Sit down. Shut up. Be quiet. Listen.
The world is so loud around us. Our world can’t stop talking. The world is also pretty competitive. It’s not always easy for introverts, they usually don’t get noticed. Even though they have brilliant ideas. Now imagine this introvert is going on a backpacking trip. Hello, here I am! *waves nervously*
HOW I EXPERIENCED TRAVELING AS AN INTROVERT
I did meet many travelers during my two-month-trip and I had the impression that I can’t really compete with them. It’s always: faster, stronger, more extreme. There are a lot of extroverts out there in the world of traveling. There was this one guy who has traveled to over 70 countries and he had some really interesting stories to tell. And he did tell them with pleasure. So at the end of his monologue (sorry, if you should ever read that), he asked me: What about you? And I just blushed. And me? I don’t know.
Everytime I tell someone that I like to go to a café alone, drink a cappuccino and read, they look at me like I am an alien. I love to sit in a café alone and read a book. Why are you making fun of something I like to do? Really? Have you ever thought about what you are doing here? I enjoy the atmosphere, I enjoy the time for myself. It’s not like I don’t have anyone who would go with me. It’s just that I don’t want anyone with me at this exact moment.
WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE AN INTROVERT
Introverts generally feel drained from interacting with anyone who isn’t close, while extroverts gain energy from interacting with others. Introverts need socializing as extroverts do, but after a while we get tired and irritated and we just want to have time for ourselves. That’s why we sometimes come off as cold, arrogant or bored. We are not. Really. Most of the time we enjoy listening and oberserving quietly. Until we reach that point where we are overhelmed by all the people around us, we love love love to hear your stories! [31 signs that you are an introvert. Not meant quite seriously]
I would define myself generally as a “doer” as well as dreamer. Introverts aren’t necessarily shy. But we need a reason to interact. We don’t interact for the sake of interacting. I am genuinely interested in people, but I can only be emotionally intimate with a chosen few of my long-term friends or family. I don’t ask you loads of questions or talk for eons when I don’t know you – but I’m happy to listen to everything you want to talk about!
The questions I do ask: I really want to hear the answer. Beneath my sometimes quiet exterior, there is more. There is more in every introvert, we have a lot to talk about, believe me. Just give us some time to become comfortable with you. Don’t force us to converse unexpectedly. It is so frustrating, it makes us feel like we are boring.
Also: there are different types of introverts and some introverts may seem to be quite extroverted. It also depends on the social situation. Being an introvert doesn’t necessarily mean that we are quiet everyday in every situation. We can be quite load when we are passionate about something. I, for example, think that I’m quite “extroverted” in work / study related situations. However, I still need time for myself after a day of work and after interacting with lots of people.
Like it? Pin it!
WHY I'M TRAVELING NEVERTHELESS
I’m an introvert… I love being by myself sometimes, love my books, but I also love being outdoors, love taking a long walk and looking at the trees, flowers, the sky. I am on a journey for beauty, and quiet joy. I am a writer, traveler and explorer. I love to hear the stories of people I haven’t met before, of people who may be close to me one day.
Introverts value the few friends they have. I think it’s not so bad when you’re able to listen to people when you travel. You might learn more about them and their culture. Because introverts crave for authentic and sincere connections. We thrive for long, interesting, and meaningful conversations (so, if you want to talk to me about the stars, the universe, social movements, or something you are passionate about, I’m all there for you). Most of the time when I travel, you won’t find me in a huge group of people. I probably only connected with one or two other travelers in the hostel. But after my stay I ususally know those people, and some are still my friends today!
Traveling is also a way to learn. To learn to be more open, to start conversations and to be more self-confident. Traveling is a way to grow. Give us, give me, a chance, and don’t misunderstand. Traveling is also a way to learn that no matter how hard you try, there will always be someone who disagrees with you, and there is nothing you can do about it. People are different, have different opinions and you don’t have to be friends with everyone. You can’t stand that person? You’ll meet someone else. Don’t be afraid to fail, to not make friends or to be lonely while you travel. You won’t. You will find people you like and people you feel comfortable with.
Sometimes it’s hard to make the first step, to get out into the world and travel. It is always a new adventure for me, and it is never effortless. But in the end, I don’t regret it. Isn’t that what traveling is all about? To go beyond oneself?