Solo travel might not appeal to introverts who assume they’re going to end up feeling bored or lonely.
After all, the idea of a fulfilling solo travel experience seems incomplete without the element of meeting interesting people from across the globe. This can be hard to do for introverts but it’s important to remember that travel is not only about meeting people.
There are many other aspects that make for a fruitful experience such as nature, adventure activities, photography and cultural immersion. As an introvert who mostly travels solo (enjoying it more than any other kind of travel) I’ve realized that we introverts are often better suited to solo travel because we’ve already mastered the art of being comfortable in our own company, something a lot of people struggle with. Having said that, meeting fellow travelers only makes for a richer experience and is not hard to do, even for us ‘won’t always talk first’ types.
If you’re an introvert who is toying around with the idea of solo travel, here are some tips and suggestions to consider and get the most out of your first solo travel experience.
If you’re not sure how you feel about solo travel, then volunteering abroad is a great way to find out. My own first solo trip abroad was on an internship with the Grameen Bank in Bangladesh (if curious, click here). Volunteering allows you to be productive and contribute to local communities while you travel. It’s also a great way to meet locals and fellow volunteers. Volunteers and coordinators may share meal times and/or accommodation. You can usually choose how much time you want to spend by yourself, pick your accommodation and plan activities outside of volunteer work accordingly. If you want to spend time with fellow volunteers, there are ample opportunities to explore surrounding areas together.
2. Take Group Tours
These are especially good if you’re travelling solo for a long time and feel like you could use some company for a change. For example, a few day long group tours could be a welcome break from a two week long solo trip. They’re a good way to meet other solo travelers and if you get along with someone well enough you could decide to meet them again while you’re in the city.
Solo travel is an excellent opportunity to spend a good amount of time reading. While you’re waiting at the airport, at a café on a lazy afternoon, dining by yourself or trying to get some sleep after dinner, reading can make the solo travel experience so much more enjoyable. It can also help you to avoid feeling self-conscious about being on your own. Get some travel literature to keep you inspired. Immerse yourself in a good book and forget about what others are thinking about you. You are not that important!
4. Trekking Trips or Adventure Activities
If you like the outdoors or adventure, then a trekking, hiking, rafting or surfing trip may just be the right thing for you. While you do have the chance to meet other people with a shared interest, you also have a lot of time to do something you truly love without the added pressure of socializing. You don’t need company to enjoy beautiful landscapes or thrilling adventure activities and can have a great time on your own. When you’re hiking up to a hilltop monastery in a beautiful mountain village in Nepal, or standing at 'World's End' in Sri Lanka or kayaking in the Tasman Sea watching fur seals in New Zealand, it won’t matter that you’re on your own and the experience will blow your mind anyway.
5. Wine Tasting Tours
If you like wine or are curious about it, I highly recommend going on wine tasting tours or for wine festivals. These offer a great opportunity to enjoy different kinds of wine, learn about them and meet people in beautiful locations. There are different types of tours in the wine producing regions of the world, from cycling tours to underground cave winery tours.
Solo travel is a great learning experience that takes you out of your comfort zone in more ways than you can imagine whether or not you’re an introvert. So if you’re thinking about it, it’s time to buy that plane ticket already.
Travel tip shared by The_Boho_Chica