Travelling with a lot of people is your worst nightmare. Trying to compromise with that many people is a disaster and simply socializing with everyone is overwhelming by itself. This is why I tend to only wander with one or two very close friends. I’m a shy person 97% of the time so I have have a hard time asking for directions and speaking with strangers. My friends who understand me usually are okay with being the “talkers” on the trip. Every time I travel with a new person I try to explain it to them before we embark so they aren’t surprised by me when I get ridiculously awkward as someone tries to speak to me.
It is possible to avoid talking to people in different situations during your travels when you’re feeling antisocial (read: most of the time). I have learned over the years that cities are mentally draining for someone like me. I dislike traveling to areas that are hustling and bustling constantly. The copious amounts of people overwhelm me in a bad way, and for some reason it causes quite a bit of sleepiness very quickly. If this is also you, don’t fret! There is a solution. Camping is a great way to get the seclusion you crave, while also having a great bit of adventure involved. Going to lesser-known destinations that offer more than just historic sights will be much better for the Outgoing Introvert. Renting a cabana on a white sandy beach while Raul the Cabana boy fans you with a giant palm leaf would be the perfect vacation for one. Destinations that offer hikes, adventure, and beautiful natural scenery tend to be the best options offering one-on-one activities and chances to be alone.
Explain to your friends that you’ll need alone time and while you really do enjoy spending time with them, you just need to spend some time relaxing by yourself. Go for early morning coffee and do some people watching. Reflect in your journal, listen to music and enjoy being in a place that no one even knows your name. Europeans tend to be much less talkative than Americans so they will be less likely to start conversations with strangers unless you speak to them first. Carry a novel with you and allow yourself to get sucked into the plot as you wait in line for activities. If you travel in plain clothes you can avoid sticking out and involuntarily making yourself the center of attention. Much of the time, sharing a room with a friend can keep you from getting your precious alone time. Even though it may cost more money, you will probably have a better experience if you have time to yourself. Book a single room, and enjoy your seclusion while recharging your social batteries.
Make sure your travel buddy is comfortable with both staying in and going out, since your mood will probably influence your nightlife activities. It isn’t much fun going out and surrounding yourself with people you don’t want to be around when you’d much rather make make a date with the local wine and and a good book. It makes it a lot less fun for your travel buddy as well when you’re overwhelmed, exhausted and have an empty interaction bank and they want to stay out all night. When you do go out, own that you can also be the life of the party when you’re feelin’ it. Enjoy every moment and use some liquid courage as you’re momentarily less shy. Take advantage of the times you want to go out and let loose. These can be some of the best moments of your life- remember, no one knows your name!
Remember to leave your comfort zone at times and enjoy every moment abroad. Put yourself out there and you might have a blast! Every time you make a journey, you will learn learn a little something about youself. Don’t let your introverted tendencies hold you back from seeing everything the world has to offer!