Wandering solo is one of my favorite ways to travel. It’s an incredible way to experience the world, and a common theme in my writing:
What I haven’t written about as often is what it’s like to travel solo as an introvert.
Spoiler alert: it’s great!
In all honesty, being an introvert has made me a better traveler. It allows me to be more observant, engaged, and present. I can indulge my natural curiosity and focus on the things most important to me, which lets me dive even deeper into the experience. And when I’m traveling solo, I can do it all at a pace that suits me.
That’s not to say I haven’t had plenty of moments where being an extrovert would have been helpful, because I definitely have. We are who we are, though, and I’ve never viewed introversion as an affliction to be cured. To me, it’s simply how I exist in a loud and often chaotic world. Traveling solo lets me unapologetically embrace who I am.
Most travelers are on fixed timelines and budgets. The best way to maximize both is to have a plan. Even a rough itinerary with a lot of room for flexibility is better than fully winging it. The great thing about being an introvert is that planning and problem solving are our superpowers, and our ability to adapt serves us well.
Introverts tend to need plenty of time to reflect and recharge. Solo travel provides that in spades. It also allows you to engage in a way that works for you. So, if it’s a day when you feel like being around people or groups, go for it. Take a tour, see the sites, sign up for a local cuisine cooking class, or drop in for some live music at a local pub.
If it’s a day where you want to be on your own, to be present in the moment and fully take in the experience without noise or distractions, you can do that without having to explain yourself to anyone. That’s the beauty of solo travel. You get to choose whatever you want to do that will keep you from feeling overwhelmed, overstimulated, and mentally drained. Those are the perfect days to explore the parks, city squares, or cafés – journal in hand. You can also go on a hike, browse the local bookshops, or take in the lesser-known sites, museums, and attractions.
Lonely moments are part of solo travel, and introverts are not immune. When they happen, instead of retreating to your hotel room to isolate yourself further, consider getting out and pushing yourself to engage with the people around you. Intentional connections nourish introverts, and I’ve had some of my most authentic conversations with fellow travelers. And all it took was a willingness to be brave enough to start talking about the view.