm joined once again by the co host Jack.
Mr. B: Today we gonna talk about where can you go to meet new people as a digital nomad.
Mr. B: I would start with a quick summary of the podcast.
Mr. B: First, me and Jack gonna outline the problem we're trying to tackle in his epistle.
Mr. B: After that we gonna address the importance of socializing for digital nomads.
Mr. B: Then we got a place to topic within our broader digital normal life system following that we going to do a quick recap into the four main types of people you can meet as a digital nomad and finally we gonna present the list of the different places you can meet people within the city as a digital nomad.
Mr. B: I hope you enjoy the episode.
Jack: So hello Mister B. so today we're gonna talk about where to meet new people as a digital nomad.
Mr. B: Yeah that's right Jack so today we're going to talk about the different places within the city that you can go in order to meet new people and befriend them
Jack: So Mister B.. I know we talk about this in previous episode but why socializing is important for digital nomads.
Mr. B: So yet to quickly summarize the idea number one I think the people you meet within a place more than the place in itself can shape your overall experience another reason why the we think socializing so important is because loneliness is perhaps one of the main problems faced by digital nomad.
Jack: Yeah the loneliness is a big problem among digital nomads and we hope this episode can help them to survive that so Mr B. why are we talking about where within the city to meet other people.
Mr. B: In the previous episode we talked about certain characteristics that a city might present that going to make it easier for you to meet other people in this episode we are doing a slightly different thing we are talking about a specific places within the city so that basically means once you decide the city in which you're going where within that city what are the venues what are the ways what are the tools you can use to meet different people so the relevance of this episode is based on the idea that even if you go to a city that is quote unquote good for socializing you still going to need to proactively go to relevant places in order to meet people.
Jack: So I think yes usually should probably put this topic into our digital nomad life system.
Jack: And for people who don't know what is this it is a six step system that aims to help people going from a normal life into a digital nomad life so Mr B where would you put this topic into which step of the system.
Mr. B: So I think the topic today would probably better fit the fourth step of our system which is called the arriving process and the arriving process can be pretty much summarize as the actions a digital nomad should do once he gets to a new base a new city in order to have the smooth stay.
Mr. B: So some people might argue that you know you're talking about the different places to go to meet people as a digital nomad the why you placing this topic within the writing process can't I meet friends anytime of my stay and the answer is yes you could but we are advocating the idea that you should try to build your social circle as soon as you get to a new city if you do this social circle building in the beginning you probably going to have a more pleasant experience for the whole time and we think that in one or two weeks you gonna be able to at least make two or three good friends and that's going to be enough.
Jack: So Mr B before we go into the main topic of this episode I think there's a very important thing to mention although we talk about this in the previous episode it is the types of people you can be as a digital nomad so Mr B. why don't you do a quick recap of it?
Mr. B: So to go over the main distinction we made on previous episodes is basically the following the first group can be named as foreigners and foreigners can be subdivided into two smaller groups the first one are tourists and tourists are people that tend to stay very short in the place and perhaps the main benefit of befriending tourists is that they have very few schedules they are there to have fun. So if that's your aim at that given moment if you simply want to go out perhaps tourists are the group to aim for.
Mr. B: The second group within foreigners are digital nomads and digital nomads are pretty much people like yourself they work remotely and they travel around one could argue main benefit of befriending digital nomads is because they are the easiest group of people to relate to and that's because you and them live pretty much the same lifestyle.
Mr. B: Now move beyond today's second broad group that's the locals so for locals we subdivided into two groups.
Mr. B: Interested locals and interested locals are basically locals that are interested to meet foreigners like yourself the main benefit of this group would be that perhaps they are the easiest group to be friends because they are very interested on the fact that your foreigner the second group are what we called quote unquote typical locals and typical locos basically means locals that have no special interest in meeting foreigners like yourself the main benefit there would be that perhaps you would have the most authentic experiences a place could provide.
Mr. B: And the reason why talking about the different types of people you can meet it's so important for today's episode is because since you're talking about where to go to meet people within the city. The group of people you're likely to encounter in these different places would vary therefore it makes sense for you to be aware of which type of people you're likely to encounter on each place and choose to go places where you're most likely to encounter the types of people you want to meet.
Jack: So let's go into the main topic of today ways to meet people within the city as a digital nomad so we divide the ways into three categories places, activities and online.
Jack: Let's start with the places so Mr. B why don't you start with the first item.
Mr. B: So the first item we have here in the list are hostels hostels are great places to meet people and I would say that's because of the social vibe. I would say that within the hospital the easiest places to meet people are of course the social areas this can be the kitchen the common area or the living room and even the shared bedrooms the most common type of people you're likely to encounter are tourists.
