Should You Meet Foreigners or Meet Locals While Traveling- Podcast 019

In this episode B and Jack talk about the types of people you can meet on your digital nomad journey. In other words, they address the question if you should meet foreigners or meet locals while traveling as a digital nomad. The episode starts with a discussion around the importance of socializing as a digital nomad. After that, the hosts present the four main types of people you can meet as a digital nomad, while discussing the characteristics of each group.

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1. Summary

1.1. Why are we talking about socializing as a digital nomad? [2:11]

    • 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.
    • Also, according to surveys, loneliness is perhaps one of the main problems among digital nomads.

1.2. Why are we talking about if you should meet foreigners or meet locals while traveling as a digital nomad?

    1. We talk about the main characteristics of each group you can befriend. Once we explain the characteristics, you will be able to choose which group of people you can proactively try to befriend when you get to a new city. Mind the word proactively, since it is essential when creating a social circle.
    2. This episode is the groundwork for future episodes about socializing as a digital nomad. This is because distinguishing between the type of people you can meet is essential especially when you are thinking about where to meet these people. As obvious as it sounds, different groups of people usually hang out in different places.

1.3. Dissecting the 4 types of people you can to respond to the question if you should meet foreigners or meet locals while traveling [6:16]

    • We think there are 4 types of people you can make friends with as a digital nomad. And we classify them into two categories, foreigners and locals.
    • A. Foreigners

      • Tourists: Someone who stays in the location for a short vacation
        • Easiest people to have fun with since these have a very free schedule and carefree attitude
        • Very open to meet new people (unless they are already in a group)
        • They tend to stay short in a place, thus if you befriend tourists you may need to constantly look for new friends
      • Digital Nomads: People who work remotely and travel around. We also consider expats as part of this group even though they do not fit the following characterizes perfectly.
        • Good future travel buddies
        • Good future work connections
        • Very easy to relate to due to the sharing background
        • They are likely to be looking for new friends
        • They stay short in a place, though longer than a tourist; thus this also might require you to constantly look for new friends.
        • They have somewhat flexible schedules, but stricter than tourists, since they still need to work.
    • B. Locals

      • “Interested” Locals: A local who is interested in meeting foreigners
        • They, most likely, can speak good English
        • You could ask for a language exchange if you are interested in the local language
        • Easy to create a friendship since they are already pre-exposed to the foreign culture
        • These are friends for the entirety of your stay since they are locals, thus unlikely to leave the place
        • They can give you a good glimpse of the culture, but perhaps lesser than the typical local since they usually want to hang out with other foreigners
      • “Typical” Locals: A local without any special interest in meeting foreigners
        • You can have the most authentic experience of a place
        • Sometimes it is hard to meet the typical locals because they have a separate lifestyle. They already have a social circle in the city and, in some countries, they would feel a social stigma to hang out with foreigners
        • There might be a drastic conflict of culture that can lead to difficulties establishing the friendship
        • Sometimes they don’t speak good English
        • Since they are locals, they would be there for the entirety of your stay
        • You could ask for a language exchange if you are interested in the local language

2. Transcript

Mr. B: Hey hello welcome to the nomad tactics podcast here we provide life optimizing tips and systems for digital moments I'm your host B and I'm joined by the co host Mr Jack.

Mr. B: Today we gonna talk about the different types of people you can befriend as a digital nomad.

Mr. B: I we start with a quick summary of the episode. First, me and Jack gonna talk about a specific problem we are trying to tackle with this episode finally we gonna make the categorization of the different types of people you can befriends as a digital nomad as well as the main characteristics of each group. I hope you enjoy the episode.

Jack: So hello Mister B..

Mr. B: Hello Jack.

Jack: So I think today we're gonna talk about the types of people we can meet or make friends with on the road S. doom and and I think it prompts the question is what do you mean by different types of people are you talking about like foreigners versus locals is that what you have in mind.

Mr. B: So yeah Mr Jack I think in broad terms that's correct so as a digital nomad you can either try to befriend foreigners, like yourself or the locals of the place and there are some key distinctions between these two groups that are relevant in terms of you know creating social circle and be friendly so later on of course we're going to go much deeper and break down further these two groups and make it very explicit the the key characteristics of each.

Jack: Yeah I think that's pretty clear explanation of the types of people going to talk about in this episode but before we go deeper into that categorization or examination of each category I think there are two questions I would like you to answer the first question is why are we talking about socializing as a digital nomad.

