How to find authentic experiences and build connections on the road

By Vanna Mae

When you’re on the road, it’s probably on your bucket list to have authentic, one-of-a-kind experiences. Something you can cherish and remember for years to come. 

How to find those one-of-a-kind experiences can start by simply doing something off the beaten path. 

Like exploring a small farmers market with delicious food, that sends your taste buds into bliss. Meeting locals in the community and building connections that last a lifetime. And discovering all of this when it wasn’t in your original travel plans. But somehow, it becomes the most essential & profound part of your journey.

In this article, I want to share how you can build a wealth of connections  & experiences while living full-time on the road.

Hidden Gems inside Coffee Shops 

When visiting a local coffee shop, it’s always nice to enjoy a fresh brew cup of coffee or a gentle tea, pull out the laptop and get some work done. It can also be a gem of a place to find out what’s happening in town. 

Whenever I go inside a coffee shop, I always keep my eye out for a bulletin board or a flyer table. This is where you can find all the local events, farmers markets, art and culture, and possible job opportunities. I’ve found so many unique and fun workshops and makers’ markets by just checking out a local bulletin board and continuing my search online. 

Don’t miss a town’s Farmers & Craft Market

One of the sweetest parts of finding a town you like is joining a community farmers & crafts market.It’s a great way to meet other locals, try homegrown food, support local shops, and get to know a community.

Social media can be a great tool to find flyers and events happening in an area. On Instagram, Facebook & Google, I’ll search “(towns name) event” in the search bar and see what I can find. 

Vanlife/Nomad Gatherings

I was on the road for two years before I went to my first vanlife community gathering. In those two years, I didn’t meet a lot of other fulltime vanlife/rvers. In a way, I felt alone and it was hard to relate to my friends that aren’t in the lifestyle. So, I decided to go to a gathering and meet other nomads. I was nervous about going to my first one alone.
One way I helped calm my fears, was searching on vanlife/nomad Facebook groups I’m active on. I made a post asking the group if anyone was going to the same event. By asking in a post, I ended up finding other solo female vanlifers that were going.

We made a plan on a private chat, it gave us the chance to get to know each other and figure out where we were meeting up. It made me less nervous to go there alone because I had started meeting people before going to the event, and if I got lost, I could communicate with them in a private group chat.
Going to van life gatherings changed my whole outlook on nomadic life. I didnt feel as alone anymore. It gave me the chance to meet other nomads that get it. It made me appreciate and feel proud to be a nomad. I met so many great people and made so many great memories with other fulltime vanlife/rvers.
Stay a little Longer
If you find a place you love, make it a point to stay there longer. One of the beautiful advantages of this lifestyle is the choice to do what you want and when. And if a place or an event calls to you, why not make it a point to stay a bit longer and check it out. It might be the best decision you ever made.
I’d love to hear some of the ways you find authentic experiences on the road! Leave a comment and let’s help all of us have fun, authentic experiences!
Find Vanna on Instagram @artistontheroam!

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