Growing up, I have always known I’m an introvert by heart. I like staying indoors, reading books, and I tend to get really shy and awkward around people. So when I discovered my love for travel, I have always preferred to go solo. People would always be surprised when I tell them I am introverted yet I also like to travel as much as I can. Some would say it’s ironic how the most exciting things about traveling include going out of the house and meeting new people—two things I dread the most.
While most introverts prefer to be alone, interacting with people plays a major role in traveling. The thought may seem unusual for some, but traveling as an introvert is not a walk in the park. Sometimes, it’s hard for us to adjust to certain circumstances. But of course, we can still find ways to make traveling worthwhile. To all fellow CVMN introverts out there, don’t worry ’cause we have rounded up recommendations that can make our trips enjoyable for us despite the dilemmas we go through.
We get exhausted by socializing.
Spending too much time with people is draining for us. Since we need to constantly recharge by having some me time, being introverted affects the way we travel in a lot of ways. Traveling with a bigger group can help us reduce costs, but it would require so much of our energy to interact with people so we tend to go on trips alone.
Introvert Tip: When traveling with a group, try to take small steps and start by acknowledging those around you as much as you can. Introduce yourself, ask questions, make small talk. Even just a smile goes a long way.
We find it hard to verbally express ourselves.
Some introverts are typically quiet, while some find it really difficult to communicate at times. I encounter a lot of strangers when going on trips and I have been in some very awkward scenarios especially with drivers who are too chatty. Instead of beating yourself up for being that way that you are, you can take this chance to listen, observe, and understand your environment more.
Introvert Tip: Stay quiet if that makes you more comfortable, but do not hesitate to try to join in the conversation whenever you feel like it. Bring up topics that you want to talk about. You will be surprised at how some people can really connect with you.
We usually skip night outs.
When traveling with a group of friends, it is typical that they would want to go out and grab a few drinks at night. Most of the time, introverts would pass on these kinds of invites. After a long and tiring day of exploration, we just want to lounge around the accommodation and gather our thoughts. Maybe take a hot shower, write on our journal, and have a cup of tea before dozing off.
Introvert Tip: Try to compromise with your friends and ask them if you could opt for a quieter place where you could have conversations over a few drinks. If it works for them, you may also invite them to hang out in your hotel room instead where you can play games and have a few drinks.
We feel bad for not interacting as much as we should.
There will be times when we would want to isolate ourselves from the group. During times like this, it is important to be vocal to the people you are traveling with. Remember that it is okay to feel what we have to feel and do what we have to do in order to cope even if you end up distancing yourself for a little while.
Introvert Tip: Be transparent with your travel buddies. Do not be reluctant to tell them that you need a little time alone. I’m sure they would understand.
We may be physically present but mentally absent at times.
What I learned from traveling is that tough days are inevitable and also very unpredictable. The hardest to deal with are days when we are already there, traveling with the people we care for, but we just couldn’t participate. We couldn’t tell them that we wanted to be as excited and thrilled as they are, we just couldn’t be involved at that particular moment. But we always wish we could.
Introvert Tip: Do your best to be mindful of your surroundings. Keep off your phone and focus on what’s happening. Channel your curiosity and start conversations in order to keep yourself engaged with the people around you.
At first, I also did not know how to deal with my introversion properly. But after going on trips with my family, friends, and even strangers, I eventually learned how to cope. It was tough but I got through mainly because the memories I gain when traveling always outweigh every little detail that tries to ruin my trips for me. Just be yourself and try to enjoy every moment of it. Focus on the factors that make every adventure worthwhile. If it makes it more bearable, keep in mind that the trip won’t last for too long and soon enough, you will be at home—within the comforts of your own room again, with a book in hand and a cup of your favorite drink in the other.
How about you, do you have any stories about traveling as an introvert or have you experienced traveling with one? Share your experiences in the comments below!
Header image by Adib Harith Fadzilah
Article cover by Colton Duke