Traveling the world with a laptop and a remote working gig can become a little lonely–especially when heading out alone. With a new age of work upon us, remote workers around the world are all faced with the same questions, dilemmas, and pain points. But no nomad has to go it alone, there are thousands of remote workers out there sticking together to create strong digital nomad communities. These communities, popping up in the hottest destinations, are brimming with the people, tools, and facilities needed for not only a successful remote working trip but an enjoyable one, too. Remote working groups can form a highlight reel of any trip—but how do you find a digital nomad community on your next workation?
Fantastic digital nomad communities exist in all corners of the globe, it’s just a case of finding them! The first step is always to scope out the most popular nomad destinations. If there’s a large population, a good internet connection, a low cost of living, and a great work-life balance, you can almost guarantee a digital nomad community. Here is our best advice for making friends on your next remote work trip.
Search for Digital Nomad Hotspots
If finding a strong community of digital nomads to bounce off is a priority in your remote working journey, it’s a good idea to first search for digital nomad hotspots. Remote working from a private island in the Pacific or from a log cabin in the Alps may be best for Instagram likes, but remote workers will struggle to find a digital nomad community in these low-population areas. There are plenty of well-established digital nomad hotspots out there, but these tend to pop up in cities with good work-life balances.
Lisbon, Buenos Aires, and Chiang Mai are all examples of established digital nomad hotspots, loved for their high-speed WiFi, low cost of living, and thriving digital nomad communities. Preferences for the best digital nomad destinations are all different—but the pattern rarely changes. If you’re looking for a diverse mix of remote workers, full-time travelers, and local professionals, it’s these nomad-dense destinations that should be top of your itinerary.
Find Facebook Groups
In particularly popular digital nomad hotspots or expat destinations, Facebook groups can be one of the most valuable resources for finding new communities. The most popular remote working destinations will likely have existing Facebook groups available to join. These are full of guides for digital nomads, events, meet-ups, and advice ranging from the best local eats to apartments available in the area.
Facebook groups can be found from the search bar on the social network with keywords such as “Destination + Digital Nomad” or “Destination + Expat” finding the top results. Groups typically have thousands of members, most of which are either familiar with or living in the destination. These can also be great for keeping up with lesser-known events, public holidays, and local tips and tricks that nomads would likely otherwise miss.
Join a Coworking Space
The top digital nomad destinations are full of coworking spaces catering to both visiting and local remote workers. They are prime community-finding spots. Coworking spaces come in all kinds of different shapes and sizes, each with a different vibe and collection of interesting people. Taking Lisbon as an example, remote workers are spoiled for choice with more than 20 different coworking offices to choose from. These physical hubs are often packed with digital nomads from all corners of the globe—all working in different industries. If you’re looking to meet digital nomads from all walks of life, spending time in a handful of these coworking spaces is a great way to get started.
Check Out Digital Nomad Reddit
Reddit is a huge collection of online forums covering everything from movies and funny pictures to remote working and digital nomad communities. There are currently more than 1.5 million members on r/digitalnomad, all interested in or actively pursuing the remote working lifestyle. It’s also a wonderful place to find meet-ups and local events, which are often organized in different nomad locations. This is the best way to virtually meet other nomads, swap stories, and share tips about the area.
The Reddit digital nomad community is also a great place to keep up to date and discuss the latest industry changes. Updates to Airbnb, travel restrictions, and nomad visas are all covered in the huge database. With countless posts, comments, and discussions every day on the forum, it’s rare that anything slips through the net.
Learn the Local Language
If you’re wanting to brush up on your local language skills, classes can be a great way to meet like-minded travelers, expats, and digital nomads. Language classes are full of people looking to immerse themselves in local cultures, speak like the locals, and meet those looking to do the same. A constant stream of remote workers, long-stay tourists, and expats alike usually fill the local language schools, so you’re likely to get some great tips by talking to your classmates. Language classes can be found in just about any nomad-friendly destination with most of the popular choices listed online, but if you’re not sure where to start looking, search or ask questions in the local groups.
If you’re looking for a dedicated nomad meet-up, there’s no better place to start than Meetup.com, a website that helps people organize open-invitation events all over the world. With nomad meetups regularly published, it can be an easy way to find a digital nomad community wherever you find yourself in the world. Once the site is fired up, nomads can search by either keyword, destination, or both to find interesting groups and events in the local area. With everything from writers' groups and nomad meetups to social events and cryptocurrency discussions—there’s something for everyone on this site.
If you do find a gap in the meet-up market, any member can create a personal group to build a local community. This could be related to remote work or entirely separate from your professional lifestyle.