Becoming a Digital Nomad is exciting. The new environments with travel. Submerging yourself in a different culture. Making your own schedule and working when, how, and from where works best for you. Exploring the world from a different angle than the traditional 9-5 office job from the comfort of the place we call home. There’s a lot of allure to this dream – which for many has become reality. What often isn’t shared about this dream, however, is the harsh reality of a lack of feeling connected as a Digital Nomad. We’re here to shed some light in this dark area in hopes it helps Digital Nomads find ways to feel connected.
First, let’s revisit what defines one as a Digital Nomad.
We’ve outlined in a couple of articles the differences between working from home vs a working remotely, as well as the differences between a remote worker vs freelancer. Different from each of these, as a Digital Nomad one leaves their place of home residence to travel and see the world while working in the digital field, often traveling abroad and moving frequently. Digital Nomads often work from coffee shops, hotels, co-working spaces, or other public places.
By definition, the problem of connectivity as a Digital Nomad is clear.
While most Digital Nomads are comfortable, and successful, at making long-lasting relationships in new places, the problem lies in the fact that they aren’t in one place very long. The relationships they make usually don’t travel to the next destination spot. This forces them to make new relationships upon arrival to a new location.
The good news:
Through social media like Facebook and Instagram, it has become easier than ever to make connections and find other Digital Nomads in your destination spot. This is especially true for Facebook Groups for Digital Nomads and international travelers. The downside to this is weeding through the throngs of others trying to make their voices heard, social media algorithms making posts hit or miss, fake profiles, and scams in nearly every other posts found in most Facebook groups.
Until now, there wasn’t a social app intended for meeting other Digital Nomads. We worked hard to fill this gap after realizing the need for it, and have introduced Mocha to the scene! Now, people all over the globe can sign up, create their profile, and start connecting with like-minded Digital Nomads to chat with, work with, bounce ideas off of, and most importantly during this unpredictable time of COVID-19, video-chat.
Look no further if you’ve been searching for more unique ways to stay connected. We’ve outlined some tried and true tips from real Digital Nomads on staying connected while traveling and working:
Video Call Often
Connecting with the people who are important in your life is probably the most important tip any traveler can provide when it comes to feeling connected away from “home.” We get so accustomed to our day-to-day life at home, that it’s easy to fall into the routine of checking in with family and friends without even realizing it. But when you’re separated from home and dealing with time differences and distant relationships, this can quickly become challenging. The more time that passes by, the more distant you might feel away from them.
We suggest setting up scheduled regular calls with family and friends. Catch up on important things, share a meal, and/or a drink. Even if it’s a glass of wine at the end of your day while they are having a cup of coffee to start theirs, it will be impactful. The connection you share will keep your relationships strong during your time apart.
Set Up Group Video Calls
Consider group video calls with a network of family or friends, near and far. We’ve seen suggestions from sharing a meal or drink together, crafting together, even book-clubbing together. In the last suggestion, this is where everyone reads the same book and then meet over video chat to discuss thoughts and ideas around it. We’ve found that similar meetings can be done with podcasts.
Through this type of social gathering, you can invite others in your group to invite from their network of global friends. Everyone meets someone new and is a win-win!
Get Social in Co-Working Spaces
When your current place of location isn’t locked down with stay-home or social distancing orders, co-working spaces can be a great spot to meet others. Strike up conversations by asking what projects others are working on, or where they are from and what places they have visited. Going for lunch and not sure what’s locally recommended? Ask around and even invite someone, or a group, to join you. Usually, places like this will have social or networking events. It’s great to attend and introduce yourself!
Meet Up In Coffee Shops
Utilizing apps like Mocha, Facebook, and Instagram, try to introduce yourself to other locals or Digital Nomads in the area. Once you’ve started a conversation and find common interests, invite them to meet for a cup of coffee to chat, or work together. Some have found life-long relationships, created an excellent global network, and even found impactful partnerships through this type of connection. Don’t hesitate – put yourself out there and get social!
The key to successfully staying connected as a Digital Nomad is to market yourself, just as you would for a job or project.
Be confident in yourself, take care of yourself, know your strengths and interests, and connect with others in a positive way! Once you’ve begun creating new connections in different areas of the globe, be sure to stay connected with them also! Who knows, maybe they’ll become one of your closest friends or you’ll meet up in a new destination again.