Digital Nomading with Friends 👯♀️
The digital nomad life is more than beaches and exotic locations
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A Little Anecdote 🌊
Essaouira is a magical place, you get a beautiful blend of Arabic, French and the Amazigh culture, you get surfers, cyclists, artists, backpackers, all living under the same roof, where the desert meets the sea.
I stopped by Essaouira as part of my digital nomad journey, and lived at the Chill Art Hostel for over a month. By the end I became so close with volunteers and managers at the hostel, we’d go surfing together, host parties and dinners at the hostel. I felt sad that I had to leave, and wish to go back there one day.
I had a wonderful time soaking in the vibrant vitality of the local spirit, the sound of children playing in alleyways made me feel at home in a foreign country. Here’s a music video I made to document that time.
Enjoy this playlist I discovered from a Café in Essaouira, where you can just sit all day and have endless conversations with friendly locals and travelers.
Communities for Lonesome Travelers
You can work and live from anywhere. This is the life of a digital nomad - a lifestyle more and more people dream of, fueled by the freedom to work from anywhere in the world. But beneath the idyllic facade you see on Instagram, the digital nomad life is more than beaches and exotic locations.
Today, the world houses over 30 million digital nomads, a number that only promises to rise in the coming years. However, with this rise comes a crucial aspect that can often be overlooked - companionship and community.
Digital nomadism has evolved over the years, now representing a diverse spectrum of practices and motivations. In this post, we delve deeper into this lifestyle, exploring its challenges, and how it shapes our relationships and our sense of community. Moreover, we'll tackle an often overlooked aspect of the digital nomad life - loneliness - and how to combat it.
Connectivity over social media has expanded our horizons on building meaningful relationships beyond borders, but the sense of true friendship, a result of years of being together in intimate physical spaces, can hardly be replaced by virtual connections. The absence of face-to-face interactions and a trusting, close-knit community might make us feel extremely isolated.
Deep connections also take time to curate, and our lives are enriched because of them. Whether it’s families, classmates, coworkers, or friend groups, neighbors and social clubs, these connections never form overnight.
While the digital nomad lifestyle can seem like an endless adventure filled with new experiences, the constant moving and inability to establish long-term, face-to-face relationships can lead to lack of trusting communities and feelings of isolation —— being a stranger at all these beautiful places and nowhere to truly feel belong to —— this is reportedly the number one reason digital nomads end their journeys prematurely.
As such, finding a community while on the road becomes the north star for these individuals, serving as a pillar for emotional support and social engagement.
Intentional Communities: Co-Living and Beyond
There are plenty of opportunities for forming meaningful connections, and one of the key ways to do so is through co-living spaces. These offer not just a place to live and work, but also a ready-made community of fellow nomads who share similar lifestyles and understand the unique challenges that come with it.
Co-living is nothing new, people have always lived in shared spaces and small communities before industrialization, from eco villages, social clubs to communes. We moved away from our tight-knit communities into tiny homes in big apartments. Today, not a lot of people even know their neighbors or talk to them.
Intentional co-living spaces combine the comfort of modern co-living with ideologies from traditional intentional communities. These intentional co-living spaces are designed specifically to cultivate a sense of community among their residents. Aside from providing shared spaces like kitchens, living rooms, work spaces, curate regular community events such as dinners, parties, and outings, they also have very unique community rituals as bonding glues to foster deeper connections and sense of purpose among its residents.
Ways to Discover Intentional Communities
Finding and joining these communities often involve researching online, visiting various communities, and getting to know the people and the lifestyle before deciding to join.
Resources for digital nomads to discover intentional communities:
Join Cabin: Cabin is a network designed of coliving properties located in pristine nature. By joining their network city, you can expect intentional people all over the world.
Fairbnb.coop: This platform connects you with local hosts who care about their communities. When you book, a portion of the proceeds goes back into the local community, fostering a sense of connection and giving back.
The Listing Project: The listing project was founded as a way for artists to share their empty studios to other artists, but it has evolved beyond that into a resource for shared housing for a more selective community than renting platforms.
Use the Agartha map: Our online resource provides a global map of intentional communities, eco-villages, and other alternative living arrangements, making it easier for nomads to find and explore these communities.
Numundo: Numundo is like airbnb but for intentional eco villages, their selective listings feature almost exclusively villages and co-living places among nature. Their platform also allows for direct booking.
HostelWorld: Hostels are one of the best ways to meet all walks of lives. In contrary to a hotel or airbnb, most hostels provide group meals, very engaging events and travel plans that allow people to meet and team up on adventures.
Join local digital nomad communities: Many cities have groups or meetups for digital nomads, whether it’s from Meetup.com or FB groups, This can be a great way to meet people and form connections on the road. Some cities even have co-working spaces specifically designed for digital nomads, providing another opportunity for community and collaboration.
Find Friends on the Road
Connecting with locals and other travelers not only enrich our experiences, but also broadens our perspective by accepting a more diverse range of believes and lifestyles.
Doesn’t matter where we are in the world, one thing remains clear: humans are social creatures, and we thrive in communities. 💕
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