When you think about a seasoned traveler, what comes to mind is probably someone who attends all of the crazy hostel parties (being the center of attention at all times) and is fully living their life on the wild side, you know — the kind of people that are “carefree” and generally put themselves out there.
That’s like the ultimate nightmare for an introvert. We like our little shell — it makes us feel safe and secure.
I mean, the fact that you have to wander around a foreign country by yourself, ask strangers for directions, take group tours, and put yourself out there just to have a little fun. Yeah… that’s like stepping onto the set of a horror movie for most introverts (minus all the murder and ghosts). You know, the internal kind of horror that makes you hide from all social interaction.
Since traveling is supposed to be a “social sport,” we tend to believe that us introverts aren’t cut out for the travel lifestyle. We aren’t outgoing and we certainly don’t become energized by spending time with people 24/7, so how could traveling possibly benefit us? Even just thinking about traveling as an introvert can be emotionally draining. And actually getting out there and forcing yourself to do it — that feels almost impossible.
There is common misconception about introverts and travel. They tend to be misrepresented by the opinion that they don’t mix well, when in fact it is the core of our personality. It’s like the hidden gem in every introvert — we are made for travel.
So how do travel and introverts mix so well?
They learn more from their surroundings
The special thing about introverts is that they are almost identical to a sponge (weird, right?). Just soaking up all their surroundings with no need for conversation — they can just sit, listen, and observe. It’s a pretty cool trait to have, because it allows us to take a step back and just be in the moment rather than being completely consumed with all the hustle and bustle of the world.
Travel becomes more about the experience
Introverts avoid being the center of attention at all costs — which is exactly why travel is perfect for us. Traveling is all about being a part a of the bigger picture, which allows us to focus more on the experience rather than what we are getting out of it. We are able to realize that travel is less about us and more about experiencing the culture and local traditions. Travel humbles us and makes us realize what little space we actually occupy in the world.
You can make your travels personal
If you are going the solo route , it is very easy to make your travels personal. You get to do what you want — and not rely on anyone else to make your decisions. And you get to be fully on your own schedule. So, if you want to sit at the hotel for a whole day (although not recommended), you can do it with no questions asked.
There is no one holding you back and saying that you can’t take things slowly. So explore at your own pace and make meaningful memories. When traveling alone, you get to dive deep into the layers of every country you visit.
You get to step back and listen
As introverts we are widely known for listening rather than talking. This is a great trait to have as a traveler, because it allows us to have a deeper perspective of every country we visit. We are able make sense of life there and we get to listen to the stories of locals, hear the music on the streets, and find joy in the silence of the storm.
You know how to be alone and enjoy it.
Traveling alone is easy for introverts because we know how to fully accept the silence and actually thrive in it. We are faced with a lot of downtime during our travels, but that’s like the introverts Holy Grail.
We get to take the alone time and make the most of it — in our own way.