I am an introverted person that is close to a lot of extroverted family and friends. They are generally people who get recharged by meeting new people and seeing new places. I’ve always felt frustrated because their ways of traveling have never suited me. My unhealthy habits would constantly lead me to the brink of exhaustion.
For years, I ended my vacations wanting to desperately go home because I was emotionally and physically depleted. I resented other people because I felt as though I was obligated to be around them all the time or act outgoing with them throughout the trip. I loved the idea of traveling but I didn’t have the experiences that I hoped for because of my emotional instability.
Now that I am older, I’ve developed a good rhythm during my trips. I’ve come to terms with not feeling guilty because of who I am and what I need as an introvert. As an introvert, you’re not a bad person. You just need to go by a different system. I need a pattern of reflection and alone time to feel like myself. This includes doing things that would give back to me and help me to make the best out of my vacation.
I hope that these tips help you understand yourself or someone that you know a bit better. If you are an introvert, I challenge you to reflect on these suggestions that can help you to enjoy your time away. At the end of the day, it’s your money and the investment of your time so you need to know what will help you to make the best of your vacation.
1) Go over your plans and expectations before your trip
One thing that I have noticed is that I need to prepare myself for vacations mentally and emotionally. I need to talk to others about plans and figure out the expectations of our trip. I also need to fully understand what my expectations for the trip are as well. Next month, I will be going on vacation and I am committed to planning my needs both emotionally and mentally in advance. This includes talking to my husband about our plans and expectations before and during the trip.
For those who are introverts or deal with anxiety, this process can help to prepare your mind so that you don’t forget your own needs. This lowers the amount of stress before and during your trip. It’s draining to go to a new place and have to deal with a friend or family member that is not aware of your preferences, especially if you would like some alone time. Sometimes these talks seem obvious or silly but expressing your expectations and needs concerning an upcoming vacation can make for a more enjoyable experience. Make sure you write a list of essential things that will help you to relax so that it becomes easier for you to prioritize your alone time.
2) It’s important to have a rhythm
The reality is that introverts need alone time to themselves to do the things that refuel them. Find a time throughout the day and a positive activity that you can do alone or with one other person that gives back to you. I have learned the hard way that in order to enjoy my vacation, I need to go to sleep early to wake up in the morning. If I am with a group, I like to wake up earlier than the group to have alone time. I realized that for me mornings are the perfect time to analyze my thoughts and to do things that give back to me. I usually pray, read the bible, write in my journal and listen to music or read a book. All these things help me to feel more like myself because they give back to me. After I do these things, I’m not feeling annoyed or like my tank is empty. I do more of the things that reset my mind which gives me the energy to do other things.
3) Plan to do the things that give back to you
Make a list of things that help you make the best of your alone time and help you to reflect. For me, I always carry a book and pen to write. I always bring a book or magazine that I’ve been wanting to read. Other must haves includes my phone for music and some quality earphones that drown out any background noise. Sometimes I bring a facial mask and my nail kit. These things help me to de-stress and refocus. Think about what would help you to make your alone time better and prepare yourself for that time. It might be bringing your favorite tea, coffee or snacks so that having a sense of home can relax you.
4) Do Something Out of The Ordinary
I challenge you to do something that you wouldn’t normally do. Make sure it’s safe and that it’s not harming others. It has to be something that you may have not normally considered to do. I’ve never cared for roller coasters honestly but there’s something about conquering a new thrilling ride at a theme park that gives me a rush and feeling to take more risk in life.
Sometimes, I don’t enjoy the experience but I’ve had never regretted taking the chance. I know there are introverts that are much more open and outgoing and they don’t really need to be talked into anything different. But for those who are introverted and shy like me, they hate the idea of doing something out of their comfort zone. I encourage you to do one thing that is different from what you gravitate to. Even if it gets you anxious. Travel is also about learning more about yourself and doing things you are proud of. Sometimes this comes through doing things you are not accustomed to. So commit to stepping out of your normal routine. That experience might give you the courage to do others things when you come back.
5) Commit to time away from people
Introverted personalities just love time away from a group whether alone or with one person. One thing that stood out to me in Puerto Rico last year is having time away with my husband during a family vacation. We just sneaked away to have time to ourselves. Away time doesn’t always mean to be alone time. Maybe you can invite one of your friends from a group to go eat by yourselves. If you are on a couples trip maybe just decide to not talk at the beach. Something that also gives back to me is having meaningful conversations with one friend or family member in the right atmosphere. A meaningful heart to heart with someone I care about renews my heart and my soul and helps me to focus on what matters.
However, there are times you do need to just be vocal about the expectations you have made concerning your alone time and just commit to it. An hour alone can be a life saver for an introvert so be on the lookout the perfect time that you can slip away from the group and unwind.
6) Do Something You’ve been wanting to do for a long time.
I suggest that any introvert try something that they have wanted to do for a while at home but for whatever reason, have not been able too. I have realized that doing things for myself that I wouldn’t normally do at home helps me to feel that my trip was even more successful and purposeful.
One time my sisters, god sisters and I won free pedicures and manicures in a spa on a trip to Cabo. I was apprehensive because I would have to go alone and I like doing things with someone else. I knew that I’ve always wanted to have my nails done while on vacation at a spa so I took a chance and loved the experience. It was so cool to be in a luxury spa and to be pampered. It was also perfect because we scheduled it to be on the last day of our trip. During the process, I almost fell asleep a couple of times because of how relaxed I was.
Doing things that you love that you don’t normally do for yourself gives back to you in a special way. Go to a quirky coffee shop to write or do your hair in a certain style that you’ve been wanting to try. Doing something you don’t normally have time to do at home might inspire you in a unique way.
As I have practiced these tips on a few vacations, I have noticed that I have felt much better returning home because, throughout the trip, I have taken care of my mental and emotional health. If you are also an introvert, I hope these tips help you or an introvert you understand what is needed to have the best vacation possible.
The Best Is Yet to Come,