Jack: So the next item here is Airbnb and as a digital nomad you should know what Airbnb is which is a service that allows individuals to list property for our people to stay at.
Jack: So whatever Airbnb you choose is very important for socializing because if you want to meet people use need to choose Airbnb like private room or shared rooms so if you choose a private room it is probably easier to meet the hosts which is a interesting local. And if you choose share rooms. It's easier for you to need to tourists.
Mr. B: The third item here in the list it's a quite unique item that I haven't seen many digital nomads talking about and these are university campuses within the university campuses there are many areas great to meet people this can be the cafeteria the sports center entrance of the university and the libraries.
Mr. B: University campuses are a great place to meet both typical locals and interested locals.
Mr. B: So I would say that there is a big share of university students that are very open to meet foreigners so you can use that to your advantage another benefit of going to university campuses to meet people is because you can go to the department off the areas you're interested and if you meet people there most likely you're going to have similar interests.
Jack: I see so the force item here is hotel bar and hotel bars are great to meet people since many people are by themselves and usually you will meet tourists.
Mr. B: Then next item we have here our food court yards or food markets.
Mr. B: Soul food courtyards and food markets are great places to meet people since the days tend to have a very social vibe and where it's quite natural for you to strike a conversation since people are all in close proximity with one another and I would say that if you are interested to meet typical locals that's a really good place to go.
Jack: So next time here is street market and is similar to food market through market also give out the sociable atmosphere for people to socialize and this is a great place to meet typical locals.
Mr. B: Following on we have a couch surfing and probably a lot of people already familiar with the service it's the service where locals open their houses in order for foreigners to stay and it's for free.
Mr. B: And I would say that couch surfing is a great place to meet interested locals so the people that list their properties usually are interested in meeting foreigners.
Jack: So next time here is foreign areas usually in big cities there are one or two spots that foreigners used to hang out or live there so if you want to meet digital nomads and interested locals those are great place to go.
Mr. B: The next item we have here are coworking spaces and as a digital nomad you're probably pretty familiar with those kinds of places coworking spaces are a great place to meet as you can probably guess digital nomads as well as interested locals I would say that in some cities depending on the specific coworking space in which you decide to go to it might also be a good place to meet typical locals.
Jack: So the next category we have have here is activities.
Mr. B: So the first item we have here underneath the activities category is night life so night life as you can probably guess basically means going to bars or clubs just one important thing to keep in mind here is that they are usually different kinds of clubs or bars you can go to so there are some which we could call foreign clubs or bars and there are some that we could call local or normal clubs and bars when the former of course most likely gonna meets tourists digital nomads and interested locals so if that's the group you aiming to meet perhaps go to this kind of foreign clubs or bars and on the latter you are likely to meet typical locals.
Jack: So the next item here is taking public transport this basically means taking public transport like a bus or a train. Another good place to meet people is public transfer hubs since usually they are a lot of people waiting there.
Jack: A good way to approach people in public transport is by the Lost Foreigner approach we would talk about this in the next episode And lastly, public transfer is a good place to meet typical locals.
Mr. B: The next item we have here is taking a course so taking a course is a great way to meet people because not only you will have a natural context to meet other people but also you will be learning about something you were both interested on of course it's important for you to mind that depending on the nature of the course and the language in which the course is taught will probably attract different kinds of people.
Jack: I see so the next item here we have to use pub crawls so the depending on the country this might be available to you I mean this is probably a thing in Europe. So since people are probably drunk they tend to be more social which is definitely a good things for you. And lastly, pub crawls good place to meet interesting locals and tourists.
Mr. B: The next item we have here are language exchanges so there are apps university societies and public events that offered this.
Mr. B: And pretty much this is where a local person is teaching their local language and you are teaching your language I would say the language exchanges are very good places to meet interested locals.
Mr. B: A benefit as you can probably guess of going to language exchanges is that apart from making friends you can also learn the local language.
Mr. B: Even if you're not that interested in learning the local language I would say you can still go to this place is simply for the sake of meeting new people.
Jack: So the next item here is language classes. This might sound similar to the language exchanged that Mr B just talk about but it is different the key difference is that if you go to language classes rather than a language exchange you are more likely to meet tourists or digital nomads rather than locals.
Mr. B: So the next item here is temporary work and perhaps a classic example for temporary work would be working on a hostel but you can surely go beyond that for instance type of temporary work that is becoming more and more popular is to work on farms and it's important to keep in mind that if you decide to do some sort of temporary work most likely gonna meet foreigners like yourself rather than locals.
Jack: So the next here is volunteering it is similar to temporary work by Mr be just talk about if you decide to volunteer you're likely to meet you digital nomads and other tourists since the volunteering will be guided in English.
