According to some, the wish to roam the world shouldn’t be very prominent in introverts. Even Susan Cain writes in „Quiet – The Power of Introverts in a World that doesn’t stop talking” how introverts were the ones, evolutionary speaking, who stayed home, while their extroverted peers set out to roam and discover new lands. However, the fact is: many introverts do indeed like to travel. Including Susan Cain, as she mentions is that very same book. And because of that, many of us struggle just as much as extroverts with being confined to our homes during the pandemic. Yes, introverts miss travel.
All introvert memes aside about how we love to be home and were basically born for this lockdown – being confined and isolated is tough. For everyone. And not being able to travel, when that makes up a big part of who you are and what you love doing, is just super hard. No matter your personality type.
So why is it introverts miss travel so much during this time of lockdown? What are they most looking forward to getting back to now that borders are slowly opening and restrictions easing? I think we can all agree it’s not the crowds. So there has to be something else drawing introverts out into exploring the world. Here are some ideas about what that could be.
Sometimes getting out is more of an escape from people than staying home
Most introverts love solitude, at least some of the time. Sure, we love our friends, too. But if we don’t get to be by ourselves often enough, to recharge and process all we experienced, we’ll soon be very bad company. For many of us, the easiest place to be alone is at home.
But it isn’t always like this. There are also many homes that consist of chaos, noise and people. That’s particularly true if you live together with others. Add to that all the people you may have to deal with on a daily basis at work, commuting on public transport or other occasions, and it’s no wonder we sometimes need a break.
At those times, a trip can be the perfect escape. If you go somewhere off the beaten track, especially if it’s on a solo trip, you might be able to get just the sort of peace and quiet you don’t often find in your everyday life. As such, travel isn’t just a means to meet new people and amass new experiences. It’s also a way of getting time off and getting away from all the noise and hustle for a time.
Introverts crave meaningful experiences
Introverts process everything on a very deep level. That’s because to us, our inner world is just as important – or even more so – than the external world. Every time we’re in a new and unfamiliar situation, there’s a myriad of new information we first need to make sense of internally, before we feel ready to move on to the next one. That’s the reason why introverts can quickly get overwhelmed in loud and busy environments, and why we usually prefer it more low-key and less stimulating.
However, as much as all this may seem like an argument against travel, a preference for low-stimulation environments doesn’t equal an absence of interest in new experiences. Just as extroverts, introverts can be very curious about the world and eager to learn more about it. What better way to do that than visiting new parts of it?
After all, we don’t hate meeting new people or making new experiences, on the contrary. But we do want to make them in a way that is meaningful. When you travel, even random encounters can be great opportunities to learn something new about different cultures, people and world-views. What’s more fascinating than that?
Introverts wish to grow and understand the world better
As I mentioned, introverts spend a lot of time in their head. That usually leads, almost automatically, to a keen interest in self-growth as well as a healthy – or, let’s face it, sometimes even overgrown – dose of introspection. For that reason, introverts crave anything that will help them better understand both themselves and the world in which they live.
Travel provides the perfect opportunity for such self-growth. The experiences that come with it don’t only teach us about other people and cultures. They can in turn also help us understand ourselves better. We’re often very interested in the world and how it works, because we want to know our own place in it. Travel can help us find that.
With all this in mind, is it any wonder introverts miss travel so much? That we’re jumping at the chance to hit the road again?
Our trips may look different sometimes than an extrovert’s, but they are no less important and valuable to us. After having been confined to our homes, whether with other people or alone, many of us can’t wait for a chance to again satisfy our sense of curiosity and wonder. Or just hideaway alone in a mountain cabin for a few days, surrounded by stunning nature.
Whichever kind of trip you crave, I hope you’ll soon be able to take it. Until then, I’m with you in dreaming of all the trips we will do one day when travelling is safe again.
As an introvert, what do you miss most about travel? What makes you want to hit the road again? Share in the comments.