When you’re a kid, making friends is easy. You don’t even need to say anything to the other person, you can just go up to them, pick up a piece of their lego and start helping them to build a magical castle for unicorns that looks nothing a magical castle for unicorns.
And that’s it, #friends4lyf.
The older you get, the more difficult and less desirable it becomes to make friends; after all there’s only so many unicorn castles you can build in a day and if you go up to somebody in your early thirties and just start playing with their stuff I’m pretty sure you’d get into trouble.
But when you’ve uprooted your life, have left behind your Tier 0s and are moving around from city to city as a Digital Nomad, making friends is actually a pretty important skill to master.
Digital Nomads in Chiang Mai
I booked a one-way flight to Chiang Mai based on zero research and no particular desire to go to Thailand, just a magnetic pull to the East and an opportunity on WorkAway that sounded like a dream.
Turns out it is a dream. My dream. And within a millisecond of arriving in the Northern capital of the Land of Smiles, I knew I wanted to stick around for a little longer than the two months I’d promised.
While my stomach was busy making these pretty big life-steering decisions, my head was completely oblivious to the fact that Chiang Mai happens to be Digital Nomad capital of the world. In fact, at this time, my head didn’t even know what a Digital Nomad was.
Chiang Mai’s DN scene is vast and there’s around 40,000 of us in total from all corners of the globe.
The reasons for its appeal are mainly the low-cost of living, the high-speed internet and the plethora of places to #coffeeshoptosser the shit out of life.
MAKING FRIENDS IN CHIANG MAI
Because of this, Chiang Mai is probably one of the easiest places in the world to make new friends.
It’s the kind of city where you can start chatting to a stranger in a coffee shop without them thinking you’re being weird, creepy, or just trying to distract them while somebody else dips into their backpack and takes their wallet.
And if you don’t have the proverbial bollocks to chat up a new BFF in real life then there are hundreds of groups you can join online to suss out what’s going down.
My favourite is the Chiang Mai Digital Nomads group on Facebook which is always alive with news on events and socials as well as plenty of entertaining conversations to nose in on. It’s from this group that I found the Digital Nomad Coffee Club meet-ups that take place every Friday with around 60-80 like minded souls under one roof.
If you’re looking for more than friends, or friends with benefits, then there’s more than enough going on with the Digital Nomad online dating scene. I just decided that for me, my focus right now is on self, and self needs socials, and socials mean friends. So when I saw Kassy’s message to the group I was all over it.
Hi Chiang Mai humans! So I moved here about a month ago and am still searching for a blogging group. Anyone know where to find one? Or (since the internet has yet to reveal one to me) is anyone interested in forming one? I’ve been to a few digital nomad meetups, and I’ve noticed how empowering it can be to surround yourself with people who are striving to reach similar goals. Shoot me a message if you’re interested!!
CHIANG MAI’S BADASS BLOGGERS
So last Tuesday, four of us Bloggers met at Cube No.7 in Chiang Mai’s downtown hipster area to sit around and talk all things bloggery.
Three incredibly lovely humans with big smiles and open hearts, all with incredibly interesting stories to tell. We took it in turns to introduce ourselves, talk a little bit about our blogs and where we want to go with them.
Kassy, writer of Travel Expressionist, a travel blog for creative souls and endless dreamers went first. She’s an ex professional figure skater who was raised in California and with parts of her family hailing from the Ivory Coast, she’s inherited a French tongue so we parled a little français .
She’s beautiful on the inside and out, warm and gregarious with a blog that represents her perfectly through her dreamily written musings and colourful photographs as she wanderlusts her way around the planet.
The Travel Expressionist is a blog that will inspire those who are at home battling with their inner explorer and not quite knowing how to get started. It’s the kind of inspiration that might just make you want to book a one-way ticket to somewhere new…..
Next up was Kristen Yates, whose mission is to help creative rebels step fully into their purpose, power, and potential through her years and years of learning on psychology and holistic healing.
She’s one of those girls who manages to still look good after bombing around on a moped in thirty degrees heat wearing a helmet – I’d definitely look like Harry from Dumb & Dumber.
Anyway, I love how her writing reads in my head exactly how she talks with capital letters and emojis stressing out her enthusiasm for the topic she’s typing.
My favourite post is A Powerful Life Comes from Powerful Questions, because it’s personal, it’s impassioned, it’s honest and it gives you homework to do at the end.
NEW HUMANS OF AUSTRALIA
Last but definitely not least was Nicola who happens to be the owner of one of my favourite accents on the planet – Australian, so everything she said I loved double.
When she said she had 120 followers I was just about to be my usual awkward self and make some sort of horrendous joke to hide my pity face, but she continued to say thousand. Yes that’s right, 120,000 followers and when you turn to her online pages, it’s absolutely no wonder why.
Inspired by a famous New York project with a similar name, New Humans of Australia is a social media storytelling project which details the stories of refugees and migrants to Australia.
It’s about breaking down the warped views we’ve come to foster about refugees and migrants, often created by poisonous media hype and restoring people’s’ faith in and love for humanity.
Bow down to the badassest blogger I know.