Introverted Travel Part 2: Advice From the Experts

At TBEX I was a little surprised how many other introverted travel bloggers I talked to. We were ragged after days of networking, physically tired and burnt out from having to sell ourselves to strangers.

It got me thinking about how travel is different for us introverts, and how we can cope with the challenges of our psychological make up. So I asked around, and gathered up some terrific responses from some other great travel bloggers out there:

 

On Understanding the True Meaning of Introversion

Introversion isn’t a phase I need to get myself through. It’s who I am.

I am an introvert who dances on tables. I’ll talk to anyone, say anything, get crazy — but if I don’t get enough alone time, I go batty. Being alone is how I recharge and gain strength. And that’s what it means to be an introvert — it has nothing to do with shyness or bad social skills.

– Kate McCulley- Adventurous Kate

 

On Traveling Solo as an Introvert

Basically, one reason I can handle permanent solo travel is that I am completely comfortable with my own company. I think the longest I have gone without having any sort of conversation with anyone is about 8-9 days and it makes it so much easier to travel knowing that you don’t get homesick or need to be social to enjoy yourself.

One thing I find is that being totally alone and antisocial is the best way to recharge my personal batteries. Being around people and being social for days at a time wears me out. I regularly seek out solitude. It is what keeps my sanity when I travel. In the times when I just feel run down by life, I generally just want a couple days totally alone, with a good book to read or some shows to watch on my computer. Then I am ready to deal with people again.

-Michael Hodson- Go See Write

 

 On Traveling with an Extravert

When I first met Dave, it was immediately obvious that he was an extravert and loved being around people – for what felt like every second of every day. In fact, for the first week of our relationship I tried to pretend I was extraverted too and that I was really enjoying meeting every single person in Chiang Mai. I was exhausted and drained by the end of the week and desperately longing to stay inside and do nothing… so I pretended I was sick and let him go out and have his fun while I remained inside and re-charged!

I think once we realised that being in a relationship as an introvert and extravert was actually a positive thing (he can bring new and awesome people into my life and I can bring calm and and peace to his) it was much easier to deal with – embrace the differences! Good communication is key though – I make sure to let Dave know if I’m feeling overwhelmed and need to hide away for a few days, and he happily goes off to have fun socialising with other people.

-Lauren Juliff- Neverending Footsteps

On Challenging Yourself With Travel

As an introvert, I tend to have a hard time blending well into groups. It usually takes someone outgoing to really spark a good conversation and keep it moving because I’m more of a listener than a talker.

However, traveling on my own has really helped me break out of my shell and talk to different people. Because they don’t know my life story or have any mutual friends, it’s easy to start over, and discover common hobbies & interests. As quiet and reserved as I may be at times, I really love going on group tours or out for a casual night with a couple of friends from the hostel(s) I’m staying at because I just jump right into it. That’s how you have to do it. Just jump in, walk up and talk to someone, smile at people on the streets. It makes the day-to-day travels much more enjoyable.

Of course, it’s important for me to get my alone time as well to regroup. It’s just a matter of finding my own balance on the road as I go.

-Kimi Sugiyama – Wandering Souldier

 

What about you? What’s your take on traveling as an introvert?

 

19 thoughts on “Introverted Travel Part 2: Advice From the Experts”

  1. I was poking around on your blog looking for just the right thing to read and I found it here. Thanks for writing this! I’m a total introvert/ wanna be extrovert, and at month three of this RTW trip I’m feeling burned out. Gah! Even knowing people read my blog is weird and waring on me. Renting an apt. for awhile and puttering around indoors, with the occasional trip out only when I feel like it is really helping. I’m learning a lot about my travel limitations and how to accept them.

  2. For the most part I’ve always been an introvert but it hasn’t been so obvious until I left on my new life as an expat in July and traveling solo has really messed with my head. I thought I was just a bad traveler for wanting to stay in and recharge by myself. I definitely wouldn’t have guessed that Kate was an introvert either!

  3. I am am generally an introvert in everyday life. I find when I travel I am much more willing to talk to strangers that I would normally be.. I think this is because they are also traveling and it is much easier to start the conversation talking about travel.

  4. I am generally pretty out going but sometimes I revert back to my introverted state. I too have probably gone about two weeks without speaking to another soul while on the road. But after these bouts of introversion, I get so socially awkward. Thats why I try not to let myself get too bad. I think there is a good balance and I am getting there. Nice article! -Leif

  5. I live by the words that if you aren’t good company for yourself, then you won’t be for anyone else either. I enjoy being by myself and it takes me a little time to warm up to groups. But once I’m comfortable, all bets are off. LOL.

    This is the first time I’ve seen someone else post a photo of that sculpture in Budva, Montenegro. I love discovering off-the-beaten-path places like that. 🙂

  6. I can really relate to this – I’m an introvert and spent years travelling happily alone, meeting people wherever I went but happy with my own company the rest of the time. Now, I haven’t changed with the kids, they’re great company when I travel and they create all sorts of random connections and interactions on the road as extroverts would do which keep things interesting while I keep relaxed and take it all in and get to see things through their eyes. Cheers, Andrew

  7. Steve and I were just talking about how this really works for us – both being introverts. We can sometimes spend whole days together barely speaking and doing our own separate things – reading, working, whatever. That might sound weird to some people – but to us it’s wonderful. We can have ‘alone time’ but still be enjoying each others’ presence.

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