Life on the road is glorious. But anyone who lives the lifestyle can tell you that one of the biggest obstacles is maintaining a digital nomad community – or any community for that matter.
Hopping around from place to place comes with its own trade-offs. You get to explore the far corners of the world, but it can sure get lonely.
Some digital nomads even start to feel a bit jaded after a while.
When it comes to your social life, it can feel like you’re having the same introductory ‘getting to know you’ conversation over and over again. Then when you’re starting to build truly meaningful connections, one of you is off to your next destination.
In a more significant, existential sense, it can start to feel like you’re misunderstood, isolated, or directionless. Things can get overwhelming pretty quickly, especially when you’re learning the ropes and finding your flow.
And on top of that, you might encounter some obstacles and challenges that put a damper on your experience, like internet connectivity problems or trouble getting comfortable in certain new places.
While these are very real struggles for digital nomads, you can manage them.
It’ll take conscious effort on your part, but you can tap into the online digital nomad community as one of the ways to build a support network, keep your head on straight, and ensure you’re making friends along the way
In addition to the potential for good company, the digital nomad community is also a wealth of collective knowledge and wisdom. You can ask questions, read about other nomads’ experiences, and get some great hacks, tips, ideas, and inspiration.
Franklin Hatchett of eCom Elites is all about that life. He’s a connected digital nomad entrepreneur who sees professional communities as a gateway to opportunity.
“In the world of entrepreneurship, building your support network and putting yourself out there is the most basic requirement.
Joining relevant communities can open your gates to a whole new world of valuable connections. Build the right relationships, and you’ll avoid some major roadblocks ahead by receiving advice on what direction to take.
In addition, communities provide you with access to an entire segment of people who might potentially be interested in the product or service you sell. They can also put you in touch with their contacts who would require your offerings.
More leads, revenue, and profits are often a hidden benefit of being an active member of a professional community.”
In this article, we’ll look at various nomad networks and resources like:
- Digital nomad websites and blogs
- Apps for the digital nomad community
- Digital nomad groups and forums
- Coworking and digital nomad co-living spaces
Let’s do this.
Digital Nomad Communities: Websites and Blogs
It’s easy to tell that this website is by nomads, for nomads. It’s a comprehensive guide for most of the things you need to know when work and travel is your thing.
The site ranks top cities based on ‘Nomad Scores,’ showing all kinds of helpful information, from cost and quality of life info all the way down to which power plug adapters you’ll need.
If you decide to join this digital nomad community for $149 per year, you’ll have access to cool features like chatting with other nomads and building your own personalized trips.
Even if you don’t want to fork over a membership fee, it still gives you some fantastic information for free.
Web Work Travel focuses on creating something of a luxury nomad experience. It’s not so much for the cheap backpacker’s life – this brand is more focused on young entrepreneurs who are looking to grow professionally while having fun and meeting like-minded people.
They also have a Facebook group called Global Digital Nomad Network, which is a digital nomad community where you can find support, mentorship, remote job openings, and more.
While this isn’t a nomad-specific website, it’s an awesome way to meet people near you who share similar interests. There are two dozen categories to choose from, with plenty of travel and networking options around the world – just click through and see if there are any related meetups taking place in your current or upcoming destinations.
If you’re seeing a lackluster assortment, you can always become a group organizer and create your own digital nomad meetups and nomad networks.
Digital Nomad Blogs
Here’s a big juicy list of a few of the top digital nomad blogs in 2019.
Expert Vagabond: Join (another) Matt, a photographer who shares tips and blogs his way through adventures all around the world.
BucketListly: Not only does Pete have an informative and interesting blog, but he also makes beautiful videos of his travels.
Digital Nomad Wannabe: Not your average digital nomad blog – it’s run by a woman who’s living the nomad life with her husband and three kids.
I Am Aileen: When she was 21, Aileen quit her corporate job and left the Philippines to explore the world. Now she’s sharing and teaching others.
Nomad Capitalist: This fantastic blog is all about helping nomads lower their taxes, growth their wealth, and become global citizens.
