Author - Susie J, CEO @ WanderKit
Traveling or exploring on your own can be one of the best ways to challenge yourself and truly immerse into your surroundings. You learn to depend on yourself, rely on your instincts, and better understand your strengths and weaknesses. However, one of the biggest hurdles of wandering by yourself is when you seek to share an experience with a like-minded friend or need support when you are facing a hard time.
Despite being a very independent and resourceful individual, it never hurts to have a friend no matter where you go. I love feeling free and self-reliant, but at the same time, I also enjoy meeting people who you can share stories, rides, and adventures with. Also, having a pal to help you take photos doesn't hurt 📸. Keep reading to see my top tips and sources on how you can meet friends while you wander!
SIGN UP FOR WANDERKIT or COUCHSURFING
WanderKit - Connect with other curious and adventurous people to share fun experiences with in-person. You can post an adventure or join an existing activity/event without signing up for groups. All activities are hand-picked by our team or created by other wanderers and recommended based on your interests. You can also navigate to the Connect tab to see who's wandering near you!
Couchsurfing - For a small monthly/annual fee, you can join the budget-friendly Couchsurfing community. While it's primarily for finding hosts to provide free accommodations, some hosts are happy to meet without you having to stay at their place. Some hosts might not have re-opened their home post-Covid, but it doesn't mean that they aren't available to hang out or grab a bite or beer.
FIND LOCAL FACEBOOK, WHATSAPP, or SLACK GROUP
There are tons of Facebook groups for activity, travel, and locations. How do you know which one to join? Our tip is to search Google or Facebook for <location name> with 'digital nomads', 'solo travel', or 'adventure'. Be specific about the location when you search for group, otherwise your post can get lost or it's hard to find friends to meet during the period you are there. Sometimes, there is overlap between the 3 (Facebook, WhatsApp, Slack) depending on the location. Make sure you read admin policies before posting: some have strict moderations on what can be posted in certain channels, or even on which days.
If you haven't tried it yet, check out different co-living spaces! It's not only a way to stay connected to wanderers (and even create new connections!), but it's also a great, environmentally sustainable way to save money with many options available, depending on your needs and level of independence and comfort. Although I had my own room and separate schedule, I was able to meet amazing new friends to share the experience and future travels with.
Here are 4 varying co-living options that just might work for you!
➡ Wifi Tribe - Wifi Tribe has 4-6 week trips throughout the year where “Tribers”
can choose to stay all over the world. You have to apply to join, but after being accepted, you can book as many “a la carte” trips as you’d like! This option has a great community vibe for meeting other enthusiastic wanderers, and might be the best option if you want a low time commitment to be immersed into a lively digital nomad community.
➡ Selina - Selina is a chain of hostels with co-working spaces. They have a “CoLive” program where you pay a flat monthly rate and can go to up to 3 Selina locations during the month. This is a great option for those who like to be on the move frequently and need a reliable working space and may not be as concerned with a heavily social environment!
➡ Remote Year - Remote Year has a great range of pre-organized trips. Their trips are more structured than the other options on this list as they provide Spanish lessons, excursions, as well as some meals in addition to including airfare and accommodation. If you don’t have much time to research or want to play it on the safer side by having everything laid out for you in advance, this might be the best option for you!
We hope you found these tips helpful! Share your ideas or tips on how you meet friends or wander buddies with us at firstname.lastname@example.org.