7 proven ways to socialize when you’re abroad
Some people are natural extroverts, some are shy introverts, and some just hate being around people.
I sincerely hope you don’t belong to the latter.
When you travel somewhere you’ve never been before, a place where you know no one, it can be a little hard to socialize.
Digital nomads, in particular, who frequently move to one location to another, often find it tough to make new friends.
When you’re among strangers, how are you supposed to start talking to them?
You’d be surprised how many opportunities you have, to meet new people and create some really interesting relationships.
Join a gym or sports club
If you’re a fitness freak or simple want to stay in shape, a gym membership is probably one of your basic expenses. It’s pretty much as important as your rent.
The opportunity here is the fact that, through working out, you can casually start talking to fellow customers or the staff of the gym. You already have a common interest: working out!
In the end, you may gain:
- a good friend, that you can see outside the gym
- a workout buddy, who’ll hold you accountable on your workout routine.
Even better, if you decide to join a specific sports club and become a member of a team, you’ll have the opportunity to bond with your teammates over your favorite sport and, eventually, you’ll start talking about other stuff, too. It’s really up to you, how you steer your friendly conversations.
Join a local community
Everyone has at least one interest in life. Find yours and join a local community at the location you choose to visit.
Again, you’ll get to meet people with at least one thing in common. Through that you can easily start building the foundation of a potential friendship.
These communities are usually full of locals who can help you explore your new “home” and discover places and sights that most people are not aware of.
Plus, you can always ask your new acquaintances to come with you and show you around. Locals love that.
Find communities online
Most of the communities I was just talking about can be found somewhere online.
I bet that local group you’re thinking about joining has a Facebook page that promotes it or even a website.
Searching online will help you find those little gems. After that, all you need to do is start posting questions asking about the community/group/whatever. So in that post, just casually mention that you’re planning to visit, hinting that you’d love to meet the members of that community.
Look for digital nomad hubs
Wherever you go, there probably is an entire digital nomad community over there. In some cases, it may even be organized and host frequent meet-ups for all digital nomads who happen to be in the area.
It doesn’t hurt to research that and find relevant digital nomad Facebook groups, not just local ones. Then just post where you’ll be and ask if anyone around is up for coffee or something.
The good thing about this option is the fact that digital nomads go through the same difficulties as you. So, they probably want to meet up as much as you do. *wink*
Work from co-working spaces
Another sweet spot (using this term liberally), where you can find fellow digital nomads, is definitely a co-working space. If you choose to work from a shared office, chances are you’ll meet and talk to various other professionals, who are more or less in the same situation as you.
Prepare for a few water-cooler conversations and share a cup of coffee (or ten) with whoever is sitting next to or around you.
Most co-working spaces are modern and creative (well, that depends on what location you choose to visit), and there are plenty of areas dedicated to recreation and bonding.
Start a language class
Oh what fun! You’ll meet other people, obviously not locals and equally lost in translation, and you’ll learn a cool new language.
What does that mean exactly?
Well, it means 2 things:
- you can make friends with other digital nomads, who’re sticking around for a while (YAY!)
- you’ll enhance your resume with another language (double YAY!)
Attend local festivals
If you’re lucky, there might be some interesting events happening at the location you choose to visit.
Look for them and put them on your calendar.
Local fairs and festivals are places where people feel more joyful and relaxed. All people attending are like one big group of friends by default.
On some occasions, alcohol is involved, which means that conversations are somewhat easier to get started and the chances to socialize effortlessly just higher.
Even when you decide to go alone, I guarantee you’ll have a blast, meet some new people and make some unforgettable memories.
Have you ever been in a concert alone? If so, you probably know what I mean.
Just be yourself
It may be awkward and you may meet some not-so-friendly faces. Eh, those faces probably belong to the anti-social people haters I was talking about at the beginning.
Don’t get discouraged, not everyone behaves with grace and friendliness. Keep your smile and your head up and move on. Your awesome new friends are right around the corner.