How well do you know your neighbors? In modern society, it seems to be becoming a rare thing. However, it’s still the case that 57% of Americans know at least some of their neighbors while more than a quarter knows most of them. When you live in the same house for many years, you’re bound to get to know those who live around you. What, then, if you enjoy traveling long-term as a remote workers or digital nomad? When you’re moving from place to place every month or so, it may feel difficult to get to know your neighbors.

Even when you’re traveling with a friend or romantic partner, traveling can become lonely if you don’t branch out. Your neighbors in a new location can be there to offer advice about nearby attractions, provide you with knowledge of local services, share supplies if you run out when all the stores are closed, or simply offer friendship and access to social events. Here are some more reasons why you should get to know your neighbors and how to go about doing that.

Why Meet Your New Neighbors?

For all the benefits of a work-from-anywhere and nomadic lifestyle, one of the major drawbacks is social isolation. You’re constantly in new environments where you may not know anyone. Over time, you’ll likely lose connection to a community. This can lead to a decline in your mental health as you lose that sense of belonging. For many travelers, who may only be spending a few weeks in a location, getting to know the neighbors may seem like a pointless waste of energy.

This attitude might work for a while but over several years, you’ll find yourself longing for new friendships outside of your travel partner. Choosing to meet your neighbors as soon as you arrive in a new location gives you instant access to local information, including which restaurants to visit and how to discover hidden gems in the area. Most importantly, though, it ensures you’re always connecting socially with others, helping maintain good mental health on the road.

Go to the Local Bar

Bars are a universal meeting place where it’s okay to mingle with others. However, there are different types of bars for different occasions. Some are aimed at tourists and travelers, which is ideal if this is the kind of person you’re hoping to meet. However, this probably won’t be where your neighbors hang out. Find out where the locals spend their time and make your way there. This is when you’ll find people at their most open and relaxed, allowing for the potential to have a positive interaction with them.

Knocking on a neighbor’s door with a welcome gift may work but it has its drawbacks. Even if the person is in, they may be busy or just not in the mood to meet new people. Interrupting them during this time could give them a negative first impression. Instead, you need to find situations where they’ll be in a good mood and ready to meet people. This isn’t always the case in the local bar but your chances will definitely be higher, especially if you buy them a drink.

Attend Local Events

Outside of the bar scene, another ideal place to meet locals is at local events. These often aren’t attended by travelers, who are more busy seeking out typical tourist attractions. For locals, though, events are a way to have fun without having to travel to a new place. You can easily find events on apps or just by searching online. You can either attend gigs and events that interest you or find out whether the local area is known for any famous events.

For instance, while in Rio de Janeiro, you might want to attend the world-famous Rio Carnival. All towns, big and small, will have their own version of this that draws in the local population, giving you a chance to interact with them. Maybe you’re staying in southern Estonia and realize you can meet residents at the locally-renowned Viljandi folk festival. While at the event, look out for people you’ve seen from the neighborhood. Now is the time to bond over your shared experience of this event.

Join Social Media Groups

Outside of meeting people in person, the internet is your friend. Almost every community around the world now has its own social media group. Facebook is your best bet for this since it contains the widest variety of people. There will be groups about meetups, news, and places to buy and sell goods. There are even apps designed for making local friends. Any of these can be a great place to introduce yourself and try to form connections with your neighbors.

Don’t be afraid to simply make a post explaining that you’re new in town, will be around for a while, and would like to meet someone for a coffee. This technique works well because it’s not putting pressure on any individual resident. It leaves the invitation open for others to come to you.

Meet Like-Minded Neighbors in Your Building

When you book with Anyplace Select you will be added to a WhatsApp group of like-minded remote workers in the building. You’ll be connected to other tenants within the same building so that you can start getting to know each other and organizing meetups. This avoids the awkwardness of knocking on doors and can help even the most introverted remote worker reach out to their neighbors. These groups tend to be filled with remote workers and digital nomads who are in a similar position to you. They’ll be keen to meet others as well, meaning there’s already fertile ground for sparking a relationship.

Getting to know your neighbors is difficult at the best of times. Doing it while you travel is even harder and it can be tempting to not even try. However, for long-term travelers, this strategy isn’t sustainable. Taking this approach will significantly limit your experiences in a new place, leaving you without the connections you need to fully embed yourself in the local community. Being quick to form friendships with new neighbors will help you stave off loneliness and remain happy during your travels. Over time, you’ll build up a global network of companions, all offering a neighborly level of support and friendship.

Where to next? Find flexible month-to-month rentals across the globe on Anyplace.


Born in Oxford, UK, Thom has been a digital nomad since graduating from the University of Sheffield in 2016. He’s a freelance writer and founder of Thom Brown Travel. Thom specializes in minimalist, ethical, and meaningful travel writing.

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