As a remote worker and a global nomad, one of my greatest fears is to feel lonely while working from home.
I’ve always been an extrovert and meeting new people has always been one of my favorite things in the world. I’m also very social and having dinner with friends or hanging out with them after work are some of the activities I love the most.
But as I discovered during different trips around the world, working from home has a perk: to work whenever you want and wherever you are.
This flexibility made me a nomad freelancer, but it also created an issue: how can I keep my social life? How am I going to manage to meet new people? How can I feel fulfilled without spending time with other human beings? Is it even possible to be happy working from home?
In this article, I’ll show you how to work and socialize at the same time.
Stay connected with old friends
The first thing to do is a little bit of planning. If you have friends that you see often, ask them to come visit you from time to time. Talk with them about your lifestyle and make sure they know what your requirements are — the date of their arrival, for example.
In my case, I made it clear that I was not available during the first six months of my trip because I needed some time to get settled and find the right place to work. After that, however, I was ready for a daily routine with them.
And so it happened: two friends came to visit me in Portugal last week! They are my best friends back home and they have always been very supportive of my life choices. Even more than that, they’re also digital nomads who live in Thailand and work remotely — they know exactly how to manage the challenges that come with this lifestyle.
It’s also important to mention that we don’t only meet for working time: we spent plenty of hours together just chilling and enjoying our friendship!
Work from a coworking space
Coworking spaces are places with desks, fast internet connection and often a kitchen area where you can meet other remote workers or freelancers.
An important advantage is the fact that you don’t have to worry about office equipment such as computer, printer or phone — they are all provided for you.
In my case, I work from one coworking space in each destination that I go to. That way, I not only have the chance to meet other people that are also traveling or work remotely, but it’s also a great business opportunity.
Last month in Lisbon, for example, I had the chance to do this with two of my friends from Brazil that were visiting Portugal at that time. They used my office (with my equipment, of course) and we had a great time sharing our experiences and exchanging ideas.
If there’s not a coworking space in your city, just look up the coworking association or another organization that provides business opportunities to freelancers. There are many ways to find coworkers!
Join Meetup groups
Nowadays it’s very easy to find Meetup groups or business opportunities near you. There are plenty of them and joining one is the perfect way to get involved with the community.
If you want to search for a subreddit meetup group, just go here . You can also check this page if you prefer chatrooms .
In my case, I just searched for groups of people who shared the same interests as me (digital nomadism, photography, blogging) and invited them to join. In some cases, they already had meetups planned in the future — all I needed to do was ask if there were any places for people like me!
In other situations, I had to take the first step by suggesting an activity or something fun that would get people together. That way, I could meet new friends and develop relationships without spending money in bars or restaurants.
Create your own meetup group
This is an option for those who find it difficult to connect with other people and want to start from scratch. I’ve done this one time as well, and it turned out to be a great experience.
The main advantage of this method is that you can meet people with the same interests as yours. For example, in Lisbon I organized a bike tour through the city’s historical center and another one through the modern streets of Belem — both groups had an amazing time!
Here are some tips for creating your own meetup group:
Use your contacts and social networks to find people with the same interests as you.
If you have no idea about what activities to do, just ask around!
Try making an event on Facebook or Meetup a few days before going out with your friends. Send invitations and see who responds. You will get some interesting results!
Don’t be afraid of the first step — if you’re not sure how to approach people, just ask for advice.
Work from a coworking space and meet new friends there. If the coworking space allows it, invite your coworkers to join your activities!