12 Ways to Avoid Loneliness as a Location Independent Remote Worker

13 min read | by April Hope 
Women In the Grass Alone

Being a location independent remote worker can be amazing. Being able to just pack a bag and go anywhere while still having a steady income has its perks. But, it can also be incredibly lonely at times. Whether you're a remote professional looking for friends or people to hang out with, a potential romantic partner or someone to date, or you want to network and find someone to collaborate with, or a mentoring partnership, building relationships take time and it can sometimes be a bit intimidating to meet new people, especially when you're traveling abroad. You won't be able to avoid feeling alone all the time, but below are a few ways to meet and connect with people to avoid loneliness as a location independent/ digital nomad traveler while you're on the road

Co-Working Spaces

According to Jennifer Lachs, the founder of Digital Nomad Girls, “Many co-working spaces offer free trial days, which is a great way to check out different spaces in a city, meet new people, and find out which have built strong communities.” She also suggests joining a co-living community. Check out her other tips for remote workers on SuitcaseEntrenepreneur.

Co-working spaces are opening up all over the world, so location independent workers can enjoy the feeling of being part of a community while working on individual projects. Often, the prices for monthly memberships at co-working spaces are much lower than you'd expect, especially in other countries. Do a Google search and visit several near you. You're sure to meet other location independent remote workers who might become new friends.

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Sitting around the table working together.
Meeting people at co-working spaces can help with isolation.

Get a Buddy

At Remote.com, 10 companies were asked how they dealt with bringing new remote workers onto their team. Skillcrush has an excellent policy for new hires; they immediately pair them up with a new teammate, or buddy.

“Aside from making sure they get a special care package of Skillcrush goodies, and have all of the necessary tools and software in place, we pair them up with a ‘buddy’ who they can go to for advice and just chat with for fun.”

You don't need to have a buddy who works for the same company, though. Find another remote worker and share ideas, challenges, and advice with each other.

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Join the Remotely One Slack Community
The RemotelyOne Slack Community Provides you opportunities to network with other Location-Independent Professionals.

Slack Communities

Slack is a really great (and free) resource for anyone who needs a private space to chat, host meetings, plan projects, organize events, work on collaborations, or to connect with friends or family.

Many companies and businesses use Slack groups to community quickly and efficiently. It's sort of like a virtual co-working space meets conference room type of space where people can share messages and information privately or with the entire group.

It's also a great way to bond with others based around your work, or mutual interests. You can discuss the latest developments on a project, hot trends, share information, data or research or ask mentors for advice, find and share new resources, give inspiration, and share your goals and experiences.

Within Slack communities you'll find channels. Channels are sort of like topic-specific chat rooms.

Discussions in Slack can be held on channels open to the whole group or team, or as private, direct message between two people.

Some of the ways you can use a Slack group include:

  • Share goals and objectives in a #weekly-goals channel

  • Get advice from others in a Mastermind group

  • Learn how others deal with loneliness

  • Build relationships with fellow members in a #meet-someone-new channel

  • Keep notes in special files for easy referencing


Join Remotely One to have access to the Slack Community and chat with other Telework and Cowork colleagues.

Couchsurfing

Couchsurfing began as a way for travelers to find hosts to stay with around the world, but don't think you need to be able to reciprocate. Personally, I'm no longer able to have guests because of my travel schedule, and I don't need it as a way to find places to stay since I often work with hotels. But I do join the forums and groups on the site, and on Facebook because I like attending their meetups to meet new friends who are local, as well as other travelers. It's a fantastic way to meet new people.

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Espresso in a Coffee Shop.
Find a local coffee shop and enjoy the different neighborhoods as a change of scenary.

Cafes

When I travel, I like to find a specific cafe I can work from each day. I schedule four hours each day and try to be consistent. Unlike in America where you sometimes get glares from the staff for sitting to long, in other countries like Morocco, you could sip one coffee all day and no one would say anything. (But don't do that! Patronize businesses and be respectful.) I plan my time around breakfast or late evening when they aren't as busy, and tip well. Going to the same cafe each day means you might meet other regular customers, and the staff will greet you warmly with a smile.

