I’ve always considered myself a shy person. In a new group setting I’m the one who shrinks away from chatter for fear of not fitting in, and am always in my head over analysing everything I say – but that’s another story! Shyness has always been something I hated about myself. I’ve scrolled hundreds of articles on ‘how to be more confident’ in my time and spent hours wondering why I wasn’t blessed with the confident gene.
It was only recently that I realised, yes I can be shy around new people, but it’s not just that I have a tendency to feel anxious and sometimes tongue tied in big group settings – being around people all the time actually physically wipes me out. Yep, I’m a a classic introvert – (not so) loud and proud. There are lots of different types of introverts but essentially an introvert is someone who needs quiet time to recharge and feels drained in big social settings. Tick! Finally there’s a word for it and it turns out, I’m not the only one who feels this way. Travelling as an introvert can be exhausting, but here’s how I make it work for me.
Embrace the plane journey
I’m not the best plane traveller. I’ve always suffered with motion sickness in one form or another, and that, coupled with strange whirring noises, turbulence and screaming kids means planes are not my favourite place to be. However, the more I’ve travelled, the more I’ve come to realise that in their own weird way, plane journeys can actually be bliss. A whole load of time with no one calling you, no deadlines and the only pressing question being which movie you should watch next. Amen to that! Yes the food might be grim, the legroom minimal and the smell far from ideal but I’ll take that for a few hours of uninterrupted down time any day.
My top tip for long haul travel? Noise cancelling headphones will be your best friend.
Balance is key
One day you might be craving a high octane adventure in a group setting, the next you might want to spend some beach time by yourself. Balance is so important to help you carve out the holiday that works best for you. No one wants to look back and say “I had a great time but I wish I hadn’t…’ I’m all for throwing yourself into new experiences but sometimes you just gotta step back, and prioritise what’s right for you.
You don’t have to be ‘on’ all the time
Give yourself permission to sneak off early, run a hot bath, order some room service or just stick your headphones in and get stuck into a good book. I’ve found that when I make sure ‘me time’ is on the menu – even if it’s just a 30 minute time out – I feel so much happier and ready to embrace the next adventure.
Choose a likeminded travel companion
I speak from experience when I say going on holiday with your opposite doesn’t always work out for the best. A very tense family holiday to Florida later, and I’m all about holidaying with likeminded people. If you’re with a mate who wants to go clubbing every night, whereas you’d prefer to have a nice meal and hit the hay early, then chances are tension may strike. If you do decide to travel with someone who likes different things, just set out your plans from the offset and make sure you both understand the other person’s needs to avoid any nasty confrontation later.
It’s ok to go to bed early
Yes you’ve spent money on the holiday of your dreams but using up all your energy trying to do everything in one trip could leave you feeling burned out. Chances are you’ve spent the whole day exploring and taking in the sights, so you don’t have to spend all night bar hopping just to squeeze in every single recommendation you’ve added to your itinerary. The most important thing is to listen to yourself. You are on holiday after all!