It seems a little confusing to say I love travel, adventure and trying new things, but very strongly consider myself an introvert. I guess the misconception is that introverts are anti-social or have a phobia of the outside world while extroverts are fun-loving happy people to be around. This is not the case, introverts simply gain and maintain energy from solitary endeavors. If someone interesting comes my way, I will not outwardly avoid them, I probably will just not seek this out purposely. I am so lucky I met my husband by accident in real life because the online dating title of “an introvert seeking other introvert to travel the world with but may not talk to a lot of people or to each other” may not have gotten the right attention.
People say opposites attract, but I am NOT looking for someone to break me out my “shell.” I am actually not in a shell thank you very much! I just find energy in the quiet experiences of life. No walls or aloofness here. This is an obvious reason we eloped as well. The idea of our wedding day being a public affair kind of gives me hives. Of course we met some great people who helped us along the way, and who will be in our lives forever in one way or another. These are people we developed true connections with.
Some might wonder how airports, planes, trains and traveling to crowded cities like Rome, Paris or Singapore can be in anyway “energizing” for an introvert. Well, I can’t tell you how much I love getting up at the crack of dawn to have a bit of the city to myself. Its amazing to see the calmness in the morning. It is easy to take a step outside the crowd and sit on a bench or at a cafe and people watch. You can find peace in the chaos. It is pretty easy to travel as an introvert with headphones, books, and eye masks to save you from hours of small talk if you so wish. If you really want to avoid too much communication traditional hotels may be best, but even on AirBnB you have options as to how much interaction you have with your host. Don’t overbook yourself. Leave room for downtime in your travel schedule. It is easy to feel overwhelmed with a packed itinerary. Too many commitments make me feel anxious and I cant fully enjoy the experience. I feel no shame for sitting inside watching an hour of Italian soap operas!
And for you extroverts out there, don’t be afraid to find your inner introvert while traveling. Stop and smell the roses and such. Being fully present in the quiet moments allows you to close your eyes and smell, taste, and feel the experiences of that moment. When you are back in the packed subway in Monday morning mayhem it wont seem so bad.