7 Essential Travel Tips For Extroverts
A little bit of alone time never hurt anybody.
Extroverts are defined by the Oxford English Dictionary as “outgoing, socially confident people”, making them great adventurers, primed for taking on the world and revelling in new experiences.
Sure, as an extrovert, you might find travelling really easy and making new friends in hostels a cinch, but there’s a fine line between being that person everyone loves and that person everyone loves to avoid. You should absolutely be the upbeat, fun and chatty person you are, but as you explore the globe, also take some time to explore your quieter self. You might love the trip that little bit more for it.
#1 You don’t have to be the centre of attention
As much as extroverts love being the life of the party, it can get on people’s nerves if you’re constantly talking, singing, goading people into drinking games or simply dominating the hostel common room. You might have the best stories about the museum/restaurant/volcano you saw that day, but that doesn’t mean you have to tell them all at once or at the expense of the people you’re travelling with.
Share your tales, by all means, but make sure others get a chance to chat about their day – if nothing else, you might learn about something to discover for yourself.
#2 Alone time is golden
As a complete extrovert, some of the best times I’ve had globetrotting have involved brand new friends, crowded bars or nightclubs and a drink or two. However, the best trip I’ve ever had was a one-month visit to Russia on my own. I admired the underground splendour of the Moscow subways alone, spent literally days gazing at the wonders of St Petersburg’s Hermitage Museum, and a lot of time staring out at desolate tundra from the windows of the Trans-Siberian Railway. After a few days, I got used to my own company, and learned that I didn’t hate it.
I also discovered so much about what I value in travel, and found myself thinking a lot about the people I missed back home and my life priorities. Don’t worry – I still found time for the occasional vodka shot and late-night dance party, but I also realised a lot about myself, my resourcefulness, and my ability to keep myself amused.
Travelling alone – even just for a day or two – gives you an insight into who you really are when you aren’t feeding off other people’s energy.
#3 Let someone else make the decisions
Extroverts are natural leaders and, to be honest, some of us border on being control freaks. Even if our idea isn’t the best, it is often the loudest or just the most insistent. So, sure, you’re probably really great at getting your mates psyched for whatever you have planned that day, but if you don’t let them come up with some ideas, you might prevent yourself from experiencing something amazing.
If you’re travelling in a group, take it in turns to plan the next day’s activities or simply draw straws. If you meet someone interesting in a hostel, listen to what they’re getting up to the next day and ask if you can tag along. You’ll probably end up doing something unexpected and awesome that you would never have discovered on your own, and you might just make yourself a new buddy for that adventure you had planned later in the week.
#4 Don’t overwhelm others
Not all introverts are loners. Many are very social people who rely on time out to recharge and reflect on their day (more on this later). If you deny the other people in your travel group or dorm room the opportunity to replenish their energy bars, you could really damage their overall travel experience.
Take your cues from the way they choose to interact with you – if an introvert is keen for a chat, they’ll probably let you know. If they’ve decided to slip away to their room, bunk or corner of the tour bus for a little while, just let them be. When they come back, they’ll be all happy, revitalised and ready for more fun times.
#5 Take time to reflect
As an extrovert, I’m often so busy pushing forward, living in the moment and chatting to other people that I sometimes forget to stop and appreciate all the things I’ve actually seen and done. A while ago, I started keeping a travel journal and the 10 minutes a day that I sit down and write about my adventures has become a real highlight. You don’t have to go this far, but simply taking a little bit of time to yourself to think back over the day can help consolidate all those awesome memories.
Equally, when you’re busy taking selfies and getting excited about seeing the Eiffel Tower, Machu Picchu or Bondi Beach, don’t forget to stop for a second, look around, and really experience the vibe of the place. You’ll have the photos and stories forever, but that moment when you actually absorb the true spectacle of a location can be surprisingly fleeting.
#6 Have an early night
FOMO is the enemy of extroverts. It’s the creeping fear that if you don’t say yes to every single dinner/pub crawl/late-night hostel Monopoly tournament, you could miss out on the best night ever. That fear that if you don’t meet everyone in your dorm and party with them ’til dawn every night you’re overseas, you might miss out on making a new BFF.
But you know what? A cheeky night can actually be your saviour. Travel can be super punishing on your body, even before you factor in things like jet lag, unfamiliar beds and overnight trains. If you’re crashing in the wee hours every single day, you run the real risk of getting exhausted, grumpy or sick.
Don’t be ashamed to have a quiet night every now and then – you won’t damage your party animal reputation, I promise.
#7 Help others have an awesome time
Extroverts of the world, this is practically your birthright. You’re fun, outgoing and have awesome ideas, so don’t be afraid to jump into a crowd of strangers and get the party going.
Keep our other advice in mind and don’t go overwhelming or bossing the shy ones around, but do take advantage of your gregarious nature to get conversation flowing and adventures started. Heard of an awesome restaurant? Invite a stranger to dinner with you and your mates. Seen a mountain you want to hike? Enlist someone you’ve never met to tag along. They may not end up as your new best mate, but you’ll never know unless you get to know them.
As extroverts, we’re lucky to be equipped with the skills to be brave and take chances in social situations, so make sure you use them.