Contrary to popular belief, introverts are not loners who only enjoy spending time at home. Introverts enjoy spending time in social situations, but also enjoy their own company. Traveling alone is the perfect setting for an introvert to go and enjoy the world, while also having the opportunity to recharge.
Solo travel for an introvert gives them the opportunity to develop their social skills. Being an introverted solo traveler requires techniques to get out of the tendency to lean towards solitude when traveling.
While introverts may want some socialisation, they won’t want to be in social situations all the time.
Here are some tips for how to manage your introversion while traveling solo.
Think about where you’ll stay
When booking your trip, you should book your accommodation while listening to your energy levels and how much you feel you’d like to socialise. You could easily book yourself a hotel room in the middle of a city, but why not challenge yourself to be a little more sociable during your trip?
The obvious budget choice would be to stay in a hostel where you will have some interaction with other travelers (post-COVID, obviously), however for a happy medium between complete isolation and constant interaction with others, why not book into a local B&B? This way you will see the owners and other guests at breakfast time, but you still have a space to call your own throughout your trip.
Push past your comfort zone
Although not all introverts are shy people, often the thought of talking to strangers can be challenging. However, if you start slowly, then you’re likely to begin to feel more comfortable. Start by sparking a conversation with others about what you can see. Ask where they have enjoyed going for a meal, or even just smile at them.
Think about finding a small social group of people who you may meet once a day or so throughout the duration of your trip. Travel is often the opportunity to make friends for life from all over the world.
Make sure that if you’re staying somewhere with common spaces that you’re aware of your surroundings. Don’t read if you’re using the spaces as you’re closing yourself to potential interaction with others that way.
People watch (an introvert’s favorite activity!) and allow a window of opportunity for conversation to happen.
Be open to learning more
Even the most quiet vacation destinations will have plenty of opportunities to take classes. These classes will put you in a social situation that holds a purpose--and you can go to them with the knowledge that everyone attending has something in common. Conversation will come easy as you will all be able to talk about the class and build rapport with people that way.
Absolutely take the time you need
The best thing about solo travel is having that opportunity to be able to do what you want when you want without having to deal with the expectation of others. While it’s good to want to socialize, it’s also just fine for you to spend some time alone. Vacations are about resting and recharging, after all!
*Post contributed by peer solo traveler and book lover, Dan Townsend, based in the U.K.*