Meeting other digital nomads while you are traveling is essential. It is common knowledge that professional networking is vital to career growth. When you are a digital nomad, meeting your peers can be an important component of advancing your career as well as maintaining a healthy remote work-life balance.
One of the biggest downsides of being a remote worker is the loneliness that can accompany traveling alone. Socializing with other digital nomads is one of the best ways to avoid loneliness on any long-term travel journey.
Humans evolved to thrive in communities and tribes. It is no surprise that social isolation and a lack of community can increase stress and worsen health problems. With so many professional, psychological, and health benefits of meeting other digital nomads, it is worthwhile to discover the many ways you can make new digital nomad friends and contacts while working remotely.
This article discusses the many ways you can meet other digital nomads and why you should make an effort to do so.
Why should you meet other digital nomads?
There are many benefits to meeting other digital nomads including:
- Opportunities to network for potential remote jobs or freelance contracts
- Generating fresh ideas for your small business
- Getting advice on various aspects of the digital nomad lifestyle like digital nomad visas, cybersecurity, and taxes
- Learning about new conferences and programs marketed to digital nomads
- Finding affordable housing in great neighborhoods
- Access to all kinds of insider travel advice
- Developing long-lasting personal relationships
The importance of making a special effort to meet other digitals is one of the many pieces of advice I wish someone had told me before I started long-term travel travel. You can also learn about other ways to beat loneliness while traveling long-term.
How do you meet other digital nomads?
The opportunities to meet other digital nomads are increasing as the number of remote workers who travel increases. While several digital nomad companies suspended their services and events during the pandemic, many have recently restarted, bringing digital nomads together again to network and share ideas. Some of these are paid programs but there are also several free and easy ways to find other digital nomads.
1. Meet digital nomads through a remote work travel program
Remote work travel programs are all-inclusive packages that provide varying combinations of accommodation, coworking spaces, transportation, wifi, activities, and sometimes meals. These programs range from a week to a year with destinations available worldwide. Depending on the program, you can travel with the same group of people or meet up with a new group at each location. You generally have your own room and share common spaces with your fellow digital nomads, allowing for ample time to connect and make friends.
Remote Year offers 1-week retreats, month-long trips, or journeys of 4-12 months where you explore a new country every month. Program fees are due on a monthly basis and include accommodation, ground and air transportation, workspaces, events, curated local experiences, and on-site logistics with health and safety support.
For anyone who just wants to pack their bag and let someone else take care of coordinating long-term travel plans, this is an amazing (although somewhat pricey) option. It is a great way for a newbie digital nomad to try out the lifestyle of long-term travel. Remote Year’s 12-month journey takes you to these popular digital nomad destinations:
- Antigua, Guatemala
- Bali, Indonesia
- Cape Town, South Africa
- Chiang Mai, Thailand
- Florianopolis, Brazil
- Hanoi, Vietnam
- Lima, Peru
- Lisbon, Portugal
- Medellin, Columbia
- Mexico City, Mexico
- Osaka, Japan
- Split, Croatia
- Valencia, Spain
Hacker Paradise offers curated month-long trips on specific dates for various locations, mostly in locations popular with digital nomads (like those chosen for Remote Year). In addition to accommodation, trips include local networking and themed events, entrepreneur panels, workshops, and excursions. The programs emphasize professional development and networking.
One month starts at $2290. Air and ground transportation to the sites are not included. The longer you travel, the greater the discount.
Wifitribe promises a curated community of members sharing the same values. To attain this they have a thorough vetting process with a combination of online application, video interview call, and a personality test. You then wait to see if you are accepted.
Wifi Tribe offers month-to-month flexibility, allowing you to choose between 4, 6, or 8-week stays at any location, without a set route. Rooms can be private or shared depending on your budget and comfort level. The more locations you explore, the greater the discount offered.
Roam temporarily paused their services during the pandemic but their website promises a new generation of Roam locations will be forthcoming.
2. Meet digital nomads on a coworking safari, retreat, or adventure
Meet other digital nomads through a safari or travel adventure that combines co-living, co-working, and co-traveling. These programs plan social activities and adventures around your working hours, helping you to stay productive and motivated while taking the work out of socializing and exploring.
Noma Collective offers a small collection of pop-up-type co-working and co-living month-long adventures. Their destinations for 2022 include Argentina, Panama, and Kenya, with different adventures offered each year. Similar to other remote work travel programs, they offer a community experience with cultural activities and professional development events.
