With COVID-19 stopping international travel virtually overnight, it's understandable if you're feeling a little cabin crazy and ready to get back out there again. Thankfully, there are many virtual communities that have been started by other nomads that you can join to help you network and share your favorite travel memories.
These groups also serve as a great way to make connections, get advice and recommendations for certain locations, and help ease the stress of feeling lonely.
Benefits of Joining a Nomad Community
Grow Your Business
In digital nomad communities, you’ll find a great deal of support and curiosity when it comes to businesses. The entrepreneurial spirit runs deep within many digital nomads, and exchanging ideas, brainstorming, and getting advice from other business owners can help you grow your business, make working connections, and even gain exposure.
Making friends on the road can be difficult, especially if you’re not staying in one place for very long. Forming friendships within your virtual communities gives you opportunities to join retreats, find meets ups and events, and even traveling to locations with someone that you trust. In the end, simply having someone to talk with about feeling lonely during your travels can be refreshing for your soul as well.
Get Local Advice & Suggestions
If you find yourself in a city that has a strong language barrier, finding local spots to visit or eat can be difficult. With digital nomad communities, travelers give advice and pointers to cities around the globe and make it easy to find what you’re looking for. You might also find some great recommendations for killer coffee and amazing eats.
Learn From & Help Others
Being a digital nomad has a lot of ups and downs. Something is bound to go wrong during your travels. You may lose something, take the wrong train, or visit a town that has terrible wifi and phone service that makes working difficult. When you join communities, you can learn from others’ mistakes and offer your own failures and successes, you’re truly becoming a part of a greater network.
How to Find a Digital Nomad Community
Leverage a Coworking Center
Many coworking centers offer day passes for those days where you really need the space to focus. Once there, meeting with people during lunch or taking a peek at announcement boards for any events or groups to join can help you make connections. You may come across locals that can help you find some great spots around town, but you’re also likely to find other nomads that are passing through.
Explore Facebook Groups
Facebook groups for digital nomads are popping up all over. Whether you’re looking for groups focussed on specific cities, countries, type of work, or general nomad groups, you’re bound to find one, or ten. Take some time and find some fellow nomads and attend some meetups. This is a great way to meet friends, especially if you’re a little on the shy side and struggle with walking up and introducing yourself to complete strangers. The easiest way to find the right Facebook group for you would be to search for “Digital Nomads in X” and include the town you’re in.
Join A Remote Work Program
Remote work programs and retreats bring together a group of digital nomads in cities across the world to live together and work together. These programs range from a few days to a few months in length and include accommodation, travel, coworking spaces, and events for the group. If you’re new to remote work and a little hesitant to travel alone for the first time, joining a remote work program is a great way to meet other digital nomads and feel safe while experiencing something new.
Join Online Forums and Chats
There are many online forums dedicated entirely to digital nomad life. You can find many threads on Reddit that discuss cities, common travel issues, give you inspiration for your next trip or even plan meets ups. There are also many Slack groups that focus entirely on being a digital nomad or remote worker. Additionally, many coworking spaces and meetup groups you find will have Slack channels to join as well where you can keep up with your connections and communities.
Stay in a Co-Living Space
Much like the concept of coworking spaces, co-living spaces offer short term stays where you can room with other digital nomads who are looking for a place to live while they travel. Staying with like-minded and hard-working roommates gives you the opportunity to make friends, combat loneliness, and have someone to explore with when you don’t wish to be alone.
15 Digital Nomad Communities You Should Join in 2020
Slack & Forums
Nomads Talk is a Slack group that is dedicated to all things nomad. From advice to meetups to looking for jobs, you’ll find it on some thread within this Slack group.
Broken up by country, NomadList is a great place to find location-specific friends and recommendations based on the place you’re currently in, or plan to visit. They do charge a membership fee of $99/year for access to the group and its benefits.
This entrepreneurial-focussed Slack group is a membership-only group that you have to be accepted into. The purpose of this is to ensure that everyone in the group is honest, helpful, and an actual nomad. This prevents spam entries and keeps the members of the group safe.
Reddit is a great forum if you have a specific search query you might be looking for. You can find some great conversations going on around being a digital nomad and travel.
With 121,000 members and growing, this Facebook group is huge. You’ll find that the members are more than helpful, curious, and excited to be a part of the digital nomad community,
This private Facebook group has over 45,000 members all over the world. The moderators do their best to keep the group safe, welcoming, and helpful to those who are apart of the group.
For women, traveling alone can be particularly stressful and scary at times. It’s comforting to have a network of women to ease the frustration, provide feedback and cautions for cities or spaces that you might be traveling to. It’s also great to just make friends with other women who might want to travel for a time together.
Coworking and Co-Living Spaces
Coworker will help you find a local coworking space. Depending on your need, if you just need a desk or an entire conference room for a client meeting, you can find it and book it on Coworker.
Workfrom is a great place to search for a place to work. Whether your ideal workspace is a coffee shop with reliable wifi or a paid coworking space, Workfrom will provide you with a great number of options in your current area to chose from where you may run into other digital nomads in the area.
Selina is a chain of hostels and coworking spaces around the world. The company offers travelers places to work and stay, but also offers events, experiences, and volunteer opportunities in the cities that they are staying in. They have a loyalty program, which has created a community in itself of remote workers and backpackers that continuously choose to stay with the Selina family wherever they go.
Coliving.com takes the hassle out of looking for a room in a shared apartment with other digital nomads and remote workers. If you want a private room or a shared room, they make the booking process easy and stress-free.
If you’re looking for a place to stay for a few weeks at a time, Outsite is a great place to find co-living accommodation. Whether you’re looking for a one-time stay, or to become a member with full travel benefits, Outsite allows you to meet and live with other digital nomads who are looking to be inspired by those around them.
Remote Working Programs and Retreats
Remote Year is a remote work program that brings together a group of adventurous digital nomads on a journey that lasts anywhere from 4 to 12 months. Their programs include travel, accommodation, coworking spaces, and more. The best part, you’ll have lifetime access to their Slack group to keep in touch with other remote workers, get information on any future meetups, and be a part of the Remote Year family as you continue your travels.
The community-driven remote work program, WiFiTribe, places an emphasis on forming a “tribe” during their 4-week “chapters.” The program includes opportunities to explore with the group and time to form the bonds of a family. Once you’re part of their tribe, you’ll always have access to their online virtual communities and Slack Group to keep the tribe alive.
Both a website and an app, MeetUp is a hub for groups and individuals looking to find a group of people to do something with. Whether it’s coworking, going to a coffee shop, or just having a happy hour with other digital nomads in the area.
Being a digital nomad is rewarding in its own right, but it does come with a few downfalls. Being lonely or getting lost in a new city just happens no matter how much you prepare for your trip. Fortunately, there are many communities that you can join to make the best of your travels and make friends and a tribe to call your home away from home.