Is it Crazy to Take a Road Trip with People You Just Met?

So Michael and I are "digital nomads" currently staying in a co-living community called Roam Miami. And we've quickly gotten to know lots of lovely people, including Laura and Julia. On Monday, a new resident arrived, A.J.

Laura is working on a fascinating project to discourage single-use plastic. A.J. happens to be a pretty terrific photographer. By Tuesday, they'd decided to collaborate on some underwater photos, featuring her as a mermaid entangled in plastic. Did anyone else want to come along?

Michael and I instantly said, "Yes!" Julia did too.

But where to shoot the pictures? Water visibility was key, and the ferry to the Bahamas happened to be booked because of Spring Break. What about the water off Key Largo, which is about two hours south of Miami? 

A car was soon rented, and before we knew it, we were all on the road to Key Largo for the day. We stopped for equipment along the way, and also souvenirs to send my dad back in Seattle. Oh, and lots and lots of snacks. Fun fact: veggie straws do not, in fact, contain any real vegetables!

All the while, the five of us talked, and we laughed even more. I felt like I was with people I'd known for years -- not two days, in the case of A.J., and two weeks in the case of Laura and Julia.

At one point, I said, "The five of us barely know each other. What would have happened if one of us had turned out to be crazy?"

But here's the funny part: before that moment, that idea had never even crossed my mind.

I've thought about this a bit since then, why I felt so instantly comfortable on the road with people I didn't really know. Here's my theory:

  • People who do what we're doing -- become digital nomads -- are a little more comfortable with risk, and a lot more open to adventure. That means bad things happen sometimes, but that it's a price worth paying. And with an iPhone, nothing too bad is ever going to happen.
  • Digital nomads in general are mostly pretty cool and amazing people. Small-minded, materialistic, and fussy or "high maintenance" folks are eliminated from the pool, almost by definition. So are outright loony ones, because this lifestyle requires a certain degree of foresight and competence.
  • We all live together, sometimes cooking, eating, and/or working together, so we get a sense of each other pretty fast. I've met a lot of people in co-living, and while so far there isn't anyone I've hated, there are a few people I wouldn't necessarily go on a road trip with. Living like this, I think my judge of character has become better-honed too.

In short, it's not crazy to go on a road trip with people you just met -- providing they're all digital nomads!

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Photo credit (mostly): @ajstetson