Traveling can be lonely. Even with a travel companion, there can be moments when one craves to reach out of their personal circle and relax with some friendly people. I have my fearless driver and we have lots of fun together but that doesn’t negate the desire for a wider range of friendly interactions. Certainly, one of the perks of our nomadic life is to visit friends and family across the US. But there are times when we are relaxing in a campground and would like to share stories and learn about some new people.
In case the copious amount of time I spend on the computer has not yet given it away, I’m a bit of an introvert. I love talking to people, within limits, and I am terrible at starting a conversation. I have met people who can make friends at a campsite but I am not one of them. What if I interrupt something or irritate someone with an unsolicited offer of conversation? No, I’ll just sit and stare at the campfire until it is time to go to bed.
So, I thought, perhaps there is a way that I can indicated an interest in interacting or have some signal that other nomads can recognize and opt to engage? Some groups have started organizing nomad events, but these are large production geared more towards setting an advanced date in the future that others can plan towards. I want something that I can kick off in the morning and know if their is anyone in the park who wants to hang out by the time I’m setting up my fire for the night. I am profoundly disinterested in downloading (much less making) a new application solely for enabling interactions, but, perhaps, I could use the already pervasive social media to solve my problem.
Here is my proposal:
If you are in a certain geographic region and are interested in hanging out with some similarly travel minded individuals, tweet the hashtag #nomadmeetup along with your location. Then, you and anyone else in the area can search for #nomadmeetup and the location and reach out to each other to see if you want to get together and do something.
The name we use for a location matters, since others should be able to search it. If you are in a particular city, use a hashtag with the city name and state/province/territory abbreviation #NewYorkNY. I suppose if a country isn’t divided into subregions then the countries name would do. Thoughts? Consistency is what matters, so there could be plenty of other ways, but it needs to be a solution that anyone can use and come up with the same name.
Of course, we stray away from cities. In such cases, the name of where you are can be presented in many different ways: #Glacier, #GlacierPark, #GlacierNationalPark, #GlacierNPS. To make such locations easily searchable, it would be best to use whatever the twitter handle is used for that site. After all, a location such as #glacier can be in different continents but @GlacierNPS is a unique identifier.
Then, one could use the remaining characters to indicate what they are interested in doing #hiking #swimming #drinking #hangingout. It’s an imperfect formula, but a low barrier to entry for anyone interested in some conversation, a drink, or a hike. The goal, after all, is to allow for the spontaneity that is implicit in most nomads’ lives with the community this is constantly just passing by.
I’m certainly interested in any better solutions out there. By all means, let’s get some suggestions in the comments.