Introverts, This One’s For You: Advice From Extroverted Travellers

Introverts, This One’s For You: Advice From Extroverted Travellers

Go beyond your comfort zone.

Introvert, noun — “a reserved or shy person who enjoys spending time alone,” according to trusty Merriam-Webster.

The prefix intro means inwardly or within, which would explain why most introverts put a premium on silence. They direct interests and ideas inward, so there’s no impulse to share them with others regularly. In simpler words, keeping to themselves brings introverts satisfaction and joy. And no, introverts aren’t narcissists. Alone time for them just doesn’t necessarily equate to loneliness.

Also read: Here’s What Travelling Alone As An Introvert Feels Like

And rather than treating travel as a chance to get to know others better, they may see it more as an opportunity to recharge and reflect. But sometimes, introverted travellers and their exacting preferences rub people the wrong way. With such reserved personalities, some may even wonder: Are introverts even cut out for travel? The answer is a resounding yes.

Also read: Why Introverts Make The Best Travellers

While the introvert’s meditative approach to travel promotes wellness and self-love, there are immense benefits to venturing out of comfort zones, too. And this is something extroverted travellers know well.

We rounded up insights from extroverted adventurers to see what advice they would give to their introverted counterparts — just so they get to explore more of the world, and in return, the world understands them better, too.

1. Say yes more often

Introverts often calculate risks in their head. They’re likely to list down pros and cons in their journal, or maybe even make an excel file to see which itinerary or budget fits best. This is probably why they have a hard time saying yes to new experiences without a second thought. But here’s a tip from extroverted travellers: Loosen up. And try not to overthink things. Sometimes, you just have to say yes. Even if it means partying the night away at some local pub.

Also, don’t push away people who want to spend time with you. They might get tired of waiting around for the next time you’re in the mood to go out.

2. Avoid staying in

It’s very tempting for an introvert to stay in, whether it’s in bed or it’s in a cosy cafe while extroverted friends are out and about. Remember, you’re in an unfamiliar place and there are many things to see and do. Don’t miss out. When you feel the urge to stay in or break away from the group, spend a few hours alone, but don’t let the entire day go to waste.

3. Be open to making new friends

Are you a certified introvert? Then you probably have a core group of friends, members of which you can count on one hand. And that’s wonderful. But this isn’t a reason to shut other people out. Some travellers form lifelong friendships during trips. Some even meet the loves of their lives! There are billions of people in the world kept apart by borders and boundaries. When you’re given the opportunity to cross them, take it.

4. Smile more often

Most people think introverts are unapproachable because chances are, you really don’t want to engage in small talk. And your body language reflects this, too. But smiling more often won’t hurt. There are instances when first impressions really do last; there might come a time when you’ll regret this.

5. Talk to locals

Now onto the topic of making conversation, perhaps an introvert’s biggest bane. You really have to get over this aversion to speaking with other people. It’s essential in life. People don’t just say “Communication is key” for nothing.

6. Tell them about yourself, too

While we’re at it, we’d also like to remind introverts that making conversation is a two-way street. Just nodding your head and smiling politely while someone drones on doesn’t count. You have to pitch in. Tell them about yourself, too.

7. Brave crowded sites and streets

We can imagine what a jam-packed tourist site may feel and look like to a person who gravitates towards charming nooks and less populated destinations. While it’s good that you know your preferences, sometimes you just have to brush them off. The busiest streets often hold stories that you keep for the rest of your life. They make for awesome photographs, too.

8. Travel to know others better

We’ve already covered travelling for new life experiences. But also, travel to know others better. Introverts have a tendency to look inwards for meaning, but this time, try to see what’s out there, too.

9. Try not to bury yourself in a book

Don’t keep your eyes glued to your gadget either. Keeping themselves busy while others engage in conversation is a habit introverts find hard to kick. They do this to pass time while in transit, too. Do yourselves a favour and save that good read or your show’s next episode for later. You might miss out by caging yourself in an activity only you can enjoy.

10. Don’t just fade into the background

If you have something to say, speak up! If your friends are having a laugh over something they saw at the market, join in the banter.  Treasure the company. Don’t just stay in your own little bubble.

11. Make it a habit to greet people

For some extreme introverts, small talk is a source of social anxiety. But being polite is a different matter. Whatever happened to saying “Good morning,” “Thank you,” or “Have a great day”? Pushing yourself to greet people when they acknowledge you helps remove social jitters. Plus points if you say it in the local language.

12. Don’t escape chances to interact

Even when your group has designated spokesperson or “budget handler” (chances are this is the gang’s extra extrovert), don’t make him or her an excuse to escape interaction. Order your own food. Ask about that item you saw in the shop. Approach a local about directions. Ask someone to take a group photo. We get that you’d rather avoid conversing, but at least be willing to take baby steps.

13. People will mistake you as standoffish. Be careful

If you’re travelling with extroverts, chances are they’ll misunderstand extended periods of silence. Or that resting b*tch face. You’ll either put them off or make them feel awkward. Try not to alienate other people by being present in the moment. You chose to travel in a group, so don’t make them feel like you’d rather be alone.

Also read: The Dangers of Being a Solo Introverted Traveller

14. Travel can be messy — let it be

Itineraries are not set in stone. Sites and shops you initially wanted to check out might have closed recently. People cancel last minute for legit reasons, too. Travel can be messy. In these times, introverts just have to take a deep breath and let it be.

This last piece of advice is for travellers of all shapes and personalities: The digital age makes travelling a very interactive experience. Keep in touch with the people you meet along the way if they’re keen on doing that, too. Don’t just come and go. Genuinely bring a piece of the place with you. Travel isn’t always life-changing, but you do come across awesome people and interesting sights.

About Author

Alyosha Robillos
Alyosha Robillos

In Russia, Alyosha is a boy's name popularized by literary greats Dostoevsky and Tolstoy—but this particular Alyosha is neither Russian nor a boy. She is a writer from the Philippines who loves exploring the world as much as she likes staying at home. Her life's mission is to pet every friendly critter there is. When she isn't busy doing that, she sniffs out stories and scribbles away on the backs of old receipts. She is an advocate of many things: culture and heritage, the environment, skincare and snacking, to name a few. She will work for lifetime supplies of french fries and coffee. Or yogurt. Or cheese, preferably Brie.

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