Mr. B: So the next item here are walking tours and walking tours are present in most
touristic cities and this is when there is a tour that go around the most important areas within a given city walking tours are a great place to meet tourists as you can probably guess.
Jack: So the next item here is museum tours it is the similar to walking towards and you are most likely to meet tourists.
Mr. B: So the next activity listed here are sports.
Mr. B: So I would say that any context which involves some sort of team work and some sort of excitement.
Mr. B: It is a great setting to make new friends and team sports are no different especially soccer which is kind of a sport that is played ward white.
Mr. B: So usually if you go to any park or public support center you can ask to join for the people playing there and I would say that most people playing will be okay with that since they will be curious about how a foreigner like yourself will play.
Mr. B: Of course once the match finish just gonna hang out with the people and you can possibly be friend them I think sports are a great activity specially to meet typical locals.
Jack: So next time here is events or festivals it is good to meet all sorts of people depending on the nature and the subject of the festivals or events so just research beforehand the most important ones in the city before you go there.
Mr. B: So the next item here it's going to sound a little bit unusual but I would say that taxi rides are a good place to meet people more specifically the taxi driver.
Mr. B: And the reason why it's a very good way to make friends is because it's considered very normal to talking during a taxi ride and you gonna stay there for a while there for you know you can use that time to try to become friends with the taxi driver and there are a couple of reasons why you might want to befriend a taxi driver number one they tend to be very friendly people because of their jobs they talk all day basically the second they gonna know the city very well therefore they can give you a lot of good tips of places to go.
Mr. B: And third since they're taxi drivers they probably going to have at least an okay English which is great for communication.
Jack: So next item here is hitchhiking and some cultures are easier than others to do that I mean mostly in European country are easier to do that and usually this is easier to meet typical locals.
Mr. B: The next item we have here are group tours and group tours are a great activity to meet people since you will stay together with a certain group of people and interact for a certain amount of time this can be one day two days something like that and this is a great activity to meet tourists.
Jack: So the last category here is online so Mr. B can give the first item of the online category.
Mr. B: Sure so the first item we have here our meetups and perhaps this is the most popular and widely used app by digital nomads to meet new people the best way to understand they meet up app is as an aggregator where people post different meet ups around different topics.
Mr. B: So sometimes the topics or the themes of the meet ups will be very vague say something like happy hour or social hour but sometimes they meet up have very specific topics in mind like a philosophy club.
Mr. B: So depending on the meet up you decide to join you might be able to find different types of people there.
Mr. B: If you look for language exchange expats meetings international meeting something along those lines you will likely meet tourists digital nomads and interested locals on the other hand if you go to a meet up with a more narrow topic like a I just said the philosophy club then you're likely to meet typical locals instead of foreigners.
Jack: So the next item here is Facebook groups so there are two types of Facebook groups you can join the first one is Facebook group for digital nomads and expects in the location the second one is Facebook groups of your nationality living location.
Jack: And you can message active members of search groups to try to befriend. Or attend the group meetup.
Mr. B: The next item we have here is Instagram
Mr. B: The trick here is to look for people that recently tagged the city in which you are and send them a DM.
Mr. B: We will describe the method we use in the next episode in order to meet people on Instagram.
Mr. B: Using this method you can usually meet digital nomads tourist and interested locals and the way you can spot a interested local place the majority of the time is to look for people that use English in their profile rather than the local language.
Jack: So the next item here is Reddit and you can look for specific sub reddit of the city and depend on the subreddit people might organize meetups I mean this is an item we haven't tried it yet but we have heard our digital nomad friends who said this is a pretty good method.
Mr. B: So the next item we have here is the show around app.
Mr. B: And this is an app that aims to connect locals with foreigners usually the subtext is that the local will show the city to you the foreigner.
Mr. B: And this is a great app to meet interested locals.
Mr. B: The only caveat I would like to make about the show around that is that it is slightly expensive even though it is a good method to meet people.
Jack: So the next item here is the eat with app this is an app that allows you to have meals with other people.
Jack: And usually you will be able to meet interested locals in this app as well as you can try out some local cuisines.
Mr. B: The next item we have here are couch surfing hang out so we already mentioned couch surfing as an accommodation service apart from that couch surfing also offer a meet up feature based on the user's location so this is a very good app to meet interested locals and tourists.
Jack: So the next item here is apps to meet other travelers so there are a number of service that aim to connect travelers based on their location some are better than others one example is the famous app backpacker.
Jack: And usually these apps you can find digital nomads and tourists.
Jack: So Mr. B I think this is the end the fabulous do you want to add anything to this.
Mr. B: Well I just hope that we provided some insight into some unique ways to to meet people within the city and that's it.
Jack: I see so if you enjoyed this episode please make sure to leave a review on your listening platforms and this is Jack and thanks for listening.
Mr. B: Thank you very much.
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