Introverts have this bad rep of being “aloof”, “unsociable”, and “unapproachable”. But that is in no way the case. As an introvert myself (and probably you who’s reading this), I can vouch that we can be a people-person when we want to. We can go to parties, socialize, and be the loudest person in the room when we want to.
But sometimes, we just choose not to because we would rather be in the presence of our closest friends who can indulge with cravings of deep conversations. Sometimes, talking to strangers give us anxiety because we have to go through the dull and awkward phase of small talks. And yes, sometimes, we just want to be alone—but it is not because we are aloof, unsociable, or we hate people.
Not many know this but when introverts prefer being alone, it means that they need that space to recharge their batteries and reconnect with themselves. Yes, we can socialize and smile for hours, but at the end of the day, we need to take a rest. Most of the time, we find solace by being locked up in our room or sitting outside and reading a book. Sometimes, we like eating alone, going to the movies alone, and such.
But one thing that introverts are too scared to consider is traveling alone.
But didn’t you say that you like being alone?
Yes, I did. But traveling alone means that you will have to talk to strangers, which I mentioned, is something that we do not enthusiastically seek. This means having to socialize, not because we want to, but we have to. And yes, there is a huge difference.
But when you really think about it, the pros of traveling alone highly trumps the cons. And as someone who is an introvert and has also traveled alone to five different countries, I can vouch for this as well.
Why You Should Travel Alone As An Introvert
Expands your comfort zone
Being in a foreign country alone can be pretty daunting, I am not going to lie. But once you overcome that fear, it is absolutely rewarding. You will train yourself to confidently walk up to people and talk to them. You will go out of your bubble to do the things that you were too scared to do because you always have a safety net. But in this case? You don’t because you are on your own on this one. And that is not a bad thing. Trust me, once you have traveled alone and survived, you will feel that you can do anything and everything.
You get to know yourself a little bit more
Traveling alone means you get to trust yourself and your instincts more. You have no one to make the itinerary for you nor have someone to piggyback you throughout your travels. Traveling alone also means that you will discover more new things about yourself—your likes, your dislikes, etc. Yes, you are alone on this one, but guess what? You will grow.
You will establish long-lasting connections
Introverts are not people-haters. We actually highly value friendship. We crave deep connections that do not dissolve even if we do not talk 24/7. And by traveling alone, you will always get to meet new people from all walks of life. And these are the types of people who have always something to share—about their adventures, their travels, and the likes. I can assure you that there will be no small talks. Fellow travelers are the best people to establish long-lasting connections with.
Now that I have laid out the top three reasons why you should consider traveling alone as an introvert, let me now give you the golden solo travel guide specially made for introverts by an introvert (me!).
An Introvert’s Solo Travel Guide
Get a local sim
Once you land at the airport, this is one of the first things that you should do (aside from changing currencies). Make sure you avail a local sim with enough load and data in it for your whole travel duration. Getting a local sim gives you the opportunity to communicate with your loved ones back home without the need to search for wifi. Having a local sim is especially beneficial if you are on a long stay. More often than not, you will have the chance to meet a local, and through this, you can easily ask for their number and message them when you are in need of help.
Avoid peak days or seasons
If you planned this trip excursion as a healing vacation or a moment to truly get to know yourself, then you might want to stray away from the crowd and all the noise. You can always seek uncharted destinations, but if you really want to check out all the famous tourist spots without getting overwhelmed by a swarm of people, then avoid peak days or seasons when arranging your trip.
You can sign up for a tour
If you know in yourself that you can’t navigate a foreign country alone, then signing up for a tour will be a great help. Another beneficial thing about tours is that it saves you the time to find destinations and tourist spots on your own. Along with this, you will most likely meet people and fellow travelers who would welcome you in their own group.
Bring your tripod or selfie stick
Don’t let the fact that you are alone prevent you from taking good selfies and photos! Bring a tripod (any size, who cares!) or your selfie stick. Don’t be conscious of people staring at you. Trust me, you are not the only one who has a selfie stick out. And besides, what’s the chance of them ever seeing you again? You are in another country; take photos and make memories!
There’s no harm in asking
…Or you can easily ask someone to take a photo of you. But if you do, always approach and ask them politely. A smile always works! It also helps to say that you are traveling alone and you don’t have anyone to take any photos of you. Trust me, they won’t have the guts to say no to you after that!
Give time to seek quiet places
Traveling is too much socializing and “being out there” for an introvert. It will take a toll on you at the end of the day. You will soon crave a day or even a few hours to be alone. Because of this, it is best to give yourself time to go to a destination or space that will give you peace. It can be a leisure time at the beach, library, or a hidden and quaint coffee shop.
Bring books, podcasts, movies
On times where you actually have nothing to do or nowhere to go, it is best to have your favorite book in hand. Having your favorite books, podcasts, or movies saved will keep yourself entertained and, well, sane.
Keep in mind: there are people out there like you
If you see someone with their own selfie stick out, don’t be afraid to approach them. Trust me, they will appreciate it more than you think. Just imagine what you are feeling while traveling alone—a friendly smile itself will make your day, right? Well, that’s what they think too!
There really is no right or wrong way of traveling, especially when you are alone. As long as you are having fun and not being disrespectful, then go travel the way you want to. Good luck on your journey!
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