Introversion and travel don’t often appear in the same sentence. More often than not, people associate being an introvert to being a homebody. In general, introverts tend to love staying in, maybe to read a good book or to binge-watch on their favorite shows. After all, introverts need to retreat from the business of the world and recharge.
However, this doesn’t mean introverts can’t travel. There might be some hurdles to overcome but introverts can have the time of their lives when traveling. It might be tempting to spend the entire summer locked up in the house reading books or playing video games. There’s definitely nothing wrong with “staycations.” However, know that there’s a world out there to be explored and traveling can actually do you a lot of good.
If you’re an introvert thinking of traveling this summer, then read on and find out what journey awaits you if you do.
Act I (Departure): The Call To Travel
“The World is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page.”
– Saint Augustine of Hippo
Before you pack your bags, ask yourself: what do you want to gain by traveling? Knowing what you want can help you make the most of your travel experience.
Do you want new experiences? Whether you travel within the country or beyond, there are plenty of things to experience. Gazing upon the breathtaking sight atop Mount Pulag. Listening to captivating music of the Agal-Agal Festival in Tawi-Tawi. Taking in the lavender fields of Provence. Savoring the delectable dishes of Pampanga, the country’s food capital. Shivering to the frigid temperatures of Scandinavia. There are plenty of experiences you can collect while traveling.
Burying yourself in a book is definitely a great way to learn about the world. However, to experience the world is different. You can imagine the lusciousness of a piece of chocolate but to actually taste it is different. In the same way, imagining the world outside your own is speculation until you actually go out and explore.
Or maybe you want to tune the world out.
Do you want to take a step back and contemplate? Maybe you want to move on from something?
Travel to a nice, quiet place away from big cities like Zambales or Tagaytay. There’s no better way to contemplate than sitting in a nice quiet place where you can be alone with your thoughts. A good view would help. Maybe a nice waterfall like Tinago Falls in Lanao del Norte or the starry night sky of Batanes can put you in the mood.
Don’t feel pressured to go where everyone else is going. Know what you really want to get out of your travels when you plan your itinerary.
Act II (Initiation): The Ordeal
“The man who goes alone can start today; but he who travels with another must wait till that other is ready.”
– Henry David Thoreau
Introversion often gets conflated with shyness. However, being an introvert does not automatically mean that one is shy. Being introverted simply means one draws energy from being alone instead of being with other people.
The trouble with traveling, is that one often has to deal with your travel group over a long period of time. This tends to drain introverts. The remedy to this is to travel alone. You can always take a tour by yourself.
Alternatively, you can minimize having to deal with others by going completely alone. Not being with others even gives you more freedom to decide your own path.
Most people might find traveling alone scary. Being alone in an unfamiliar place with no one to rely on but oneself can be quite an ordeal. It’s easier to get lost after all. You’ll also be the only one to watch your back.
Lost? Ask the locals for directions. Talking to strangers can be an exhilarating experience for an introvert. Just make sure to know their customs beforehand. You wouldn’t want to accidentally offend anyone.
Don’t speak the language? Let Google Maps lead the way and put your navigation skills to the test. Alternatively, just wander around until you find where you have to go. Finding your way around an unfamiliar place is a great achievement. You’re also likely to find interesting places this way.
Take a step back see how the uncertainty adds meaning to your personal journey. What’s the thrill in experiencing things everyone else has already done? Discovering your own path allows you to write a unique travel story that’s your own.
Act III (Return): The Road Back
“If light is in your heart, you will, find your way home.”
– Jalāl ad-Dīn Muhammad Rūmī
There are countless paths your travels can take. If you think about it however, the destination of all travels is always home. Whatever twist and turn the path of your travels take, the path eventually leads home. When you return home, you come back enriched in some way.
Beyond the Instagram photos and souvenirs you bring home something deeper. It could be the memories of food that you wish you could take back home. Maybe it’s an interesting story of wandering for hours looking for a store that was just next to where you’re staying. Perhaps it could even be a story of finding love in a foreign land only to have to let go. It could even be a greater appreciation of what awaits you when you return from your travel- family, friends, the comforts of home.
Not everyone has the opportunity to travel. However, if you’re one of the lucky ones capable of doing so, take the risk. Open yourself to the surprises each journey can bring.
All of it can begin with a single step.