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?


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

  1. I am an introvert and find that I sometimes need alone time to unwind. Being a solo traveller and staying in a lot of hostels, it can be exhausting being social all of the time, and there have been a couple of occasions here in Canada where I’ve booked myself into a private room. But then after a day of alone time, I get bored and want to be around people again!

  2. I am an introvert and find that I sometimes need alone time to unwind. Being a solo traveller and staying in a lot of hostels, it can be exhausting being social all of the time, and there have been a couple of occasions here in Canada where I’ve booked myself into a private room. But then after a day of alone time, I get bored and want to be around people again!

  3. God, I see a lot of myself in these 2 posts about introvert! No, being an introvert doesn’t mean you don’t like people! I like talking to people, hang out, go to a bar, etc, I NEED it. Just as much as I need time alone. I think we can all agree it’s about finding the right balance! It’s important too to step out of your comfort zone and traveling is the perfect way to do it! It’s part of why traveling is awesome!

    Really liked reading this, I feel like I’m not alone!:)

  4. I am shy and it takes a lot for me to muster the courage to speak to strangers. I find large groups intimidating so while travelling solo I found it really hard when there would be groups in hostels who had been there for a while and had formed a clique. I eventually made my way in to the group but it took weeks and I found my way in by making friends with one person who invited me in to the fold. I think the most difficult thing about travelling solo as an introvert is that there’s no-one to share an experience with but myself. I would take group tours but not really speak to anyone. I had some amazing experiences that I will never forget but I can only tell the stories and not share them. I do wonder if perhaps I am a shy person with an extrovert inside trying to fight its way out! Although I do need my alone time and am quite content with my own company for days at a time. Who knows! All I know is that I love to travel and if I have to do that alone I will.

  5. I would consider myself as an introvert in everyday life, on the grounds that I like spending time alone, and I usually need it. But surprisingly, when it comes to travelling I always do it with friends. Not a big group though, but ideally with one to 4 close friends. Maybe that’s fear of travelling alone, but I also realized I far more appreciate it when I’m able to share this kind of experience with someone else, and I have the feeling of experiencing something deeper and more interesting.

  6. I don’t know what I am. I used to be an extrovert. Definitely. I used to do revision for exams while sitting in the company of others. Even if I wasn’t talking to them I needed to know there was life in the room. I need to talk to people to bounce off other people’s energy at ALL times. Then I moved to Germany and for the first time I lived by myself. And it was bliss glorious bliss. I loved doing things by myself and hated being forced into conversation. I’m not sure I’m now an introvert now though. I think I might just be selfish.

  7. For me, being an introvert completely changes the way I travel. I much prefer to have a home base and venture out from there periodically, instead of being constantly on the move. I’m in Nairobi, Kenya now, and so grateful that I have an apartment to return to after trips to the coast, safaris, or long weekends in other countries. I like to have my quiet space and a place that feels like “home”.

  8. As I commented previously, I’m NOT an introvert, but I’m VERY surprised to see two of my absolute favourite travel bloggers reveal themselves as introverts – Lauren and Kate! It’ll be interesting to meet up at TBEX Toronto next year – is it possible to make a game out of introverted travel blogger spotting? Hmm…

  9. This was interesting.

    I’m an Introvert, but also a Loner/Hermit (don’t particularly care for socializing in person, though I can spend all day online – and do!) It’s not just that I need alone time, but I need to be ALONE a lot of the time. When I studied abroad in Paris, we had a homestay program that I hated. I don’t like people checking up on me, and me feeling obligated to speak to people. I’ve always loved coming home to an empty, and silent house, and dislike the general ruckus of a morning routine.

    So when it comes to traveling, I prefer to do it alone, not with other people. I like to plan my days around laziness, wandering around and taking photos. Then taking a break when/if I want and not feeling bad if I do. It’s total freedom.

    1. It’s like you’ve seen the inside of my head. ‘don’t particularly CARE for socializing’, empty and silent house is de best!!

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