Let’s kick off this article by clarifying two of the most popular “Digital Nomad myths”:
- Working from a hammock at the beach is not as fun as it sounds (…nobody likes sand in their keyboard).
- Meeting hundreds of new people a month can actually make you feel more lonely and less connected.
But why is the second point true? Because – Harvard’s 75-year long study on happiness has got it -– it’s not the quantity of connections we have in our lives that matter, it is about the quality. In order to live a truly happy and fulfilling life, the only factor we really need is meaningful relationships in our lives.
Yet, we know that building long-term relationships as a freedom-chasing Digital Nomad almost comes as the trade-off with the job description itself. Being constantly on the move just doesn’t allow much time to dig deeper.
After a few years on the road (and plane) as a Digital Nomad myself, I came to a point when I realised I really love meeting people but having the same repetitive small talk conversations countless times a week is: Shallow. Tiring. And unfulfilling. I’d rather have one hundred deep conversations with one person than one shallow conversation with one hundred people.
The question that remains is: How do you connect? I mean really connect, when the places & faces around you are constantly changing and the only constant you have is (hopefully) your wifi connection?
So I thought to myself “I’m surrounded by so many exciting people with interesting stories living inside of them, how the heck do I crack the surface level?” I could either go on and A) Put a sticker on my forehead that says “Hi, I’m Nini, 28 from Germany and am travelling for xy months.” or B) Find a way to skip the small talk and just get down to the juicy part. No surprise – as the writer of this article, I chose B.
That’s when the idea for my icebreaker game “eyeConnect - stronger than wifi” was born.
A conversation-sparking card game with 180 questions in six colourful connection levels – the higher the wifi bar, the deeper the level of the question and thus, the stronger is the connection.
I don’t mean to toot my own horn here, but creating this game was a GAME CHANGER. In the most literal meaning of the word. Skipping the small talk and simply asking better questions is so simple, yet so profound. It’s the blend of feeling seen, heard and understanding other people’s perspectives as much as learning to get to know yourself (you might be surprised what answers are coming out of your own mouth!). There’s just something magical about “clicking” with someone you might just have met and then getting so lost in the conversation that you forget about time and space. Just because of ONE question.
Building meaningful connections is not rocket science. It is simply about asking better questions, being open to share and genuinely caring about the answers. THAT’s the glue that bonds.
When in doubt, try it out :)
Connecting people for a living.
Online, as the founder of the remote team building platform The Work Happiness Project &
Offline as the creator of the Digital Detox icebreaker game eyeConnect - stronger than wifi
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Nini’s mission is to humanize the digital work environment by connecting remote teams stronger than wifi. With The Work Happiness Project, she has created a series of fun, yet meaningful team-building workshops to help your team get to know each other outside of work, and connect with each other and with themselves.