What Makes A City Good To Meet Friends While Traveling – Podcast 20

In this episode B and Jack talk about 5 things to consider when choosing a base if you want to socialize. In other words, they talk about what makes a city good to meet friends while traveling. The episode starts with a discussion around the importance of socializing as a digital nomad. After that, they discuss the 4 main types of people you can meet and befriend on the road. Finally, they explore the 5 things that make a city good for socializing as a digital nomad.

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1. Summary

1.1. The topic of selecting cities that are good to meet friends while traveling within the Digital Nomad Life System [2:14]

    • The Digital Nomad Life System is a 6-step system created by us at Nomad Tactics that aims to explain how someone can go from living a non-nomadic normal life to living an optimized digital nomad life.
    • Choosing a base (i.e. the city you will temporarily live in) that is good to meet friends while traveling is a topic within the second step, called the Base Pre-Preplanning step, of the Digital Nomad Life System. This is because in this step, the digital nomad needs to consider where is he going, with who, when, etc.
    • To have a general overview of the Digital Nomad Life System you should listen to this episode.

1.2. Why are we talking about socializing as a digital nomad? [3:44]

    • 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 may make 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.

1.3. How important is city selection to meet friends while traveling [3:40]

    • In this episode, we provide criteria for what makes a base good for socializing. If you are looking for general criteria, i.e. what makes a good digital nomad base overall, then you should listen to this episode.
    • Even though to a certain extent, you could make friends in any city. The city you choose perhaps won’t be suitable for socializing.  In other words, there are clearly better and worse cities to make friends in. Moreover, the city you select might not be the best place to meet the type of people you want to meet (e.g. digital nomads, tourists, interested locals, or typical locals).
    • So the aim of this episode is to provide you with the criteria for selecting a good city for socializing. Moreover, a city that is good for socializing with the type of people you like.

1.4. A quick recap of 4 types of people you can befriend as a digital nomad 

    • We decided that just talking about socializing as a digital nomad is too general. So we divide the people you can meet on the road into four types.
    • 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 in a previous episode (this one), but since this information is also important for this episode I will quickly summarize the groups below.
    • The main types of people you can befriend as a digital nomad
      • Tourists: People who staying 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 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

1.5. Five factors to consider when choosing a city that is good to meet friends while traveling [8:31]

A. The size of a city

      • Big cities
        • Due to the individualistic nature of big cities, people might be more individualistic and less sociable.
        • Compared to small cities, the people in big cities tend to be more open-minded about meeting foreigners
      • Small cities
        • Due to the communal nature of smaller cities, people might be more engaged with one another, thus easier to meet your local neighborhoods
        • Harder for foreigners to be accepted in smaller cities due to social stigma

B. What the city is known for

      • Most places you choose have at least a defining characteristic. What I mean here can be understood as when you think of a place how would you summarize it.
        • Party place: Good to meet locals and tourists, not digital nomads (e.g. Ibiza)
        • Honeymoon destination: Not good for socializing at all. Foreigners are all there with their partners and locals might be tired of so many foreigners there (e.g. Santorini)
        • Digital nomad hub: Good to meet digital nomads (e.g. Chiang Mai)
        • Backpacker spot: Easy to meet tourists (e.g. Kathmandu)
        • Cosmopolitan cities: Good to meet tourists, digital nomads, and interested locals (e.g. London)
        • Place with no “defining characteristic”: Good to meet typical locals (e.g. Most 2nd or 3rd tier cities of a country)

C. Touristic places

      • Touristic places are good for meeting people overall since many people go there
      • Touristic places are generally bad to meet locals since they will be experiencing foreigners-fatigue. Conversely, if a place is not touristic, it is ideal to meet locals since you will be a shiny object, thus the locals will be interested in talking to you.

D. Language

      • If you speak the local language, it will be easier to meet locals.
      • If the local population does not speak good English then it will be hard for you to communicate with locals. You will most likely need to befriend foreigners in that case.
      • You can use the EF English Proficiency Index to try to estimate the English level in a country.

E. Type of culture

      • Warmer cultures
        • The culture of these countries are considered to be open-minded, sociable, and party-like.
        • These tend to be countries with hotter weather .
        • Examples would be cultures in South America, Mediterranean Europe, and South-East Asia.
      • Colder cultures
        • The culture of these countries are considered to be more reserved, less sociable and more polite.
        • These tend to be countries with colder weather.
        • Examples would be cultures in North Europe, East Asia, Russian, and East Europe.

