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  • Writer's pictureAndrew


Updated: Jul 22, 2022

Humans are a social species with varying needs for interaction. My mom, for example, loved spending cold winter days alone watching travel videos at her house. I would be completely miserable doing that. I like to be where things are happening and would almost always prefer to be in the midst of activity than sitting alone. You may fall somewhere in between.

Many people achieve their desired level of community engagement through employment, evening recreational options, or other activities grounded in a traditional 9-5 schedule. Some FIREees find a way to carry these communities in from pre-FIRE activities but many do not. Because FIRE lifestyles and schedules are different from those of people working a traditional 9-5 lifestyle, communities are not necessarily forthcoming. Consequently, FIREees may find themselves stuck and without traditional options for community engagement. Said another way, FIREees may find out that being outside of the traditional 9-5 community can be quite lonely.

Getting to the right level of community may require deliberate action on the part of the FIREee. There’s not a single right way to do so. Finding the right community requires identifying ones specific wants and needs, likes and dislikes, and then action can be taken to find people with similar interests and schedules.

What do you want to spend your time doing? Do you enjoy doing it alone or do you want to do it with others? Most people are never forced to ask themselves what they really want but it’s one of life’s hardest questions. FIRE imposes this question on us.

When you’ve identified some things you want to be doing, finding local communities with similar interests may be as simple as using a search engine. It might necessitate that you leave your house to go to a local parks and recreation department, library, place of religion, or somewhere else where people congregate to figure out where the action is. It might take moving somewhere that has the activities you crave or living in more than one place to do the things you want on a seasonable basis.

With advances in connectivity, the web offers a variety of virtual communities for those who are interested. These go beyond social media (though plenty of people find social media to be sufficient). Here’s a sample of a couple different types of virtual communities:

1. Discord is a platform offering audio, video, text and other forms of interaction through intention and spontaneous communities. These span many different locations and interests. I’ve heard there are even communities where students around the world sit in virtual study carrells and work independently while feeling more connected, which I think is neat.

2. The Good Life Project is an ‘intentional community’ bringing people together to find camaraderie, inspiration, and support. I learned about this while listening to the founder, Jonathan Fields, on the Rich Roll podcast.

3. Here’s Wikipedia’s community list. It’s extensive and likely your best bet for an updated list. To quote Bo Burnham, “If none of it’s of interest to you, you’d be the first.” It’s clear that there’s something virtual out there for every interest.

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