Stingy Nomads: The name says it all – they’re living an adventurous lifestyle, with specialties in scuba diving and hiking, and they’re doing it on the cheap.
Digital Nomad Empire: A blog dedicated to teaching you the right skills and knowledge to become location independent.
Location Rebel: In addition to the blog, you’ll find a six-part course on how to build the lifestyle you’ve been daydreaming about from your desk job.
Legal Nomads: Jodi Ettenberg used to be a lawyer, but now she’s dedicated to telling stories through food and travel.
Making it Anywhere: Nomadic couple Mish and Rob refused to accept what’s ‘normal,’ and they’re showing their readers how to do it too.
Digital Nomad Communities: Groups and Apps
Facebook groups are incredibly handy, because you can find some sort of resource for virtually any city. To start, just log into your Facebook account and type ‘[city name] digital nomads.’ In the top menu bar, you can narrow down your categories, like looking through posts, videos, pages, groups, or events related to the search.
If you click the ‘Groups’ tab, you can become members of those communities if they look valuable.
You can try other city-based searches too, like:
- [city name] expats
- [city name] travelers
- [city name] backpackers
Or you can look for more generalized groups. Try broad searches like:
- Digital nomads
- Remote workers
As you skim through your options, you’ll find all kinds of specialties, like female-only or remote work job posting groups.
Of course, if you’re looking for a unique specialty, just type it into your search bar and see where the mystical Book of Faces takes you.
Keep in mind that if it’s a closed group, which is quite common, you’ll likely need to answer a few questions and wait for the page’s admins to accept your request to join. This is usually pretty speedy but can take up to a week in some cases.
So it’s best to do this in advance instead of waiting until you’re down to the wire.
Here are a few of the top digital nomad groups on Facebook to get you started.
Workationing: This Facebook group supports the blog and podcast started by two best friends who ditched their possessions in a storage unit and set off for their new life.
Digital Nomad Entrepreneurs: This growing digital nomad network will soon be hosting events and meetings for its members to connect and build relationships.
Digital Nomads Around the World: A community of more than 100,000 people who share tips and stories, ask for advice on their current or upcoming travels, and connect with available remote jobs.
Remote Work & Jobs for Digital Nomads: This group focuses on connecting aspiring and current digital nomads with remote work opportunities. You can upload your resume or post your own job.
Digital Nomad Jobs: Remote Job Opportunities: Another group focused on helping nomads and future nomads find good gigs and positions that match their skill sets.
And here are some of the most popular location-specific digital nomad groups:
- Digital Nomads Medellín
- Budapest Digital Nomads
- Digital Nomads Bali
- Chiang Mai Digital Nomads
- Tarifa Digital Nomads
- Digital Nomads Spain
- Digital Nomads Cancun
Reddit Digital Nomad Group
The subreddit r/digitalnomad has more than 400,000 subscribers around the world, some of whom are already nomadding and others who are daydreaming or planning their transition.
You’ll find all kinds of user-generated content, from laptop recommendations to financial advice to stories about making friends in strange places.
To start, check out their handy ‘Digital Nomad Newbie Survival Kit’ post, which has a big list of FAQs that beginners are often asking.
Digital Nomad Apps
Here are a few cool apps to help you make friends and organize digital nomad meetups while you’re on the road.
Backpackr: As the name implies, this app is made for connecting backpackers so they can have a buddy while they do what they love in new places.
Find a Nomad: Find other nomads, discover where they’re off to next, and meet up with them if your paths align.
Tinder: You’ve probably heard of this massively popular dating app. What you may not know is that it’s a 100% viable way to make some pals, and it’s used from people all over the world.
Bumble: Similar to Tinder in that it’s intended for dating, but it gives more power to women. Once a match is made, only females can send the first message. Bumble also offers a ‘BFF’ feature, which lets others know you’re not there for dating.
Party With: Want to explore the nightlife of a new city? Link up with some locals or fellow travelers to have a few drinks, go dancing, or just see where the night takes you.
