“Monique. There is no way you’re an introvert. You love to travel and adventure!”
A friend once told me that it was impossible for me to be obsessed with the wanderlust due to my introverted nature. Why can’t they go together!? People automatically associating being introverted and being shy is wrong. They don’t always go together. I mean, bananas and mustard? Okay, yes, that would never make sense together (and may induce vomiting). But being introverted and shy doesn’t always correlate. And even when they do, you are perfectly capable of taking your tush to a new place AND having fun whilst doing it. If you’re an introvert, don’t let dem hataz tell you what you can and cannot do. *Kanye shrug*
Despite the misconceptions, introverts make wonderful solo travelers. There’s a common misconception that being an introvert means you are bashful, but I don’t find that necessarily true. Introverts are insightful, observant, and cautious… all important traits to possess when it comes to exploring new places. It may be scary to think about being introverted and venturing to a new place, but I promise it’s just as a rewarding experience as traveling with companions is! In honor of my upcoming solo trip to MY FAVORITE CITY IN THE ENTIRE WORLD AKA LONDON here in a few weeks, I’ve made a list of reasons why introverts make great solo travelers:
Introverts Don’t Need No Man (or Woman): Introverts get their energy from spending time with themselves. A great perk to this is that introverts can spend entire days with themselves and not get bored. They’re not worrying about who they’re going out with that night, or about the fact that they’ll have to eat by themselves if they happen to be traveling alone. We can thrive in that silence. Introverts don’t worry that they’ll miss out on an opportunity just because no one else wants to accompany them. They just go, because they enjoy their own company.
No plans, no problem: Sometimes, introverts don’t feel like interacting with the world. I’ve often made plans with people just to wake up the day of not feeling up to it. If an introvert travels solo, they don’t have to worry about not vibing with group plans on any given day. I once went to sleep at 8 pm in Scotland whilst solo in Edinburgh simply because I was tired from sightseeing all day. And that was okay because I didn’t have to fake chipper or giddyness for anyone. It was great!
Introverts don’t do small talk: Introverts have to reach to make small talk. We’d much rather know about your family, than your thoughts on the latest football game. I have to actively think about questions to make small talk, but I comfortably dive into deep conversations. I easily talked to a Scottish docent for a half hour about his lineage and home life, but if I had been asked those typical small talk questions I would have become super awkward. Introverts get an interesting perspective when traveling because we naturally want to know more, and skip over the formalities regarding feelings on the weather.
Hostel culture: Introverts may feel up to hanging out one day, but then may need a break from people after to recoup. That’s okay. What’s great about solo travel is that this is totally realistic, and normal, and doable. You can easily make a friend and run around with them for a day. In the hostel world, people come and go every day. Your new friend may leave tomorrow and then you’ll have the whole rest of your trip to do what you want, when you want. If you want to make a new friend the next day, great. If not, great. ~**Whoooo, for having your cake and eating it too**~
When I was younger, I thought being an introvert was something that was going to keep me home and reading movies and books forever. Now, I see that I can use my introverted personality to explore. There’s a rhyme and reason to everything, you just have to figure out if you’re a haiku or acrostic. Or something like that. I don’t really know that phrase enough to divulge into it right now. I digress, this is your adventure; show ’em how it’s done!