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15 Reasons Why Introverts Make The Best Travelers

15 Reasons Why Introverts Make The Best Travelers

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…

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Last Updated on October 23, 2018

Science Says Knitting Makes Humans Warmer And Happier, Mentally

Science Says Knitting Makes Humans Warmer And Happier, Mentally

My mother was a great knitter and produced some wonderful garments such as Aran sweaters which were extremely fashionable when I was young. She also knitted while my father drove, which caused great amusement. I often wondered why she did that but I think I know the answer now.

Knitting is good for your mental health, according to some research studies. The Washington Post mentions a 2013 survey of about 3,500 knitters who were asked how they felt after a knitting session. Over 80% of them said they definitely felt happier. It is not a totally female occupation as more and more men take it up to get the same benefits. Harry Styles (One Direction) enjoys knitting. So does Russell Crowe although he does it to help him with anger management!

The Neural Knitwork Project

In Australia, Neural Knitworks was started to encourage people to knit and also become aware of neuroscience and mental health issues. Knit-ins were organized but garments were not the only things created. The knitters produced handmade neurons (1,665 of them!) to make a giant brain. The 2015 project will make more neural knitted networks (neural knitworks) and they will be visible online. You can see some more examples of woolly neurons on the Neural Knitworks Facebook page.

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While people knitted, crocheted and crafted yarn, they listened to experts talking about mental health issues such as addiction, dementia, depression, and how neurons work.

The knitting and neural connection

The human brain has about 80 billion neurons. Learning new skills, social interaction, and physical activity all help to forge neural connections which keep the brain healthy and active. They are creating networks to control movement and make memories. The knitters learn that as they create the woollen neurons, their own neurons are forming new pathways in their brains. Their creations are mimicking the processes in their brains to a certain extent. At the same time, their brains are registering new and interesting information as they learn interesting facts about the brain and how it works. I love the knitworks and networks pun. What a brilliant idea!

More mental health benefits from knitting

Betsan Corkhill is a physiotherapist and has published some results of completed studies on her website, appropriately named Stitchlinks. She conducted some experiments herself and found that knitting was really helpful in reducing panic and anxiety attacks.

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“You are using up an awful lot of brain capacity to perform a coordinated series of movements. The more capacity you take up by being involved in a complex task, the less capacity you have for bad thoughts.”- Betsan Corkhill

Knitters feel happier and in a better mood

Ann Futterman-Collier, Well Being Lab at Northern Arizona University, is very interested in how textile therapy (sewing, knitting, weaving and lace-making) can play an important role in mood repair and in lifting depressive states.

She researched 60 women and divided them into three different groups to do some writing, meditating and work with textiles. She monitored their heartbeat, blood pressure and saliva production. The women in the textiles group had the best results when their mood was assessed afterwards. They were in a better mood and had managed to reduce their negative thoughts better than those in the writing and meditation groups.

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“People who were given the task to make something actually had less of an inflammatory response in the face of a ‘stressor’.” – Dr. Futterman Collier

The dopamine effect on our happiness

Our brains produce a chemical called dopamine. This helps us to feel happy, more motivated, and assists also with focus and concentration. We get a boost of dopamine after sex, food, exercise, sleep, and creative activities.

There are medications to increase dopamine but there are lots of ways we can do it naturally. Textile therapy and crafting are the easiest and cheapest. We can create something and then admire it. In addition, this allows for a little bit of praise and congratulations. Although this is likely not your goal, all these can boost our dopamine and we just feel happier and more fulfilled. These are essential in facing new challenges and coping with disappointment in life.

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“Sometimes, people come up to me when I am knitting and they say things like, “Oh, I wish I could knit, but I’m just not the kind of person who can sit and waste time like that.” How can knitting be wasting time? First, I never just knit; I knit and think, knit and listen, knit and watch. Second, you aren’t wasting time if you get a useful or beautiful object at the end of it.” – Stephanie Pearl-McPhee, At Knit’s End: Meditations for Women Who Knit Too Much.

If you thought knitting and textiles were for old ladies, think again!

Featured photo credit: DSC_0012/Mary-Frances Main via flickr.com

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