How to Get Involved with the Local Community After Relocating
by Joe Frabotta
Have you recently relocated to a brand new place where you don’t know anyone? This can be an isolating feeling but it’s one that’s common among digital nomads and remote workers who enjoy traveling. To overcome this sense of loneliness, it can help to find a community. But how do you go about getting involved in the local community?
Below, discover why community matters and the top four ways to integrate yourself into the local community after relocating.
The Importance of Community
Over the past few decades, the world has become increasingly individualistic. While this has its benefits, it’s often come at the expense of community. People are more likely to work from home and less likely to attend religious ceremonies. As a result, we’re becoming increasingly alienated. We can do everything on our own and don’t have to be part of the community in the same way our ancestors did.
However, community is a core component of happiness. If you don’t have it, it’s hard to live a happy and fulfilled life. Digital nomads are perhaps the most at risk of losing their connection to community. When you’re constantly on the move and living in places where you don’t know anyone, you can quickly feel lonely and isolated.
With a bit of effort, though, you can overcome these struggles. Below, discover the four best ways you can integrate yourself into the local community after relocating.
Meet Your Neighbors
It’s easiest to integrate yourself into the social lives of those who are physically closest to you. Start there. There’s nothing wrong with knocking on a few doors, introducing yourself, and letting your neighbors know that you’re a friendly face. Next time you see someone you’ve already met, smile and say “hi”. This helps break the ice and opens up the opportunity for you to be invited to social events.
Speaking to strangers is always nerve-wracking but the majority of the time, there’s nothing to worry about. People these days are craving social interaction so why not give them what they want? The chances are that your apartment block is full of people who feel isolated. They’re waiting for someone like you to come along and form a friendship. Once you’ve met one person, the domino effect will allow you to meet many more until you’ve fully infiltrated the local community.
Pro tip: If you rent an Anyplace Select apartment, you’ll be connected to other remote workers in the local area via a private WhatsApp group. Instant community!
Join Social Media Groups
The internet is one of the main reasons that we’ve lost our sense of community but it can also serve as a solution. Search online for local groups and start joining. For instance, if you’ve relocated to Paris, then search on Facebook and other platforms to see what Paris-based groups exist. Once you’ve joined, your newsfeed will be filled with opportunities to join local events.
You can narrow your search down based on interests. Single and looking for a relationship? Join local dating groups. Love basketball, wild camping, or baking? You can bet there’s a group for you. Also, there are often digital nomad groups for other people in the same situation as you.
This makes for a ready-made community that you’ll slot right into. They often have their own WhatsApp groups where you can organize meetups in local bars and restaurants. These kinds of communities are great but try to form relationships with locals, as well, so that you can become a full part of the community local to where you live.
Become a Volunteer
Did you know that volunteering is one of the best ways to prevent cognitive decline? It keeps the mind active and generates an incredible sense of fulfillment, purpose, and self-worth. It’s also an amazing way to meet new people and leave a positive impact on the local community. Wherever you relocate, you’ll find countless volunteer opportunities to get involved with.
This is particularly important if you’re relocating to a place with real social issues. Places like Thailand, which are popular destinations for digital nomads, have their fair share of political turmoil, poverty, and human rights abuses. Don’t ignore these problems to stay in your remote work bubble. Instead, get active and offer your services in a way that is safe and productive.
You’ll meet other foreigners as well as locals with whom you can form close bonds. A volunteer organization is a community of its own and one you’ll feel proud to be a part of. Volunteering improves the world but it can also offer huge benefits for your own mental health. Give it a go.
Use Coworking Spaces and Coffee Shops
Working from anywhere is an incredible luxury that you need to use wisely. Yes, it means you can work from the comfort of your own bed but is this always the best option? Certainly not if your aim is to become part of a wider community. It can be too easy for remote workers to isolate themselves from the rest of the world and miss out on the wonderful social and networking opportunities available to them.
To overcome this and give yourself a chance of meeting new people, try working somewhere more public. Coworking spaces and coffee shops are the best places to do this. A coffee shop has so much potential. You could meet just about anyone from students and travelers to local workers. Who knows where this chance encounter could lead? It won’t happen every time but if you’re visiting a coffee shop several times a week, you’re bound to get to know some of the other regulars.
A coworking space offers a different kind of opportunity, giving you access to the local remote work community. These people are usually keen to network and striking up a conversation isn’t just tolerated, it’s actually expected. This could help you advance your professional career or just give you access to the community that you’re life may currently be lacking.
By using the four tips above, you’ll find yourself becoming immersed in the local community of your new home. It will take a level of courage and persistence but if you stay active and try your best to meet people, you’ll succeed. Do this everywhere you go to reap the important rewards of being part of a community.
Where to next? Find flexible month-to-month rentals across the globe on Anyplace.
Joe Frabotta is the Director of Marketing at Anyplace. He's a part-time nomad, traveling + working throughout the year but also having a home base in the mountains of Asheville, NC. When he's not working, you'll probably find him playing guitar, doing a section hike on the Appalachian Trail, or cooking up a storm in the kitchen.