Updated: Jun 9
It Takes a Village
Y’all know that phrase “It takes a village”, right? That’s true even in my “adult” life. I may be an adult according to my age, but I know nothing. I am quick to call my mother when I have any questions related to adulting. The only problem is life abroad means I sometimes have to figure things out on my own. That’s where my village steps in.
Making friends and building connections while living abroad is essential to success in another country. When the lightbulb in my bathroom went out, my friend came and took care of it. When I was looking for restaurant recommendations while traveling solo, locals held me down. When I was trying to navigate public transportation and banking, my coworkers were the real MVPs.
Finding a community of people that have been in your shoes can make life abroad so much easier. Here are some ways to find your community when traveling or living abroad:
JOIN FACEBOOK GROUPS
I said it once and I'll say it again. Don't sleep on the Book! Facebook is truly a gold mine when it comes to finding information and resources abroad. There are so many groups you can join to find your people and answers to your questions. They can also be a great way to connect with other people and share experiences. Living and traveling abroad may seem lonely, but there are people all around the world just waiting with open arms for you to pull up!
Through Facebook Groups, I've been able to find restaurant recommendations, get advice on work situations, find friends, and just connect. This could be a place to find apartments, buy second items, and even find jobs. When preparing for your trip, search the name of the country/city and then add the word expat or digital nomad. Join the groups that come up and find your community!
MAKE FRIENDS IN YOUR CITY
This may seem obvious, but it truly makes a difference. It is easy to feel lonely when traveling or living abroad especially when you're doing it solo. Finding friends is a great way to get out the house, explore, and build community. You can meet people by going to co-working spaces, using dating apps like BumbleBFF or going to events on MeetUp.
READ BLOGS/WATCH VLOGS
You're already here so you're doing good! There are so many creators out there sharing so many gems about literally everything. Reading blogs and watching vlogs can be a great way to find resources and people! Travel and location bloggers/vloggers often share about events, apps, and other ways to really experience a new destination.
This is another way to meet people and build community when traveling abroad, but make sure you're taking the right approach. Sending a DM to someone you've never met before asking to hang out may come off as strange. Try having a conversation first and breaking the ice. Social media is a great tool to use when traveling abroad, but we also want to remain safe!
Trying to figure everything out on your own is recipe for disaster, but with all the resources out there you can build a community to help you.
Having people you can turn to for help is a major key when living as an expat. I'm forever grateful for all the people that have taken me under their wing and showed me the ropes. Now, it's my turn to pay it forward to the next expats that come behind me. Is that you 👀