Meetups

You can find Meetups through Meetup.com in many cities. You can find some of the most bizarre subcultures and interests, free events, and people to network and possibly collaborate with. If there isn't one in the place you're going to, consider hosting one.

RemotelyOne Atlanta hosts Meetups where location independent professionals can meet, network and mingle and discuss some of the challenges and struggles within the telework community. More and more companies are allowing and encouraging new employees to be location independent, but while this can be a major benefit, there are some drawbacks, particularly the lack of human interaction that is usually present in offices, and connection with those who work from home.

RemotelyOne Meetups helps co-working and remote working professionals to create and build community while lessening some of the isolation and loneliness people struggle with as remote workers.

If you're not in Atlanta, there are plenty of Meetups around the country based on various interests, so check Meetup.com for groups in your area.

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Facebook Logo Blue
With features such as facebook offline, groups and messenger facebook can be a great asset to meeting new people.

Internet Free Facebook Mobile

As a location independent remote worker, you may find yourself in a place where there is little (or no) access to wifi. ProBlogBooster shares how  Mark Zuckerberg, Fonetwish and Facebook India have begun allowing users to access Facebook without being online or through a mobile app.

Even if you do not have internet, by using any phone (even old cell phones with no browser or data connectivity) you can access your account by dialing *325#. This mobile access to Facebook without internet started in India, but is spreading to other countries like Morocco already, with the ultimate goal of being available worldwide soon.

You won't have complete, full access to your account, but you will still be able to check your news feed, post comments and update your status. Apparently Fonetwish is a USSD [Unstructured Supplementary Data] based interactive service which brings the power of internet to every mobile phone and is used to transfer information to and from your mobile handset.

Just dial *325#.

  1. Login with your username & password. You will see numbered menu items.

  2. Access the services by sending the respective numbers.

  3. Access features like Status Updates, News feed, Messaging, Account Settings

Facebook Groups

I've got friends all over the world on Facebook, and each one of my friends has hundreds, or thousands, of friends. Write a post and ask if anyone knows anyone in the place you're going to. Also, join Facebook groups for that location and just ask if anyone wants to meet up for coffee.

There are plenty of digital nomad and ex-pat groups in cities around the world, just do a search. Once you join one, Facebook (and group members) will let you know about others.

Make sure you also look for events on Facebook (and via Google) in your are in.

Girls Love Travel Facebook Group

This Facebook group has over 500,000 members. Not only is this a fantastic group to be a part of because you can meet friends and travel partners around the world, you can also get travel tips from locals and travelers who have been there. Be sure to also check out the GLT subgroups like Wanderlove for women seeking advice or sharing stories all about dating, romance, sex and all things dealing with relationships and travel.

WhatsApp

It's great to meet new friends but when you're really feeling lonely, connect with family and friends through WhatsApp. You can talk, text or video anytime you've got wifi. I have a friend in London and we set up a weekly time for a one hour call which helped enormously when I've been isolated or alone and missing friends.

ET Phone Home

Okay most of you won't remember that 1982 E.T. movie reference, but just call Mom once a week, or so. You can teach her to video chat, Skype, WhatsApp, or even through Facebook messenger. Calling, and especially having a video chat with a family member or friend on a regular basis can really ease the pang of loneliness. See if you don't feel much better as you listen to Mom gossip about how horrible your siblings are and how you've always been her favorite.

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Couple on the Beach
Find others who are willing to travel.

Dating Sites and Apps

No, I don't mean Tinder. That will probably increase your loneliness. There are plenty of dating sites and apps you can use to meet up with new people. For a list of the best ones for travelers, click here.

If you absolutely must use Tinder, sign up for Tinder Gold. It's not free, but the premium account will let you choose your location before you arrive so you'll have new friends waiting, or perhaps arriving around the same time. But check out the list above for alternatives.

