Are you socially anxious to the extent that you prefer to be alone? Do you find small talk cumbersome? Do large groups of people intimidate you? Has anyone ever told you that you need to “come out of your shell” and “loosen up a little”? If you can relate to these words, you, my friend, are an introvert.
Vacations for most people are all about experiencing new things and meeting new people. But what happens when new things frighten you and meeting new people is exhausting? Life can be tough for introverts, and vacations doubly so! Are you an introvert who’s fretting about your upcoming free time? Don’t worry! I’ve got your back! Here are some tips so that you can have a happy vacation:
Solo travel might just be your jam
Group vacations can suck the fun out of any holiday for your textbook introvert. So what’s the solution? Simple. Go alone! You don’t have to rely on other human beings and you can march to the beat of your own drum, as you have done your whole life! You can use the time for some good old inner reflection—something that you’re oh-so-good at! I’m sure all you want is a little peace and quiet, and you won’t get that when you’re vacationing with other people. So go ahead. Take the leap! If solo travel makes you uncomfortable, make sure you choose a good travel companion because the person you’re with will dictate whether you’re a ray of sunshine or cloudy with a chance of moody.
Head to the hills
Cities don’t always feature on an introvert’s getaway list. There’s something about the hustle and bustle that puts them off. And since introverts don’t really like the company of people, visiting an overpopulated urban jungle is the stuff of their nightmares! The mountains, with all that fresh air and free space, are the perfect choice for your next holiday. It will give you a chance to reconnect with nature and may even awaken the artist in you! Photography, writing, or sketching, try your hand at something. Let the mountains be your muse!
Don’t completely ignore friends and family
People who are close to introverts don’t always understand them. They have a nasty habit of ignoring calls and messages when they want to be alone. While you’re holidaying, it’s important to remember that while your loved ones may not “get” you, they still care a heck of a lot about you. Don’t ignore their calls and make sure you reply to their texts. Sure, the idea of living like a hermit sounds very appealing, but what happens when no one gives you presents on your birthday, huh?
You could try and talk to people
There’s one big myth about introverts and it’s that they’re shy. Introverts tend to be quiet and awkward when it comes to social interactions but they aren’t shy. Even though talking to strangers might not come easily to them, once they make friends, you will not find people who are more loyal and more fun! During your holiday, you could step out of your comfort zone and slowly start talking to people. It’s all about taking baby steps. By learning how to be comfortable with talking to strangers, you can enrich your vacation experience so much more! Trust me; people will love your awkward and goofy self once they get to know you! Don’t let social anxiety get the better of you. Whenever it does though, it’s all right to get away from social situations and do something that comes naturally to you. In my experience, naps always help.
During a group vacation, book your own room
So you’ve finally decided to go on vacation with your family or friends and they’ve managed to convince you to join them in some group activities. Good for you! It’s always nice when you mix things up a little. But as you’re well aware, for introverts, sometimes people (yes, even their own family and friends) can get a bit much. Book a room of your own so that you can enjoy some well-needed downtime when you think that the social interaction is getting to you. You’ll have more fun and you’ll be…err…a more pleasant travel companion!
Try classes to keep it interesting
Joining a class—whether it’s painting or cooking or even a foreign language—can help an introvert truly immerse themselves in their holiday. Make the most of your break and learn something useful out of it. Plus, you get to meet people in these classes who have similar interests and can make socializing easier on your nerves. Who knows? The guy you’re making lame jokes with during cooking class might end up becoming the best man at your wedding!
Museums should be on your itinerary
Adventurous activities don’t often appeal to introverts (if I’m wrong here, go ahead! Knock your socks off!). If you find yourself in a bustling city, the perfect place for you to visit would be a museum, and if it has the option of taking an audio tour, even better! You can spend hours learning new things about the history of the city you’re in and since crowds, which you’re bound to find at tourist spots, aren’t your thing, this will be a welcome respite.
Carry along a journal
Introverts are usually extremely observant and make good writers. Why not carry along a journal with you and jot down all the interesting things you come across? It’ll make for an extremely fascinating read once the trip is over and you want to relive the adventures, don’t you think?
Credit: Joel Montes de Oca/Flickr
Remember to carry your earphones
You don’t want strangers making conversation with you while you’re travelling because you’re you. What better way to drown out the world than blast some epic tunes on your trusty pair of headphones? Most introverts would agree when I say that music makes a better travel companion than most people anyway!
Take an extra day off after your vacation
Even if you love to travel, any activity can be draining for an introvert. Once you’re back from your holiday, take an extra day off to relax at home. That will help you de-stress and get you ready for work again. It takes a little extra time for introverts to readjust. Give yourself that. It’ll be worth it.
Dear fellow introvert, remember that it’s okay to be different and want to travel differently. Not everyone thrives in social environments and activity-filled holidays. It’s all right to want to take it easy and do things your way. You do you. Plus, isn’t the point of a vacation to relax, unwind and be yourself?
Whether you are an introvert or you have a special introvert in your life, this inspiring TED talk is really worth watching: