Hi everyone! It’s Brandon Pearce, and I am here in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico to talk to you today about seven ways that you can create and find community while you travel. My family has been traveling for the past nine years to over 36 different countries, and we have had so many interesting opportunities and experiences to connect with local communities and meet with other travelers. Finding community while traveling has sometimes been a challenge. But I want to share with you a few things that I hope will help you as you go out on your own family travel journies.
Tip #1: Stay Long Term
The first tip is to stay long term. Now, that may be a little bit obvious, but if you are in a place for several months or several years as a home base, you will be able to develop a much stronger connection with the local community and with the people around you than if you were just popping in for a week or two.
Tip #2: Check Out Online Facebook Groups
Number two is to check out the online Facebook groups! There are so many groups out there. Some groups are for individual cities where you can find local homeschool groups or family travel groups, or just local groups about the subjects you are interested in. You can look up “city name, homeschooling” or “city name, travel” or “city name, your topic” and you will usually get at least a few options to be able to see who is involved and who you will be able to connect with in that local community.
Tip #3: Take Local Classes
Tip number three is to engage yourself in the local classes and educational opportunities that are available. This is especially important if you have kids or if you are homeschooling. Your kids can get an opportunity to learn a new language, or even to just engage with other locals around the subjects that they are interested in. We find local classes to be a great way to connect with people. Sometimes you can find classes in MeetUp groups, or on a bulletin board, or in the local newspapers. You can find some great opportunities to learn as you travel!
Tip #4: Talk to Strangers
Tip four is to talk to people on the streets. I am here in this beautiful square and there are people here from all over the world that I can engage with in conversation if I choose.
Tip #5: Learn the Local Language
Learn the local language! Once you start trying to learn the local language, you have so much more capacity to understand, connect with, and ask questions to the locals. I know it can take a lot of courage. It can be nerve-racking to approach strangers and ask them questions in another language. But even if you are just asking directions, you can start a conversation and open doors. Some of our best travel memories have come from talking to people at a park or a playground. Later we may find ourselves having dinner together or hanging out at their house, or who knows! So take the opportunity to introduce yourself and to ask questions to people you don’t know.
Tip #6: Create Your Own Groups
Tip number six is to create your own group, class, meetup, or opportunity to meet people. This is especially helpful if you are in a place for longer term. Maybe you want to start up a weekly park day, maybe you want to start a new group around a topic you are interested in, or maybe you would just like to get together to chat. If you do this consistently, people will start coming and you will be able to hold interesting opportunities for yourself and for others to connect. Think about how you can contribute and create community in the places you go, not just find a community that is already there. I think that is critical.
Tip #7: Go to the Family Adventure Summit!
Finally, tip number seven is to take advantage of opportunities like the Family Adventure Summit. This is a conference where families who are traveling the world get together to celebrate topics like long-term travel, location independence, alternative education, entrepreneurship, and community. You will be able to meet up with people who have the travel mindset and have a global view on life. In 2018 the Family Adventure Summit is in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, over the Day of the Dead! If you are looking for an opportunity to connect with other traveling families this is a fantastic opportunity. The conference is from October 30th to November 2nd with optional Academies on October 28th, 29th and November 3rd and 4th. We would love to see you there!
Those are my seven tips for finding community on the road. I hope you have found them helpful.
If you would like to go more in depth with this and learn more about how to create community with specific examples, be sure to check out my Family Travel Accelerator program where I give monthly live training on all topics related to long-term family travel along with live Q&A to get all of your questions answered about how to travel the world in a fulfilling and meaningful way for your family. You’ll learn how to create the kind of life that you want to live, on your own terms. To me, that has really had a profound impact on how I am able to bond and connect with my family, as well as expand my mind with the new opportunities that are out there.
I hope to see you on the road and until then, live well and enjoy life NOW.