Mr. B: So a couple of reasons some of them might sound a bit straight forward but others I think are worthwhile to unpack a little bit more the first one has to do with the fact that once you cover the basics of being a digital nomad like making money online you understand how to plan your trips how to find accommodation stuff like that I think it's quite natural for people to want to add these human layer to their trips in other words to to be able to create social circles wherever they go.

Mr. B: The second reason why I think talking about this topic is relevant is because according to some research I read digital nomads self report loneliness as being their main problem.

Mr. B: Would you agree with that Mr Jack or do you think there are other equally problematic things within the digital nomad lifestyle.

Jack: Yeah say the loneliness is is the number one issue for digital nomads and they're of course there are other issue are also important in the community like culture shock it's something very hard to deal with or let's say work and play balance so of course socializing is is very important for digital nomads but why are we talking about different types of people you can meet and make friends with as digital nomads.

Mr. B: So I think there are two main reasons why talking about this specific topic is relevant.

Mr. B: The first reason is because in this episode we gonna describe the main characteristics of each of these groups of people you can befriend of digital Norman and once you make this characteristics explicit you will be able to choose better let's say we each group of people you want to be friends in the city or a place you want to focus on you want to make friends more with locals because perhaps this can you know give you a better glimpse at the culture or you want to hang out more with foreigners like yourself because you know you think you can relate better to them so basically we're the one of the aims of this episode is to make the characteristics explicit and then you're gonna be able to better decide which group going to suit you better.

Mr. B: The second reason why I think this episode it's relevant is because I think the categorization that we going to provide in this episode will serve as some sort of ground work to future episodes that also talk about socializing as a digital nomad.

Mr. B: This is because distinguishing between the different groups of people you can be friends as a digital nomad is essential.

Mr. B: Especially when you're thinking about where to go to meet such people so the basic idea here is that to meet certain types of people let's say foreigners you got to go to certain types of places so this categorization of going to be very relevant when we talk about this other deeply related topics.

Jack: Yeah the older I get the the more I realize I like to hang out with certain type of people. And I think it's better to plan a little bit to meet the type of people you like is specially when the time is very valuable when you stay in the certain country.

Jack: So let's go into the main topic of today the types of people you can meet as the digtial nomads so Mister B as you said there are two broad categories which are foreigners and locals and we subdivide this two categories into smaller groups because we think they are important distinction to be made so for foreigners we have tourists and digital nomads. So for locals we have interested locals and typical locals so Mr B why don' you start with tourists.

Mr. B: So tourists as you might imagine are simply the people that are in a vocation let's say and they are staying very short in the location.

Mr. B: I would say tourists are the easiest people to have fun with since they have very free schedules and a very carefree attitude they tend to be very open to meet new people I think the only exception is if they are already with a group there in a nutshell I think tourists are great people to try to meet and befriend. The downside of

befriending tourists is that as you might imagine they stay short in a given location therefore you might be required to constantly change your circle of friends let's say because some of the tourists will come and then they will stay a while and they're going to go away and that might be time consuming for you to constantly be updating your social circle.

Jack: Yes I did meet a few tourists during my trip in Japan I believe.

Jack: We have some trip together but they left a week or two so I have to stay there by myself in the end I got to make more friends like just like you said.

Jack: So the next group is digital nomads and we defined digital nomads as people like you that work remotely and travel around.

Mr. B: So yeah a couple of characteristics here if you are thinking about befriending digital nomads the first one is that they might turn out to to be future travel buddies of yours and that's of course good they live similar lifestyles so it's not that hard for you guys to coordinate something and start traveling together.

Mr. B: The second characteristic is that they might also turn out to be a good future war connections for you so you might own the online business if you befriended digital nomads they might also own online businesses and you might create a good connection work wise third characteristic I would say that digital nomads are very easy to relate since you guys gonna have similar backgrounds both of you gonna be digital nomads live the same lifestyle sometimes have similar values so that's great again The fourth thing I would say is that digital nomads most likely will be looking for social circle just like yourself therefore if you proactively look for other digital nomads they gonna be willing to try to meet other people the fifth characteristic about digital nomads is that similar to tourists they have quite flexible schedules.

Mr. B: Perhaps a little bit less than tourists because they still need to work online.

Mr. B: But they don't have a nine to five therefore it's pretty easy for you to hang out with them now thinking a little bit of the downsides of meeting digital nomads and befriending them digital nomads just like tourists might stay a little in a place so this might require you to constantly look for new friends.

