Are you sick of being told that you need to speak up to get your way? That the world belongs to outgoing extroverts? Got enough of the sceptical looks you get when you tell people your travel plans, because they think you are too quiet to survive in the world? Then you’ve come to the right place, because I’m about to tell you all the travel advantages of introverts. So next time someone doubts your travel abilities you can counter them with all the reasons why introverts make great travellers.
While these things may not be true for every introvert – we’re all individuals, after all – I believe they are true for many.
Introverts travel slowly
We introverts like to take our time with things. We need to process new information and let it sink in before we are ready to move on. This deep processing of new experiences is perfect for travel. It means we don’t rush from one attraction to the next, but take the time to stop and truly appreciate it. When we don’t need to be on our feet all day, we can just sit down for a while instead and people watch. By slowing down ourselves we can get a feeling for the locals and their lives.
As we need alone time to recharge our energy levels, we’re automatically given the perfect opportunity to come to terms with our adventures so far. While we relax in a quiet spot, we can think about everything that has happened, rather than just move on to the next highlight right away. Maybe we’ll journal about it or process it creatively in some way. But even if we just sit and think, we still take the time to savour our new surroundings properly.
Introverts like to watch first
Sure, jumping into a new culture head first sounds exciting. But it also has its perks to stay on the sidelines for a bit before immersing yourself. By simply watching what’s going on for a while, you get a good idea of how everything works before you join in.
To introverts, this slow approach comes more natural. In travel, that means we take the time to figure out how another culture works or what the rules in the foreign country are, before we go and participate. It’s a slower approach, sure, and you can just as well progress by simply trying everything right away and learning from your mistakes. But for introverts that might take more of an effort than for an extrovert. Besides, there’s a certain understanding that only comes from watching something from the outside first and understanding its nature. That way of travel can be beautiful!
Introverts can appreciate the quieter moments of travel
Travel isn’t always party and action. There are invariably times when things slow down – either by choice, or because life imposes a break on you. Like for example the many hours you spend on transportation, those multi-hour flights or train-rides. Or maybe you’re waiting for the place you want to visit to open. Or just for the sunset.
Introverts can savour these moments and use them to recharge their energies. They can let their mind wander and just appreciate the moment. I love being on trains and just watch the landscape roll past, because I don’t feel like I need to go anywhere or do anything, except sit there and relax. Instead of waiting impatiently for the next adrenaline kick, introverts are able to appreciate the small things and notice little details that others miss.
Introverts can handle every problem calmly
I often get complimented of how I can stay calm in situations when things go wrong and everyone around me stresses out. It still surprises me, because I certainly don’t feel calm. I feel like a full-grown panic is evolving. But apparently you couldn’t tell just from looking at me. And whether I do it consciously or not, other people seem to use my apparent calm as an anchor to handle the situation without freaking out themselves.
Over time, I have learned to use my own outer calm as a grip to not go crazy on the inside, but instead trust in my abilities to handle the situation. If anything goes wrong on the road, an introvert is less likely to throw a fit and make everything worse. Sure, we might have a moment of inner anxiety, but once that calms down we can approach the problem and deal with it. Without going hysterical.
Introverts may live in their heads, but the world around them inspires it
Introverts spend a lot of time concentrating on their own feelings and thoughts, trying to understand them. We tend to have rich inner worlds where we can happily spend a big part of our time.
Nevertheless, that doesn’t mean we don’t like being inspired and revitalised by the world around us. Discovering new countries and cultures can spark our creativity and set our imagination into overdrive. Even if we may not always be very vocal about these feelings, be assured that an introvert’s inner world is expanding with every trip he takes.
Can you think of any more travel advantages of introverts? Share in the comments!