Noma Collective also has a permanent nomad village (Umaya Resort) in Belize which is similar to typical resort living with apartments and condos on a beach, a pool, restaurants, planned activities, and available sports equipment.
Unsettled offers remote worker retreats and “travel experiences” varying from a week to a month in 20+ destinations. They provide accommodations, a workspace, curated local experiences, workshops, and plenty of opportunities to network and meet other traveling remote workers.
Venture with Impact is a 4-week coworking retreat for remote workers who want to travel, work remotely and give back to communities through skills-based volunteer projects. The program matches each participant with partner organizations based on the skills and interests of each remote worker.
In 2022 they are offering four destinations: Medellin, Chiang Mai, San Miguel de Allende, and Lisbon.
3. Meet digital nomads in coliving spaces
Coliving is a communal living arrangement in which residents stay in furnished private bedrooms of a house, apartment, resort, or complex. Bathrooms may be private or shared. Common areas like living rooms, kitchens, and coworking spaces are shared between residents. The concept is very similar to a college dorm or hostel, but for working professionals.
Many coliving spaces are targeted towards digital nomads who move from place to place and need furnished living environments conducive to working and socializing. You’ll also find young professionals who stay in one location long-term because they enjoy the benefits of living in these types of communities.
While many coliving houses are independent, several coliving houses have joined a network to provide support and easy access for potential residents. Many of these houses have pools and large outdoor lounge spaces. Some will arrange networking and socializing events like classes, guest speakers, exercise classes, and community dinners.
The coliving movement has really grown over the past decade and there are now many options around the world. This concept has been increasing in popularity due to the benefits of built-in community, flexibility, and lower cost compared to similar individual houses and amenities. Coliving spaces are also a great way to arrive at a new destination and have a ready-made group of friends.
The Coliving.com platform lists over 900 properties in 60 countries around the world. The properties vary greatly in price, living style, and design so you can find places to fit any budget or taste. All spaces are regularly cleaned by professionals. There are no extra utilities, such as Wifi or electricity, to pay since all are included in the monthly price. Leases can be as short as a month and the longer you stay, the lower the cost.
Outsite is a coliving program that incorporates the flexibility of Airbnb in locations around the world. You can book a room in a communal house or apartment building for a single night, a month, or whatever suits your travel plans. The price includes a workspace with supplies, wifi, towels and linens, professional cleaning, coffee and tea, access to a well-equipped communal kitchen, and support.
You can save up to 35% on extended stays of 60 days or more. Many of their locations are far more affordable than local Airbnbs or hotels and come with numerous benefits.
The annual Outsite Membership ($149/year) gives access to all Outsite locations, a tailored trip planning tool, a member hub facilitating meeting remote workers online and offline, and opportunities to take advantage of last-minute deals and earn Outside rewards credit with every stay.
Selina is a month-by-month coliving program with over 145 properties in countries in Central and South America, the USA, and Europe. Their mission is to blend beautifully designed accommodations with coworking, recreation, wellness, and local experiences.
Prices start at $450/month for dorm-like rooms and increase for private rooms or rooms with en-suite bathrooms. Think of an upscale hostel for long-term stays. The fee includes accommodation, coworking space access, wellness classes, local discounts on restaurants, tours, and recreation. There are regular discounted offers so it pays to check the listings regularly.
4. Meet digital nomads with a digital nomad dating app
If you are single and looking to meet other single digital nomads while on the road, check out Nomad Soulmates, a dating app for digital nomads.
5. Meet digital nomads in coworking spaces
Coworking spaces are shared office spaces where entrepreneurs, remote workers, and freelancers work independently. They are great places to connect with like-minded digital nomads on the road. Shared office spaces can make remote work from other countries happier and more productive. They can be places of inspiration where people share ideas across various fields.
You can find a coworking space in any location around the world through Coworker.com. For each coworking space you can buy day, monthly, or yearly passes. Most coworking spaces offer opportunities to network and make friends with other digital nomads through various community events, entrepreneur accelerator programs, workshops, and mentorship programs.
6. Meet digital nomads at meetups
Coworking meetups are events that bring digital nomads and freelancers together to work in a social environment. Meetups are often at cafes, hotels, or established coworking spaces. While the focus is mainly on getting your work done in the presence of someone else who is also working, doing so in a group allows for networking and getting to know other digital nomads.
