34 Ways on How To Make Friends As A Digital Nomad
Being a digital nomad offers the thrill of a lifetime—new places, new experiences, and endless freedom. But let’s face it, it can get lonely out there. While you may have mastered the art of remote work, learning the art of social connection on the go is a different experience of course.
In this article, we’ve compiled a list of thirty four ways to help you find friends while living the nomad life. So, buckle up, as we help you turn your solo journey into a group adventure by meeting new friends while maintaining a remote work lifestyle.
1. Attend Local Events
Probably the basic – attending in local events is a great start to make friends as it opens to more social opportunities. Whether it’s a food festival or a cultural celebration, these gatherings offer the perfect setting to meet new people and even explore the culture.
2. Visit Tourist Attractions
These are great places to bump into other like-minded travelers, and also digital nomads. Offer to take someone’s photo by a famous landmark, and you might just strike up a great conversation about machine learning and other trending tech topics. Check out this article if you’re looking for a list of attractions in Vancouver.
3. Join Social Media Groups
Platforms like Facebook have various groups for digital nomads where you can ask for advice, share your own tips, or even organize a local meetup. Reddit is also a great platform for you to explore.
4. Engage in Online Forums
Websites like Nomad List offer great forums for digital nomads. These platforms can be an excellent venue for meeting people who share your lifestyle. You can ask questions, share your own experiences, and even arrange to meet fellow digital nomads in person.
5. Participate in Language Exchanges
This is a win-win situation—you get to improve your language skills and make new friends simultaneously. If you want to learn a new language, feel free to check this article from a language expert digital nomad!
Work & Co-Working Spaces
6. Co-Working Spaces
Co-working spaces are meccas for digital nomads. They’re also social hubs with shared workspaces attract digital nomads, freelancers, and solopreneurs, providing a diverse environment for networking.
Most co-working spaces offer communal areas like lounges and kitchens, encouraging interaction among members. Some even organize regular social events, so make sure to check the community board or newsletter for opportunities to mingle.
7. Work Events
Many co-working spaces and hostels go the extra mile by hosting various work-related events. These can range from skill-building workshops to networking events and social mixers that sometimes offer free food.
Such events are perfect for meeting people who share your professional interests. Plus, participating in these events can make it more fun and engaging.
8. Coffee Shops
Coffee shops have long been the unofficial workplaces for digital nomads. The relaxed ambiance, combined with the aroma of freshly brewed coffee, makes them a great place to work and socialize.
Plus, you’ll often find other digital nomads or locals working on their laptops, offering a chance for casual networking. Sometimes it could be really crowded, especially over the weekends so just keep that in mind. Also, be mindful of coffee shop etiquette, like making a purchase if you plan to stay for an extended period.
9. Public Libraries
Public libraries may seem like quiet places meant only for reading or studying, but they can also be good spots for casual networking by just dropping a sticky note in the table with your number.
Many libraries offer free Wi-Fi and have dedicated areas where talking is allowed. Some even host community events, workshops, or book clubs. So, the next time you’re looking for a quiet but socially conducive work environment, consider heading to a local library.
Health & Fitness
10. Local Gyms
Gyms are social hubs disguised as fitness centers. Many gyms offer day passes or short-term memberships tailored for travelers.
Apart from being places to maintain your physical health, they are also great for striking up conversations and making new friends. Group classes, in particular, offer a more communal environment and often end with a casual conversation with someone who’s a digital nomad.
11. Yoga Classes
Yoga studios offer more than just physical well-being; they often foster a strong sense of community. Many studios host communal yoga classes, workshops, or even social events like ‘Yoga and Wine’ nights. The relaxed and friendly atmosphere in a yoga class makes it easier to strike up conversations and make new friends.
These places are highly recommended for digital nomad women who are into yoga, get to de-stress and improve flexibility—what’s not to love?
12. Running Clubs
If you’re into running, joining a local running club can be a fantastic way to meet people. Running clubs usually have members from various walks of life, offering a diverse social experience.
In Vancouver, we have the Stanley Park Seawall as an ideal place for you to find runners – just try avoid running in the morning, thanks to Coyotes.
13. Dance Classes
Dance classes are not just for learning new moves; they’re also excellent venues for socializing. Whether it’s salsa, tango, or hip-hop, dance classes are usually filled with people looking to have a good time.
These classes require partner work or group activities, providing a natural setting for meeting new people. Plus, it’s a fun way to break a sweat!
14. Group Hikes
Outdoor activities like group hikes are a fantastic way to make friends even if they’re not a digital nomad. If the great outdoors is something you crave, group hikes can be a great start. Many cities and towns in British Columbia have hiking clubs that organize regular outings on monthly or quarterly basis.
These hikes offer a unique setting to disconnect from work—you’re away from the distractions of technology, surrounded by nature. Conversations during hikes often flow naturally, and the shared experience of reaching a summit can be a great bonding activity.
Food & Drink
15. Local Restaurants
Local restaurants are a great social hubs that will help you get to know locals by enjoying their food and satiate your hunger.
Sitting at the bar or dine in Granville island for example offers an excellent opportunity to strike up a conversation with locals or fellow travelers.
Plus, who can resist bonding over delicious food? Whether it’s a cozy café or a bustling food market, the setting is ripe for casual, friendly conversations.
16. Cooking Classes
Cooking classes are not just about learning new recipes; they’re also about the interactive experience.
Classes are usually hands-on and require teaming up with others master chef style, offering a natural setting for social interaction while learning new recipes. Plus, you get to enjoy the meal you’ve prepared together at the end of the class, giving you more time to chat and bond.
