More attuned to our surroundings, free to experience things on deeper level, able to make more meaningful connections with people. Travelling as an introvert is awesome. But here’s the thing, in an extroverted world we are often misunderstood and travel is no different.
A common misconception is that introverts are antisocial or shy. But that’s just not true. We simply get our energy from being alone rather than around others. And like many things in life, travelling as an introvert is all about balance. Here are our best travel tips for introverts.
Plan in chill time
When you are travelling, chill time is so important because we need time on our own to process the amount on information we’ve been taking in. But that doesn’t mean that we don’t like to party or be around big groups sometimes right? We simply need a period of time afterwards to recharge our batteries. If you are an introvert, don’t neglect to make time for yourself or try to ignore its importance.
Be firm with others
Often times as an introvert there’s a need to be quite direct in order to avoid a social situation sapping away all your energy. But we shouldn’t feel awkward in asking for our own space in this way. Let me give you an example. As an introvert, small talk is often exhausting, but on your flight you’ve found yourself sat next to chatty Cathy.
There’s no need to be rude, you can still be polite whilst getting your point across. After a short exchange, simply say you’ve really enjoyed chatting to them but you need to recharge your batteries during the flight. Then put your headphones or earbuds in and close your eyes, or dig into your book to create a physical barrier.
Plan introverted activities
A good way to eke out some alone time while you are travelling is to plan in some introvert friendly activities. Surfing is a great one, because even though the learning will involve some interaction, most of the time it’s just you, your board and the waves. Another activity that requires zero commitment from you on a social level is a walking tour. Yes you are in a group but the pressure isn’t on you to talk, that’s the guide’s job.
Yoga retreats are also a great option for introverted travellers because there are lots of quiet spaces for thinking and mediation. Plus you will be surrounded by like minded people wanting to do the same thing.
Turn it off and on
If you know you have a long day of social interaction ahead, plan in how you can snatch some time to yourself to collect your thoughts throughout the day. Getting up early is a great way to steal some solo time without anyone even noticing or you missing out on anything. Also don’t be afraid to disengage from the chatter for a while in hostel dorm rooms or long bus rides by listening to music and closing your eyes. You can join back in the conversation in 15 mins.
Be accommodation smart
Choosing the right accommodation for your personality needs can make a huge difference in how depleted you can potentially feel travelling as an introvert. For example, couchsurfing, at least for more than one or two nights, is an introvert’s nightmare. As can hostel dorm rooms often be, so try plan your budget so that now and again you can afford a night in a private room.
Homestays with people local to the country you are in may also be an appealing option. This is because it will give you the opportunity to develop deeper friendships with fewer people rather than the fleeting connections hostel dorm life can bring.
Seek out quiet places
Travel doesn’t always have to be about the hustle and bustle of new places. Parks, churches and museums all make excellent places to explore for introverts. And the best bit, you’ll still be sightseeing. Also leave yourself plenty of time to explore these kind of places because overplanning and packing too much into your itinerary won’t help you feel your best.
It might also be a good idea to choose destinations that suit your personality type. For example heading off to Rio during carnival season might not be the best choice, whereas some chilled time in Bali exploring hidden waterfalls and quiet beaches is more likely right up your street.
Take your hobbies
Because we enjoy alone time so much, we introverts often have quite a few personal hobbies. Travelling doesn’t mean stopping doing these. So whether it’s writing, photography, or drawing, be sure to take your hobbies with you when you travel. Also keeping a travel journal can be hugely beneficial to introverts, allowing you to write about your good times, frustrations and fears you’re experiencing and stop those social batteries from running empty.
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