Loneliness is an unfortunate reality for nomads, and remains the number one reason many quit the field and return to a settled lifestyle. Social connection can feel like a sacrifice you have to make for the freedom of moving place to place.

You might think longingly of friends back home and wish they'd do a 180, upend their stable lives, and realise travel is their true calling. Or you might dream of scenarios from adventure or fantasy stories, where the protagonist, drifting from town to town, collects a ragtag band of companions along the way.

While we can't promise these dramatic solutions, there are still solid methods nomads can use to form connections, make friends, sustain existing friendships, and exercise their social muscles, while maintaining a travelling lifestyle.

1. Social Exercises

When you're on your own in a city that speaks an unfamiliar language, it can be easy to neglect conversational skills. Fortunately, there are plenty of small ways to boost your interactions with strangers.

Hostels and Expat Communities

Look up areas of the city with high concentrations of hostels or ex-pat communities. Finding other foreigners means you'll be meeting people with similar experiences, who are often just as starved for conversation.

Become a regular at touristy bars, restaurants, and coffee shops in these areas. Food and drinks can be more expensive and far less authentic, but you'll be getting immersed in a more familiar social environment.

If a traveller appears to be speaking your language, strike up a conversation! You can ask about where they're from, how long they've stayed in the city, and their recommendations for sightseeing.

Local Language

By making an effort to learn some of the local language, you can reduce feelings of isolation and improve your experience of a location.

Learning a language as an adult is demanding but deeply rewarding. The more comfortable you are using a language the less trapped you'll feel when you want to express yourself and connect with locals.

Using language apps such as Memrise, Drops, or Duolingo can be a good start to get familiar with common words and phrases.

Small Talk

If the thought of approaching strangers or chatting to locals in a second language makes you anxious and awkward, you're not alone. Socialising is like a muscle: the more you exercise it, the stronger and more fluid it becomes.

If you're craving connection but struggling to start conversations or open up to fellow nomads, begin by giving yourself small goals. Every day you could practice saying hi to one person, ordering at a different coffee shop, sitting at a table near other travellers, or asking someone to recommend their favourite place to eat.

Don't sweat it, you'll only be here for a month or two, talking to people you probably won't see again. These conversations are very low-risk.

2. Meeting New Friends

When trying to meet like-minded people overseas, many nomads look to bars and cafes. While it's true that alcohol can make awkward greetings flow easier, and you might bond over a shared love of coffee, the digital aspect of being a digital nomad means you aren't just limited to finding friends in person.


Using a site like Nomadr gives you the freedom to search up possible pals and exchange messages long before you'll meet in person.

It's a great way to find people with similar lifestyles and takes any real-world pressure off of approaching strangers.

Let your personality shine through your profile so potential friends get a preview of your best and weirdest traits. Share your travel bucket lists, wildest disaster stories, jokes, and sage advice.


If you're naturally very social, random interactions at bars or chats online might not be enough to scratch the companionship itch.

Nomads who need to be around people 24/7 should let their living situation reflect this. Hostels, homestays, and co-living arrangements provide a place to sleep as well as a rich social aspect.

Hosted events allow for easy ice-breakers, and shared spaces ensure you'll be seeing your dorm mates on a regular basis. Conversation and group activities are encouraged at hostels and it's not uncommon for lifelong friendships to develop.

Classes and Activities

If you're a reserved nomad who mostly enjoys the company of your hobbies/games/fandoms it's very possible (if you wish!) to meet and befriend people with similar niche passions.

Apps like Meetup let you join groups of like-minded folk where you can talk about and share the things you love. Or, if you don't mind stepping out of your comfort zone, classes on activities like cooking, painting, writing, or woodworking are a great way to find fellow aficionados and bond over your creations.

If you do hit it off with someone and want to catch up again in future, don't be afraid to ask for their details and invite them to another activity/event. This is a great way to build lasting friendships and further your knowledge and enjoyment of a hobby.

3. Keeping Old Friends

All relationships need communication and time commitment to survive, but it can be tough not to let things slip when you're on the other side of the world from your friends and family.

Digital interaction, while not as satisfying as meeting in person, can give us back ways to spend quality time with the valued people in our lives.

Gaming Sessions

If you and your friends enjoy video games, online multiplayers can be an entertaining way to bridge the distance. If survival, shooter, or MMORPG games aren't your thing, you can substitute them with trivia quizzes and party games (Jackbox offers a good collection).

