Traveling seems like an activity made for outgoing people, right? The kind of people who don’t mind walking into a full bar and becoming the centre of attention.
I mean, you have to navigate your way around unfamiliar places, ask strangers for directions, and generally put yourself out there. It’s a scary thought if, like me, you’re a hard-core introvert.
But traveling is certainly not just for extroverts. In fact, introverts often get more out of travel because they are always well aware of their surroundings and where they fit in. Travel is such a personal endeavour and you learn so much about yourself in the process that it just makes perfect sense for introverts to be the best travelers.
So, why do introverts make the best travelers? You ask. Because…
1. They can blend in with the crowds
There’s nothing an introvert likes more than blending in with the crowds. Sticking out like a sore thumb is a big no-no, and introverts have mastered the art of disappearing in unfamiliar places, immersing themselves in their surroundings and becoming one with a destination.
2. They listen to their surroundings
I’m not saying extroverts don’t, but it’s a well-known fact that introverts make much better listeners than talkers. This skill allows them to understand the complexities of foreign lands and begin to make sense of new cultures and different ways of living. They don’t push themselves onto places, instead they let places come to them.
3. They learn from watching
Introverts love watching from the side-lines, checking out what’s going on without being a part of the action. When traveling, they enjoy sitting outside with a drink and watching the world go by, soaking up the local lifestyle and learning the narratives of a place.
4. They know that travel isn’t about them (and they like it that way)
Introverts know that travel is part of a much bigger picture. Travel isn’t about the individual, but the experience, characters, and settings as a whole. They feel safe and much happier knowing that they aren’t the main character when they travel and are happy to play the part of an extra.
5. They know that long journeys mean ‘me-time’
Travel often involves lots of long journeys, like overnight trains, long-haul flights, and lots of waiting around for buses and connections. Luckily, introverts savour this time, settling down with a good book or a notepad and reflecting on what they’ve seen so far.
6. They can be whoever they want to be
Introverts aren’t necessarily not confident. Instead, they recharge their batteries by being alone rather than in groups which can be quite draining. It’s also common knowledge that introverts often worry about what other people think of them. When traveling, though, there are plenty of opportunities for introverts to play at being extroverts amongst people they’ll never see again.
7. They can dip in and out of groups
Introverts enjoy spending time alone but they get lonely, too. Being able to enjoy quiet isolation and group activities is a great trait to have when traveling, because you never know when certain opportunities might arise. Introverts don’t mind missing out on all the action as they know there’ll be other chances later down the line, which means they don’t get burnt out after one week on the road.
8. They don’t rely on anyone else
Being self-sufficient is a must for traveling as you’ll often find yourself on your own without familiar faces to help you out. You’ll regularly have to rely on yourself to ensure you eat, sleep, and stay safe.
9. They know how to be alone (and enjoy it)
Travel is not one amazing experience after the next, there is also a lot of downtime that comes with it, including spending lots of time alone. Introverts are well adept at being alone and relish the time they have to themselves.
10. They are happy to sit around and wait
It’s common knowledge that not everything goes to plan when traveling. In fact, very often things go wrong – a bus is delayed, you miss your connecting train, the list goes on. Introverts are happy to go with the flow and will pull out a good book to get stuck into whilst they wait, or simply watch the goings on unfold around them.
11. They aren’t afraid to do their own thing
Like I said earlier, travel is a hugely personal endeavour. When you’re on the road it’s easy to get caught up in what others want to do and miss out on ticking off your own bucket list. The great thing about introverts is that they don’t mind saying no to certain situations and peeling off on their own.
12. They like to challenge themselves (though sometimes they won’t admit it)
Introverts love learning, which means they also love learning about themselves. Getting out there and seeing the world is a big deal for someone who doesn’t like to put themselves out there, but they know that they’ll reap the benefits if they challenge themselves.
13. They know that being an introvert doesn’t mean they’re not confident
So many people confuse being an introvert with having low self-esteem or rock-bottom confidence. This just isn’t true. Introverts are often strong people, not afraid to say what they think or do what they want, which are great skills to have when traveling.
14. They love listening to other people’s stories
If you meet an introvert on the road, don’t feel self-conscious about talking too much. They love listening to awesome stories and will be happy to sit for hours whilst you detail the ins and outs of your latest escapades. This is how introverts make friends on the road and they wouldn’t have it any other way.
15. They tend to spend longer in places getting to know all the layers
Introverts don’t like to rush from one place to the next. They prefer to soak up all the nuances of a place, immerse themselves in the culture, and explore everything they want to before they leave. This means they’re more likely to learn how to live like a local and scratch away at the layers of a destination whilst really getting to know it.