17. Wine Tastings
Wine tastings are sophisticated and quite rare in Vancouver yet a perfect way to socialize. Whether it’s at a local winery or an organized event, the setting is usually intimate, encouraging conversations among attendees.
Discussing the different flavors and characteristics of each wine can also serve as a great icebreaker. And let’s face it—wine has been bringing people together for centuries!
18. Food Markets
Food markets are always and filled with a variety of food stalls – like the Richmond Night Market for example. These markets are usually frequented by locals and offer a casual, laid-back environment for socializing.
Whether you’re bonding over a unique street food and the spiciness of local cuisine, food markets offer an authentic way to connect and find a friend.
19. Pub Crawls
Pub crawls are designed for meeting people and having a good time; like really having a good time! Usually organized by bars, hostel, and social groups, these events take you to multiple bars in a single night.
It’s a fun, relaxed setting where everyone is open to meeting new people. Plus, the group setting and a few drinks can quickly break down social barriers.
20. Photography Walks
Photography walks offer a unique blend of creativity and bond over a shared interest. These walks are usually organized by local photography clubs or meetup groups and take you to scenic spots for photo ops.
Discussing angles, lighting, and composition with fellow photography enthusiasts can spark interesting conversations and perhaps even lasting friendships.
21. Book Clubs
Book clubs offer an intellectually stimulating environment for making friends. These clubs usually meet regularly to discuss a new or a favorite book on a weekly basis, offering ample opportunities for a meaningful conversations from a story that they’ve read.
Plus, if you’re an avid reader, what’s better than finding friends who share your passion for literature?
22. Film Nights
Film nights, whether they’re organized outdoors or special screenings in film festivals to attract people. These events usually include time for discussion before or after the screening, offering a chance to discuss about the film or making friends in general.
It’s an enriching experience that combines social interaction with cultural enrichment.
23. Art Galleries
Art galleries and exhibitions are not just for viewing art; they’re also social venues. Opening nights, in particular, are social events where you can meet artists, critics, and art enthusiasts.
The artwork itself can serve as an excellent conversation starter, so why not giving it a shot like going to the Vancouver Art Gallery and maybe you’ll stumble upon with a digital nomad as well.
24. Board Game Nights
Board game nights are casual, fun, and surprisingly effective ways to make new friends. Whether it’s at a café, a community center, or someone’s house, these events are all about teamwork and interaction.
Plus, board games are great icebreakers, especially when you’re play to win or play to lose.
Technology & Online
Hackathons are intense, collaborative events that bring together coders, designers, and entrepreneurs to solve problems. Beyond the work, hackathons are fantastic networking events.
You get to collaborate with people you might not otherwise meet, and the high-pressure environment can forge fast friendships. You can check some of the Hackathon events in Eventbrite.ca.
26. Tech Meetups
Tech meetups offer an excellent venue for meeting people who share your professional interests. Whether it’s data science, machine learning, or web development, there’s a tech meetup for almost every skill ( The Vancouver Convention Centre is great place to start meeting the techies).
These events usually include presentations, discussions, and casual networking sessions, making it easy to strike up conversations and make new friends.
Although these are virtual, there’s often a chat function where you can talk to other attendees. Platforms like Zoom and Google Meet will allow audience interaction via chat rooms or breakout sessions.
Even if the webinar itself is one-way, you can always reach out to fellow attendees afterward to discuss the topic further. It’s a modern way to network without even leaving your home.
28. Online Gaming
Online multiplayer games offer a virtual but very real way to make friends especially here in Vancouver. Many games feature team activities and require communication through Discord, providing a natural setting for making friends.
Some friendships that start in the virtual world of gaming even transition into real-world connections. Just remember to balance your screen time with real-world interactions.
29. Virtual Networking Events
Virtual networking events have gained popularity, especially in the wake of social distancing measures. These events may be conducted over platforms like Zoom and usually feature breakout rooms for more intimate conversations.
It’s a convenient way to network and make friends, especially if you’re in a location with limited social activities.
Volunteering is a fantastic way to meet like-minded individuals who value community service.
Whether it’s helping at a local food bank, participating in a beach cleanup, or teaching skills to underprivileged kids, volunteering offers multiple avenues for social interaction.
31. Spiritual Retreats
Spiritual retreats offer a break from long hours working Infront of your laptop, and they’re also great places to meet people. Whether it’s a yoga retreat in Bali or a meditation camp in the Himalayas, these events attract individuals seeking deeper connections, both spiritually and socially.
The shared journey of self-discovery can pave the way for meaningful friendships.
32. Pet Sitting
Surprisingly, pet sitting can be a social activity. Pet owners are often part of larger communities and may introduce you to other pet lovers.
Plus, walking a dog in a park or taking care of a cat are one of the easiest ways to strike up casual conversations with pet lovers. Not to mention, you get to spend time with adorable animals!
33. Car Sharing
The confined space of a car encourages conversation, making it a unique but effective way to make new friends.
34. Just Say Hello!
Sometimes the easiest way and highly effective; a friendly hello can start a new friendship, no matter where you are in the world.
Whether you’re in a co-working space, or exploring a new city in Asia, never underestimate the power of a warm hello. It’s the most straightforward yet powerful way to make friends.
Why We Care?
So there you have it, a comprehensive guide to making friends as a digital nomad. The world is a big, beautiful place full of potential friends. Located in Richmond, BC, Panda Pod offers a unique, budget-friendly, and community-oriented experience that could make it easier to meet new people.
All you need to do is reach out and say hello. Happy socializing!
- October 30, 2023
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