Eat With: Eating is one of the most social activities we do as humans. This app lets you meet with others for dinner parties, food tours, cooking classes, and supper clubs.
Nomad Projects: A clever app that helps team up nomads looking for a side project. Find a partner for your awesome new idea or join a mastermind to bring theirs to life.
Date a Nomad: Looking for love on the road? Don’t compromise your desire to travel by dating in one place. Find someone who’s just as hungry for adventure.
Digital Nomad Communities: Coworking and Co-Living Spaces
Coworking spaces can be a real life-saver! They’re especially handy in cities with less developed infrastructure, where the internet – or the power! – is more likely to cut out unexpectedly.
Important note: Keep in mind that there is such a thing as a coworking space with slow or choppy internet. This can be a real bummer, but you have to be prepared for this possibility when you go to a less-developed city.
Outside of these connectivity issues, coworking spaces can be a wonderful place to connect with the digital nomad community and meet local entrepreneurs.
They can also help you to maintain productivity so you’re not slouching around on the couch all day.
These spaces are usually situated to resemble open office spaces, with loads of desks and chairs for you to work comfortably, as well as more relaxed areas to lounge and chat. Many coworking spaces offer coffee and tea, as well as a cafe for you to get a snack or meal during your work breaks.
You might also be able to rent your own desk and chair, or a private room to make phone calls or host a meeting, if you so desire.
The best way to find a coworking space is a good ol’ Google search, like:
- Coworking space [city name]
- Coworking [city name]
- Coworking space near me
There are a handful of international coworking companies that have spaces all over the world, but a Google search is a good way to make sure you’re not overlooking the smaller local options for each city.
If you have the opportunity, check out WeWork, which many consider to be the global pioneer of coworking spaces. While there are many names growing quickly, they still haven’t managed to keep up with WeWork.
As of March 2019, the company has 620 locations in 103 cities and more than 30 countries, including:
- More than 30 in the U.S.
- South Korea
- And more!
In every WeWork location, you’ll find a lot of cool amenities to feel more comfortable and catered to, like private phone booths, 24/7 hours, office supplies, and bike storage. You’ll even get swanky perks like micro-roasted coffee, fresh fruit water, and craft beers for when it’s time to power down for the day.
A growing number of coworking spaces also offer accommodation with other visitors, commonly called ‘co-living.’ These places tend to fill up with like-minded travelers who are looking for adventure while staying serious about their careers. For many digital nomads, co-living spaces offer an opportunity to connect to the digital nomad community.
Some digital nomad programs even offer full packages that handle everything for you.
For example, the ‘landing package’ from Hubud in Bali includes:
- Free pickup from the airport
- A private orientation to get to know the place and ask all your questions
- A ‘welcome kit’ with some goodies for your first few days in your new home
- A SIM card with prepaid internet
- A beautiful private or shared apartment
- Unlimited access to the coworking space
If you’re a little hesitant to plunge into a new country all by yourself, or if you’re interested in being pampered, one of these digital nomad co-living programs might be right up your alley.
Plug in and Branch Out
There you have it.
Hopefully, you’re feeling inspired, informed, and motivated to check off all the boxes you need to take the plunge into a digital nomad lifestyle.
Throughout this post, I’ve discussed some global resources and tools to help you tap into the digital nomad community.
You might be brimming with so much excitement you can barely sit still. Or you might feel a bit of fear and apprehension in your stomach every time you think of such a drastic change.
Either way, the only direction to move is forward.
And the only time to do it is now.
Keep your fire burning by writing down three steps you’re going to take this week to work toward your new life of freedom and badass Instagram photos.
Table of Contents
Chapter 1: Is a Digital Nomad Lifestyle Right for You?
Chapter 2: Work Anywhere With These Digital Nomad Jobs
Chapter 3: How to Become a Digital Nomad: 4 Tips To Prepare
Chapter 4: How to Choose Your First Destination
Chapter 5: Travel Budget Tips for the Aspiring Digital Nomad
Chapter 6: Tapping Into the Digital Nomad Community