I’ll be honest; most of the dating apps and sites I have used made me feel worse. I’ve tried Tinder, but immediately realized that it was not for me. Plenty of Millenials enjoy hooking up for casual sex, but that just isn’t for me. Sure, it can be fun, especially when you’re traveling to anm exotic location. I’m not a thin woman, so when I visit places like Jamaica, Morocco, Egypt, or Nigeria, the men go crazy over what they believe is a romantic complinent; “Gal, ya’ got a fat ass!” <sigh>

But when I’m able to put aside my feminist shrieks of indignation, it’s nice ot know I’ve still got it.

But no, I do not want to enjoy a night, or a week, of pure, unadulterated casual sex.
 

I’ve tried using other sites like Plenty of Fish, OK Cupid, and Interracial Dating Central, where at least some members are open to finding a potential, long-term relationship. But the old saying, “You get what you pay for” is true. People do meet soul mates on these sites, I suppose.

I never did.

I tend to get a lot of messages on these free sites from men who live with their mothers, or are “in between” jobs. No matter what time of the day or night I signed on to check messages, the same guys would be there, cyber flirting.

One time a guy once who showed up and I was excited. He was cute and really funny. But, the minute we got in his car he took out some coke and started sniffing and snorting right in front of me. I was in shock, but I just said I wasn’t feeling well and would he mind if I took a rain check.

I’m not saying all guys on these sites are a waste of time, but people who pay to be on a dating site or app tend to be more selective, and are serious about finding somebody.

The main problem with the popular sites, though, even the ones that you pay for, is the fact that I travel so much.

Sure; plenty of men love to travel, so when I have met people who are also seeking a potential relationship and make enough money where they can afford to go on trip with me, what happens if I were to meet someone special? And I’m off jet-setting to Europe or Africa or Asia?

They get jealous, that’s what.

Most people can afford to take a week or two off from their 9-5’s each year, but can’t afford the time or money to be able to just pick up and go.

I’ve had guys say some pretty catty comments, like, “So, what are you looking for, a sugar daddy, or something?” Or, “You must come from a wealthy family,” or some other thinly veiled comment. Often they’re intimidated because they believe I’m high maintenence or realize that they can’t keep up, and they assume (wrongly) that I’m off screwing a different guy in each country. The truth is, it can be really lonely being an independent location remote worker, and I wish I could find somebody who has a similar lifestyle.

(You can also check out, “The Sexy, Glamorous, Lonely AF Life of a Location Independent Blogger” to read more about all of the crazy, sex-filled, passionate one-night stands I never had.)

RemotelyOne

Enter Remotely One. This is the dating/ networking app we’ve all been waiting for.

This app is unique for several reasons. I consider it the “anti-Tinder app”.

Tinder and other apps and sites are kind of like the fast food joints of relationships; quick, easy, cheap and little time or effort needed to quench your surface thirst. But you know how you always feel hungry about 30 minutes after wolfing down a $5.00 lunch special from Foo Wan MSG? With RemotelyOne, you’ll get more of a five-Star, Michelen dining experience.

Slowly simmering, fully satisfying. RemotelyOne will not accept just anybody, not even people who swear they “absolutely love to travel”. This app is exclusive and only admits those who can, and are able, to live a fully nomadic, remote lifestyle. So if you meet someone here, you already know going in that you will never have to deal with that catty conversation, “OMG, you’re going away, again?” Simply invite them to come with you.

And the best part of RemotelyOne is that this is also a networking community where you can meet new friends, collaborators, and potential mentors as well as perhaps finally meeting your soul mate.

This “Facebook for remote workers” app is a huge game changer for the remote community. Join today, whether you're seeking a friend, potential lover, an activity or event, or networking opportunities, try RemotelyOne, and try some of these other ideas and see what works best for you to help combat your loneliness.

 

Originally Published by April Hope on Friday, December 27, 2019 - 10:45 | Updated On Monday, January 27, 2020 - 08:28

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