Virtual Happy Hour

Setting up a virtual happy hour on Zoom lets you and your mates share drinks and banter like old times. While an acceptable 'hour' can be tricky to schedule in some time zones, this is a great way to catch up without the stilted atmosphere of a phone call.

Another option for a night-in is a shared viewing experience on Teleparty. Queue up a favourite show or a new release you're dying to watch, break out the popcorn and share the laughs or scares.

Schedule Catch-Ups

When juggling work, exploring a new place, and meeting new people, it's easy to fall into the trap of postponing catch-ups with friends back home.

To prioritise these relationships schedule your calls in advance. Organised plans make it harder to get distracted or talk yourself out of making an effort that day. Agree on a date/time with your friend, then set a reminder in your phone or journal so you can't forget.

4. Dating for Nomads

Many people dream of meeting the love of their life while travelling the world or having exciting flings in exotic locations. The reality is often less romantic. Being a rolling stone means you need to be honest with yourself and your partners about what you want out of a relationship.

Short Term

Casual relationships are well suited to the flexibility of the nomad lifestyle. No awkward ties to a person or location mean you can freely flit from city to city as you please.

It can sometimes feel challenging to meet other singles when you aren't familiar with a location, aren't staying for long, or pickings are slim. But those flirty encounters in bars and sizzling app matches do happen. You'll learn to roll with the ebb and flow of your ever-changing journey.

Long Term

Nomads who dream of traversing the earth side-by-side with an adventurous soulmate shouldn't dismay. It's an attainable dream! But it does require planning and total transparency with potential partners.

Be up-front about your lifestyle on the first date. A nomad won't be every singles' cup of coffee, but don't sweat failed dates. It's more important that you and a long-term partner have compatible goals. You'll have other opportunities to meet interested nomads, or even locals, who won't baulk at selling their belongings and embarking on a new life with you.

Go Digital

Digital dating has transformed the way we find love. No longer limited to approaching hotties at bars or waiting for meet-cutes at cafes, apps allow nomads to match and chat with potential flings or life-partners from all over the world.

Apps can also take the guesswork, and potential heartache, out of finding a travel-happy partner. By setting your profile preferences or using nomad-specific apps like Nomad Soulmates or Miss Travel, you can avoid painful misunderstandings and find matches compatible with your interests and values.

5. Networking for Nomads

Nomads working freelance, or trying to get their own business off the ground, can find conversations about their career get lonely and discouraging. Locals/tourists might only see the positive aspects of your job, flying solo means no workmate support, and if you want to change industries it's hard to even know where to start.

Fortunately, ambitious nomads can find relatable peers, new opportunities, and advice for success through networking forums.

Co-working Events

Many popular co-working spaces host events for their members. Functions can range from professional guest lectures, to pizza parties, book-clubs, and trust building exercises. There's something for everyone!

Co-working events are a fun and easy way for nomads to meet people with similar goals. You might also conquer a fear, learn new business strategies, or improve your work-life balance.

Online Forums

Seeking advice from others in your industry? Needing feedback on your elevator pitch? Or looking to hire a contracter for your business? Online communities can serve as a reliable source of answers and job opportunities for nomads struggling with remote work.

Social networking sites like Nomadr, Meetup, or Facebook Digital Nomad groups can provide nomads with information and support. Many users are long-time travellers with experience working for themselves who are eager to share their stories and advice.

Business networking sites like Flexjobs, LinkedIn, or Upwork allow clients to connect with contracters and freelancers to promote their portfolio. By embellishing your profile with examples of your work, noting your proficiencies, and listing previous achievements, you can stand out from the pack and reach more clients.

Nomad Conferences

Nomads committed to expanding their skills or growing their network could consider attending a conference. These events draw remote workers from all-over the world and offer the perfect environment to rub elbows with fellow freelancers or promote your business.

Conferences like Nomad City, Freedom Business Summit, or Nomad Summit provide attendees with workshops, presentations from successful speakers, and activities in luxury locations. However, the most beneficial aspect of these events is connecting with other nomads who have likeminded goals.

Due to the large and lavish nature of a nomad conference tickets can be pricey. But don't feel pressure to spend on a deluxe package. The more basic option is often just as helpful for your career.

Nomadic life doesn't have to be lonely. When you take advantage of your social opportunities, share your interests, and practice conversational skills you can find friends, peers, and partners wherever you go. We hope this guide can help you forge a fulfilling social life as you travel the globe!