2. Transcript

Mr. B: Hello welcome to Nomad Tactics podcast here we provide life optimizing tips and systems for digital nomads.
Mr. B: I'm your host B. and I'm joined by the co host Jack today we gonna talk about how to select bases that are good for socializing as a digital nomad I would start with a quick summary of the episode. First, me and Jack gonna talk about which exact problem we are trying to tackle in this episode as well as make some general considerations.
Mr. B: Then we gonna place the topic today within our broader digital nomad life system. Finally we gotta talk about the main things you should consider when you're selecting a base as a digital nomad if your emphasis is socializing.
Mr. B: I hope you enjoyed the episode.
Jack: So hello Mister B..
Mr. B: Hey hello Jack.
Jack: So today we're gonna talk about how to select bases that are good for socializing so in other words which element should be considered when selecting a base if you want to socialize but Mr B didn't we talk about selecting bases already?
Mr. B: So yeah Jack we did talk before about how to select a good base as a digital nomad.
Mr. B: I think we talked about that back on episode number three.
Mr. B: But the difference today is that we are emphasizing on socializing so back on episode number three we gave the general criteria for what would make a good base today we are simply thinking about socializing so if that's your goal at the moment the information today should be relevant.
Jack: I see. But why are we talking about socializing as digital nomad.
Mr. B: So as we already mentioned in previous episodes I think there are two main reasons here so the first one has to do with the fact that after a digital nomad have covered all the basics of let's say he figures out how to make money online he understand how to plan his trips how to find accommodation how to find good deals for his plane tickets it's quite natural for digital nomads to start to think about this more human side of traveling in other words meeting people this might be because people even more than the specific places you go will be the determinant factor for your overall experience.
Mr. B: Another reason why we think that talking about socializing is very relevant for digital nomads is because according to some surveys we have read loneliness is perhaps the biggest problem self reported by digital nomads so it just makes sense to try to address that by providing tools for digital nomads to meet other people.
Jack: Yeah sure I agree with that but as the title goes we are selecting bases for socializing how important is choosing a place for socializing you know why can't I just go to any city and go to the meetup or I can go to a party place like Ibiza?
Mr. B: Sure you can go to any place and most likely you're going to be able to socialize to certain exact and you want to be able to befriend people and create a social circle.
Mr. B: But it might not be the optimum place to do so another thing is that you might go to place and even though you might be able to socialize may be you won't be able to meet the specific kind of people you want to meet and befriend and what I mean by kind of people here are like either foreigners like digital nomads like yourself of tourists or locals so as we talked about in the previous episode.
Mr. B: We came up with a sort of distinction between the main groups of people that you can aim to meet and befriend on the road as a digital nomad.
Mr. B: So I think that having this distinction in mind between this different types of people you can befriend as a digital nomad will be very relevant because the whole episode today going to be grounded on this idea that is not only about meeting people but meeting the specific types of people that you want to meet.
Jack: So I think as usual we should go to our digital nomad life system.
Jack: And for the audience who don't know what it is it is a six step system aims to help inspired nomads transition from that let's say the normal life into the optimize did your normal life so Mr where would you put this topic into which step op the system.
Mr. B: So I think the topic today would very clearly fit the second step of our system which is called the based pre planning by base we simply mean the location in which a digital nomad gonna stay for a certain period and then the second step in the base be planning the digital nomad needs to select a major factors related to his soon to be base and these are things like where the base will be how long to stay with who he's going stuff like that since in the episode today we're talking about which things you should consider when selecting a base if your main goal is socializing it makes total sense to place the topic here.
Jack: Yeah I do hope our system can help more people in the future so let's go over to the main topic here is how to select bases that are good for socializing but Mr. B I think before we go into that we should probably do a quick summary of what we meant by the four types of people that you can meet on the road.
Mr. B: Sure so as I said today this is a very relevant distinction and we better explain on the previous episode so for a better insight into this topic please listen to episode nineteen so the four main types of people you could be friend as a digital nomad are the following first you have the tourist that can be simply understood as the people that stay very short in places the main benefit of meeting tourists is that they are very free in their schedules and they are there to have fun the second type of people are digital nomads these are people like yourself that work remotely and travel around the main benefit of meeting digital nomads would be that they are perhaps the easiest type of people to relate to because both of you going to live very similar lifestyles.
Mr. B: Then we make a distinction between two different types of locals the first type of local would be the interested local an interesting local would be a local person that is interested to meet foreigners like yourself and the main benefit there is that this type of group is very interested in meeting people like you, foreigners so perhaps they would be the easiest people to befriend.
Mr. B: Finally day at last group of people are typical locals these are locals that have no special interest in meeting foreigners and the main benefit of befriending this type of people would be that this can provide perhaps the most authentic type of experience of the place so yeah that would be a quick summary.
