How to Use Facebook Groups to Meet People as a Digital Nomad
Living on the road means that you get to meet some of the most amazing and unique people in the world, with many interesting stories to share. It also means that just as you’ve built some real connections with these people, you’re packing up and moving on to your next location.
Travel, for me, is about community. I want to form genuine connections to the people and locations I encounter as I move throughout this world. As digital nomads, the time that we have in each location can sometimes be short, so we need to take advantage of the available resources to find like-minded people in new locations.
During the last 7 years of my nomad life, I have moved to a new location on my own over 10 times. I’ll be honest, at the start, it was hard to meet people (even as an extrovert). I didn’t really know where to look.
In my previous life (pre-nomad), I met friends at school and work. But when you’re working from your laptop, you need to get a bit craftier when it comes to meeting like-minded people and making friends.
But don’t worry, I’ve got you. Actually, Facebook has got you.
Using Facebook Groups to meet people as a digital nomad
Facebook is no longer a place to post albums of drunken shenanigans with friends. In fact, I haven’t posted on my personal Facebook page in years. But Facebook Groups are another story. They are literally the primary way I have connected with other nomads and locals when I arrive in a new location. Facebook Groups are GAME-CHANGING.
I have made some incredible connections, many of who I now call best friends, through Facebook Groups. So, how do you find relevant groups to join, and what do you do once you’re in there? There are a few steps you can take:
Search by location
The first thing I do when I know I’m moving to a new place is to search Facebook for the location + digital nomads/expats/freelancers. For example, if you’re going to Lisbon, Portugal, you could search Lisbon Digital Nomads, or Lisbon freelancers to see what comes up. I usually try to join the most active groups, so check out how many members are there and the frequency of posts.
I’m currently in Playa Del Carmen, Mexico, and there are 3 primary digital nomad groups that are very active here. The local digital nomad groups are always hosting meetups and networking events, making it very easy to connect with others in the same boat as you.
Check out the global groups
Digital nomads all have one main thing in common; they are always on the move. Connecting with people in global digital nomad communities is an excellent practice since you’re very likely to meet these people on the road somewhere. Some of the best digital nomad groups I’m part of include Digital Nomad Girls Community and Female Digital Nomads. When you decide on your next location or arrive there, you can post in the group, asking if anyone else is there and wants to connect. I can almost guarantee you that someone will.
Search by industry/interests
Join local groups by your industry, niche or job. Making other nomad friends is always great, but it is also amazing to make friends with locals, so don’t limit yourself to only nomad groups. Not only will they give you a more in-depth insight into the culture and people who live there, but they will also have tons of insider tips and recommendations of places to eat, drink, visit, etc. (maybe they will even be your personal tour guide).
Since I’m a content writer/blogger, I will search for “Location” Bloggers or “Location” freelancers. One of my favorite industry-specific groups for females is Freelancing Females. I’ve both met amazing women in the group, plus even gotten some work gigs out of it!
Search by interests/hobbies
Also, search for Facebook Groups centered around your interests. I’m vegan, so I’m part of the Vegan Travel community on Facebook. While it’s not location-specific, you can get some great recommendations on vegan food wherever you go. Since it’s a group of over 36k people, there are usually others you can meet up with.
If you have hobbies that you enjoy like you enjoy, like yoga or snowboarding you can search for “Location” Snowboarding or “Location” yoga.
What to do once you’re in the groups?
Ok, so you’ve joined the groups where your tribe hangs out. Now what? Now it’s time to start engaging. Ask questions, reply to other people’s posts, start conversations in the comments, and post things you think could be of interest to others.
If you’re feeling bold, you could even organize a meetup yourself, such as a group brunch or hang out in a local park. But if you’re not ready for that, then that’s ok. Keep an eye out for others organizing meetups, workshops, and events and make an effort to attend. Be yourself, go with an open mind, and step a little bit out of your comfort zone, and you’re sure to build your global tribe.