Jack: Yeah I I did made some digital nomads friends and even got an internship from one of them.

Jack: I think like you said they are great to hang out and then they truly understand a lot this lifestyle.

Jack: So I think making friends with them this are the best.

Mr. B: So you think digital nomads share let's say the same background same lifestyle helps a lot.

Jack: Yeah you can say so going on to the next group is interesting locals Mr. B why don't you explain one of those.

Mr. B: Yes so basically interested locals is the locals that are interested in meeting foreigners like yourself.

Mr. B: So interested locals present a couple of characteristics.

Mr. B: The first one is that perhaps the easiest group of all to make friends with because they are interested on people like you. So you can use that to your favor.

Mr. B: Another characteristic about interested locals is that most likely they will speak English well since they are interested in talking and hanging out with foreigners third thing is that you could ask to do a language exchange with them if you are interested in the local language so most likely they want to improve their English and if you want to learn the local language is a great opportunity.

Mr. B: Another thing is that I think interested locals are easy to make friends with comparing at least with what he called a typical locals because interested locals are let's say pre-exposed to the foreign way so there will be less of a cultural shock and it will be easier to create this friendship.

Mr. B: Other benefit of hanging out in meeting interested locals is that since they are locals.

Mr. B: Most likely they will stay in that place for the entirety of your stay therefore you won't be required to look for new friends you can stick to that social circle.

Mr. B: Another characteristics is that interested locals can provide you a good glimpse of the culture and they can show you the food. Places people hang out stuff like that and finally one last characteristic about interested locals is that if you are on a budget.

Mr. B: They might know cheaper places for you to go foreigners tend to pay a premium because they don't really know where to goal and the prices of things so for example I remember when we are having our road trip and we're passing through Uzbekistan there was this kid that as soon as he saw us I think you realize your foreigners and he came you know came to talk to us and start asking a lot of questions very nice guy you could see he was very interested on us simply because we are foreigners and he shows us around he you know show the local food shows some of the local sites and you know it's great I think if we haven't met that guy we would have a much narrower understanding of the country.

Jack: Yes going on to the last group we have here is a quote unquote the typical locals what we say here is a local without any interest in meeting foreigners.

Mr. B: I think the main benefit of befriending quote unquote typical locals this group of people can allow you to have the most authentic experiences another benefit of hanging out with typical locals is that just like the interested local they most likely won't be leaving the place so you won't be required to constantly be looking for a new social circle.

Mr. B: Now let's think about some of the difficulties or the downsides one could call of befriending typical locals.

Mr. B: The first one has to do with the fact that it might be a very hard task and this is due to a number of reasons first of all they might be very busy because they're locals because they're they have a social circle there and stuff like that also because there might be a social stigma depending on the country to do is hang out with foreigners another possible with difficulty is the language barrier so typical locals might speak poor English and that's gonna make it difficult for you to communicate with them and finally one last characteristic is that due to the fact that you and this other person are from different cultures there might arise some difficulties understanding each other that might hinder your ability to develop a friendship further.

Jack: Yes so this is the group I need to spend more energy on I don't have much local friends in different countries so perhaps I should try to reach out more.

Mr. B: So Mr Jack now that I talked about this for groups so you have the tourists you have day did you don't know it's like yourself you have day interested locals and you have the typical locals I would like to know your opinion do you aim for a specific group when you are traveling as a digital nomad or you aim to you know do a sort of mixes of these different groups.

Jack: Yeah personally I like to hang out with the digital nomads maybe mix with a bit interested local as you as you said I think he has the best perspective of the country so you you have to foreign view of the culture and you also have the local tastes on the things are happening on the country.

Mr. B: And I'm in this to groups as we will see in future episodes they more or less hanging in the the same places so it's quite easy to meet both of these groups if you hanging out in this places for me I would say that in the beginning of my trips I focus very much in trying to meet locals especially what we call today typical locals and I made great friends but with time I realized that especially on a deeper level it is sometimes hard to you know really relate to them perhaps due to the cultural differences maybe the language to certain extent and then I started to proactively look for digital nomads as well so I started to get more involved in the community and now I would say it's a it's a mix of perhaps all the groups.

Jack: Yes I believe this is the end the episode I hope you enjoy this episode if you do please make sure to leave a review on your listening platform.

Jack: This is Jack and thanks for listening.

Mr. B: Thank you very much.

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