Jack: Yes so if you want to know more about this you can always go back to the last episode witches episode nineteen now let's go over the five things you can consider when you're selecting base that are good for socializing the first one is the size of the city which is basically the population.
Mr. B: That is true so that's an important factor to consider and basically we could break down this category into two groups right. You have big cities you have small cities so what are the characteristics of big cities in terms of socializing so big cities by their very nature they tend to be more individualistic, people tend to be more self centered and perhaps somewhat less social overall they focus on their own lives and that's perhaps a negative characteristic of big cities so the second characteristic of big cities is that people within those cities tend to be more open minded especially to foreigners less conservative and you could consider that as a good thing in terms of socializing of course since you are a foreigner.
Mr. B: Now let's think about today's small cities so on the contrary to big cities small cities that have these more community like sense therefore people tend to engage with one another especially they are neighbors more.
Mr. B: With that in mind if you were to go to a small city perhaps you could try to integrate into the community even though that's the case small cities are more conservative and people might be a bit more cautious in befriending you as a foreigner due to social stigma that in my have depending on the place.
Jack: Yeah you're right the size of city can really change the atmosphere of how people can interact with you as a foreigner so let's go on to the second point what the city is known for.
Mr. B: Show this the second point is a little bit harder to grasp what we're talking about here is basically what is the vibe of the city or what is the key feature in which you could summarize the place.
Mr. B: Basically the idea here is that different cities can be summarized with one or two words and some of this descriptions might be beneficial for socializing and some might be detrimental so I think there are for example party places and party places are places like Ibizas certain locations in Thailand certain locations in Brazil and party places tend to be very good places to meet locals and tourists but not necessarily digital nomads so if you're looking to be friendly to know it's perhaps a part to play is not the best.
Mr. B: Another possible defining characteristic of the city would be a honeymoon place and I would argue honeymoon places are not good for socializing at all because most people that going to go they are couples and an example here would be Santorini so perhaps if your aim right now is to socialize avoid honeymoon places all together other types of places are digital nomad hubs and the name here is quite self explanatory these are places where digital nomads tend to go if you want to meet digital nomads or interested locals perhaps that's a good place to go the classic example would be Chiang Mai in Thailand and you have backpacker locations these are places where tourists tend to go.
Mr. B: So if tourists are the group of people you want to meet because you want to have more fun.
Mr. B: Go to these places example Kathmandu in Nepal. And finally what if the city is not know for anything there's no defining characteristics if that's the case I would argue the city is good to meet locals, because it's simply a city that is quote unquote normal therefore full of typical locals think about here any second or third tier city in the country that's probably going to be a city with no defining characteristic whatsoever.
Jack: Yeah Mister B. I. I do think if you want the authentic experience of the city maybe it is good to go to the second or third tier city as you said to meet the typical locals so going on to the third point we have here is touristic places.
Mr. B: So I would say touristic places are overall good places to socialize but the important thing I would like to point out is that it might not be ideal to meet locals and this is because locals might be tired of interacting in seeing foreigners everyday so ideally I would go to a touristic city if I am aiming to meet foreigners.
Mr. B: Conversely if a place is not touristic, I would say that that's a good place to to meet locals since you as a foreigner gonna be somewhat a shiny object there and people gonna be interested to talk to you.
Jack: Yes how unique you are really makes a difference when it comes to meeting locals so going onto the fourth point here is language.
Mr. B: So I think here there just two quick considerations to be made the first one is that if you speak the local language it will of course be easier to meet locals so if that's your aim if you want to meet local people try to go to places where you at least speak the basics of the language another thing to consider when we are thinking about languages is the overall English level of the population again if your aim is to meet the locals and the population doesn't speak very good English you gonna have a hard time and most likely going to need to restrict yourself to meeting foreigners.
Jack: So last point we have here is the culture.
Mr. B: So I think the relevant thing to think about in terms of culture is the distinction between quote unquote warmer cultures.
Mr. B: And colder cultures so on the one hand warmer cultures are places where people tend to be more open more sociable more part partly like and of course if your aim is to socialize these are all advantageous characteristics.
Mr. B: Examples here would be South America Mediterranean Europe and Southeast Asia and you might have noticed that there is a correlation between warmer cultures in hot weather some people claim that is true now let's think about colder cultures these are cultures where people tend to be less sociable perhaps more polite more distant from one another the paramount examples here would be north Europe East Asia Russia and east Europe and once again if you think about weather these are all colder places and some people think there's a correlation there.
Jack: So yeah a warmer culture and colder culture does make a difference when it comes to socializing at the place so this is the end of the episode.
Jack: Thank you for listening if you enjoyed this episode please please make a review on your listening platform this is Jack from Nomad Tactics and thanks for listening.
Mr. B: Thank you very much.

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