3 Ways to Talk to Friends Online and Make New Ones

friends online

Written by Allison Reiber DiLiegro on

Allison Reiber DiLiegro is a freelance writer, full-time traveler, and co-founder of the travel newsletter Opla. She left for a trip to Southeast Asia in February 2016 and has been moving ever since. Follow along on Instagram and her website.

friends online

Humans were made to socialize, to hug and (as far as we’re concerned) to travel the world. When you can’t explore the world, here are three ways to hangout with friends online, and make new ones.

When you can’t go out and travel the world, let technology bring the world to you. New ways to connect online are constantly popping up, from video chatting apps to virtual parties (complete with modern day parlor games). Whether you’re trying to stay connected with far-flung family, make new friends abroad, or have a virtual hangout with your closest friends, you certainly have options.

Here are three ways to talk to friends online and meet new friends around the globe, all from the safety of home.

1. Deep Talks

Deep Talks keeps social distancing social. How? It arranges conversational events with people from cities around the world via video chat. With guests from more than 15 countries, these English-language conversations create a space to hear new perspectives, learn about new cultures and expand your mind.

Each evening has a topic—think: “Purpose & Meaning,” “Family & Life Choices” or “Good & Evil”—plus carefully crafted questions and a format that’s proven to take the conversation far below the surface. Conversations take place in small groups so each person has a chance to share equally, ask follow-up questions, and really connect with the group. As many guests come again and again, it doesn’t take long to feel that you’re part of the community. Who knows? You might even make a friend from somewhere far away. If so, start packing your backpack and plan for the day you can go visit.

2. Netflix Party

Not long ago, binging Netflix on the couch was considered antisocial. Good news! The times are changing. Netflix Party is a new way to hangout with friends online while you watch your favorite movies and shows. It’s like going to the movies with your friends, only no one will shush you in the theater.

If you have a Netflix account, all you need to do is download the Google Chrome browser extension. Then, you can host a party and invite all your friends, travel buddies, etc. What makes it a party? The extension allows you and your friends to watch the show at the same time, pause together for a popcorn refill, and chat in the chat box to add your own commentary. A great place to start? Check out the 8 Best Travel Movies Streaming Right Now.

3. Free Video Chat Apps

We’ve all become far more acquainted with the world of video chatting apps. WhatsApp, Google Hangouts, FaceTime, and Zoom are all easy ways to talk to friends online. While the premise of video chatting is simple, extensive time at home has brought out people’s creative sides. There are Zoom birthday parties with costumes, hilarious backdrops, and a few apps that make video chatting more interactive.

One of the most festive of the bunch is Houseparty, which allows up to eight people to join a video chat at once. Once the party kicks off, you can pick from a list of games like trivia, the Charades-style “Heads Up,” and “Chips and Guac”—a laugh-out-loud Cards Against Humanity-style game.

Once you’ve had your fill of games, why not use the chat to start brainstorming your next group adventure? Here’s how to plan a trip with friends. While you’re at it, you can pick up a Migrate Duffel 40L, our Pack-It Specter Tech Cube Set and start to get organized. We could all use a little daydreaming.

Do you have a favorite way to virtually connect with friends? Tag us with your favorite tip on Twitter or Instagram !

Related Links (from Eagle Creek blog):

6 Great Travel Books You’ve Probably Never Read

See the World from Home with These Virtual Museums

8 Best Travel Movies Streaming Right Now