You might be wondering how to travel as an introvert, but first – what is an introvert? Most people think that an introvert is someone that likes being alone, doesn’t like being around people, and hates doing fun and exciting things. While this is not 100% false, it’s not an accurate description, either.
An introverted person is someone who needs alone time more often than others. They can enjoy going out and being around people, but not for extended periods of time. They need to be alone to recharge their ‘social’ batteries.
While extroverted people thrive in places where there are a lot of people and where they can be in the spotlight and the life of the party, introverts tend to be more to themselves and try not to put themselves in positions that could attract too much attention.
If you are an introvert, you may be shy and get anxious at the thought of travelling alone and having to talk to people and do everything on your own. You may even give yourself anxiety or panic attacks thinking about being in uncomfortable situations and needing to step outside of your ‘comfort’ box. But, as an introvert myself, I can tell you that travelling on my own was one of the best things that has ever happened to me.
You may tell yourself that you are happy at home, in your own space, with snacks and Netflix. But let me tell you… There’s a whole world out there.
Tips on How to Travel as an Introvert, From an Introvert
Think about what you want
If you want to go to a country where you’ll be able to go camping or be in the country side and away from too many people, you can plan your vacation around that. If you want to be in the middle of all the action, in a big city, you can plan around that.
But of course, if you want a bit of both, there are many countries that offer a bustling city life as well as beautiful countrysides.
Make sure to schedule “off” time in your itinerary
The last thing you want to do is run out of “social” battery. If you know that you need time away from people to recharge, make sure that you leave enough room in your travel schedule for that. We know that you want to do as many things in your short time on vacation, but this may not be the best idea if being around people for too long can cause you to become moody and irritable.
If you are travelling with a group, you may want to sit some of the less important events out For example, it wouldn’t be necessary for you to have a group dinner every night, would it? You may opt to stay home and order in, or go to a new restaurant or pub by yourself.
To conclude, alone time is important.
Explore on your own, too.
Group tours are fun – if you like group tours. Even if you don’t, sometimes they are necessary – to save yourself time and money. But if you don’t have to, try and explore on your own.
“Most introverts are okay with being amongst people, as long as they are not part of the crowd” – Laurie Helgoe, Ph.D., and author of Introvert Power: Why Your Inner Life is Your Hidden Strength.
You might enjoy just exploring and getting lost on your own. Being your own tour guide. Don’t be scared to venture out by yourself – you may learn more than you think.
Bring the Introvert Favorites
And when we say favourites, we are referring to the items and gadgets that we unconsciously use to avoid any awkward social situations. These items include: headphones/earphones, a book, and earplugs.
These come in handy when you are in a social setting and don’t feel like being social. They’re a great way to avoid being disturbed by people and a good way of telling people that you don’t want to be disturbed.
Bring along a camera
This gives you a less stressful way to interact with people. Standing behind a camera lens is a good way to socialise with people without the awkwardness and small talk (Ew, small talk.)
Taking photos is a great way to document your travels and keep you ‘in’ the moment without actually being in it.
Keeping a travel journal can not only help you document your travels, but also help you reflect and process everything you are seeing and experiencing in this new place. Head to a cute little cafe/coffee shop and write away.
Writing can be a good way to express yourself if you struggle to do so with words. It can also help you feel less overwhelmed because you will be getting your thoughts out on paper – which is always better than keeping them to yourself!
Stay at an Airbnb
If you are not too keen on staying at a place that will force you to interact with other people – like a hostel, stay at a private Airbnb instead. This gives you the freedom to do as you please – sleep, eat, whatever you want. You will have your own space to come home to after a long day and this may just be something that eases your social anxiety if you have any.
Bring familiar items along
In general, having something from home or that reminds you of someone you love and care for can be very calming to an introvert. Most times we do not like things that are not familiar to us because it would mean that we are not really in control and can’t really predict what could happen next.
Having these items with you can help you feel calm and comfort you.
Nature. Nature is your friend.
It is quite known that introverts love being out in nature – even if they don’t necessarily make an effort to be out there very often. When we are out in nature, we get fresh air, and time to clear out thoughts. It’s peaceful and almost a requirement to keep your sanity as an introvert who has been around a lot of people lately.