Meetup currently lists 54 digital nomad groups around the world with over 27,000 members. As with all Meetup groups, the quality and quantity will vary greatly from location to location and depend a lot on the group leader and overall participation.
The largest Meetup group by far is in Lisbon and this group has the most varied types of digital nomad meetup events. It is worth spending time in Lisbon during your nomad travels just to participate in this fantastic networking resource. Meetups for digital nomads in Lisbon include everything from board game nights to running and exercise groups, museum and culture days, gathering for food and drinks, comedy shows, and coworking days.
Nomadlist is another place to find digital nomad meetup announcements online. Nomad List is an online encyclopedia for digital nomads and world travelers with tons of information on various destinations. The website says it is a global community of over 60,000 remote workers in over 280 cities.
A one-time $99 membership fee to the Nomad List community gives you access to their slack channel and digital nomad meetups so you can find fellow digital nomads while you travel. They also have links to third-party sites for remote jobs and coworking retreats offered by the companies listed above.
The Nomadic Network is an online community of travel enthusiasts founded by Nomadic Matt. The network sponsors online and in-person meetups where you can meet fellow travel enthusiasts, other people traveling long-term, and many digital nomads.
7. Meet digital nomads on slack groups
Nomads Talk and Remotely One are two digital nomad slack communities where you can connect with fellow digital nomads and learn more about the lifestyle. They also have local channels to help you connect with other digital nomads in your area. It is free to sign up.
You can find other public digital nomad slack groups on Slofile.
8. Meet digital nomads on a cruise designed for digital nomads
Nomad Cruise is marketed as the only traveling conference for digital nomads. It is essentially an all-inclusive workation on a cruise ship with lectures and workshops designed for digital nomads. There are also plenty of meetups and other activities to socialize with digital nomads.
9. Meet digital nomads at digital nomad conferences
Digital Nomads World is a 2-day conference with speakers, an exhibit hall, keynote sessions, and networking areas. It’s also a good place to network for remote jobs. You can find plenty of resources marketed to digital nomads such as insurance, various apps, and technology providers.
7 in 7 is a conference for location-independent workers that was started in 2016 and takes place on a different continent every year for 7 years. Nomad Summit and Running Remote are two other conferences created for digital nomads and remote workers.
Check out my article on the most inspiring digital nomad conferences of 2023.
10. Meet digital nomads in Facebook groups
There are Facebook groups for all types of communities, including digital nomads. They are free to join and are great for getting information about a specific destination, the logistics of remote work, and the digital nomad lifestyle in general. You can also post to see if any digital nomads are in your current or future location so you can plan a meetup for coffee or drinks.
I recommend checking out Nomadbase and Female Digital Nomads.
11. Meet digital nomads on Reddit
Reddit has an active group of digital nomads with almost 1.4 million digital nomads worldwide. Members share information on all sorts of logistical questions such as international banking, wifi and SIM cards, [how to approach your boss to go remote and work from anywhere], and destination recommendations. It can take a little work to make meaningful connections with others in this Reddit group but it is a useful resource to get quick answers to your questions about the digital nomad lifestyle
12. Meet digital nomads in popular digital nomad destinations
There are several destinations around the world where you are likely to find a high concentration of like-minded remote workers. These places tend to attract digital nomads because they have affordable accommodations, high-speed internet, good food, beautiful beaches or vibrant city culture, and are typically easy to navigate without a car. They often have plenty of coworking and coliving options. With countries introducing new [digital nomad visa programs], the list of digital nomad hubs continues to grow.
Some popular cities for digital nomads include:
- Chiang Mai, Thailand
- Bangkok, Thailand
- Lisbon, Portugal
- Medellin, Columbia
- Sofia, Bulgaria
- Split, Croatia
- Ubud in Bali, Indonesia
13. Meet digital nomads in digital nomad villages
Digital nomad villages are communities created to bring together remote workers who are seeking a particular kind of slow travel experience. Community organizers host social and networking events, activities and outings, and help you settle into your new, temporary home. There are digital nomad villages located in enticing locations around the world, attracting digital nomads who want access to remote work facilities while living in a community of fellow remote workers.
Meeting other digital nomads is essential for networking, learning about the lifestyle, getting advice on various aspects of remote work while traveling, finding your community, and making new friends. I hope you’ll take this list of resources and get to work meeting other digital nomads. If you’d like to read about other ways to beat loneliness during long-term travel, check out my article here.