This post is coming to you from Hawaii as my second international trip in eight or so weeks is coming to an end.
I have a love/hate relationship with travelling overseas and I think I’m starting to understand how to survive going overseas without completely draining yourself into oblivion.
The lead up to this trip was a messy one. Just the thought of the prepping and packing again, the airport drama, the money stuff, leaving my happy place to venture into new, unchartered waters again made me want to take a nap.
What an exquisitely beautiful place.
The people. The beaches. The craters. The language.
An experience that I would not trade for my ugg boots, my normal life, and comfort zone. Especially because I know they’ll be waiting for me the second I get back.
Because nothing wins out over the joy of visiting somewhere new and seeing the world.
And that’s just all there is to it.
There is, however, a chance that you can make it a more pleasant and energising experience for your introverted self, and I thought I’d share some of my best advice with you.
Create a temporary comfort zone
I’ve become a big fan of Air B’n’B because you can live in more of a home-style environment than a hotel. You can create a temporary home space for yourself by unpacking your stuff, finding a cosy nook, and setting up some reminders of home to recreate your favourite re-energising spot.
What do you love about your home? Do you have a certain scent, a favourite pillow, or a routine or ritual you do everyday at home? Find an easy way to incorporate this into your temporary living space to bring that comfort zone across international waters with you.
Take care of yourself
I’m a high reactive introvert, which means I’m particularly sensitive to loud noises or bright lights, to being hungry or uncomfortable. Nobody likes me when I’m hangry, trust me. But travelling is supposed to be fun, it just takes a little preparation. When you’re aware of what makes you feel drained or unhappy, do what you can to quickly rectify the situation or prevent it in the future.
I always carry water and snacks with me after some heinous hangry times during my first trip to NYC. I also switch my shoes up every day because wearing the same pair every day can rub the same parts of my foot and make me uncomfortable.
What do you hate? Is it trying to sleep when the traffic is noisy outside? Always bring ear plugs with you. If it’s being too hot or too cold, make sure to dress in layers. Know what irritates you if you’re a sensitive soul, and plan accordingly!
Schedule alone time
If you’re travelling with another person, or a group, you might find it actually difficult to get your much needed alone time in. But there are many ways to counter this. It could mean getting up an hour earlier than your travel companion and going out for a walk or just doing something quietly on your own. Maybe it’s telling the person that you need an afternoon to yourself or encouraging them to do something they really want to do while you spend some time alone.
Know what you need and think of creative ways to get that alone time you desperately crave. If you decide you don’t need it while you’re away, make sure to find time in your schedule when you get home to re-energise in your own company.
Chill out and remember to breathe
If you find yourself starting to get irritated or stressed, it could just be that you’ve been ‘on’ for too long. While extraverts don’t seem to have this trouble, you might suddenly feel irritable for no apparent reason.
When you travel, even alone, you’ll most likely be surrounded by people. Having spent time in tourist-intense places like NYC and Waikiki this year, I know that when there are just too many people around, I can start to feel irritable and need to sneak away to read a book, meditate, or have a late sleep in..
Ask yourself what you need and do it. Don’t worry what others will think or that you ‘should’ be making the most of your time on your holiday. The rest of the trip could be affected if you don’t have the down time you need to keep you going. Accept and honour your introverted needs and you’ll actually start to appreciate it.
Be honest and open
It might be against your more introverted tendencies to speak up, I get it. But, especially if you’re travelling with other people, communicating and being open about how you’re feeling, what you need, and what you want to do are vital to everyone having an enjoyable time.
If you say nothing, you might suddenly find yourself not having so much fun. And, as much as you try and hide it, that energy will ultimately affect the other people you’re travelling with.
Tune into how you’re feeling, ask yourself what you need right now, and then work out a way to communicate this to whomever you’re with and be happy to compromise or negotiate so everyone wins.
Travelling is one of the most wonderful things we experience in life. There has not been one time in my life where I regretted a new adventure or didn’t learn something about life or myself. In short, I have always found the joys of travelling far outweigh the cons.
I would rather spend my time, money, and energy on seeing the world and experiencing as much of it as I can than buying something material. Because each encounter allows me to grow and see just how full and expansive the world really is.
It’s something that money actually CAN buy.
But, over to you, what are your best tips for looking after your gentle, introverted energy while you’re travelling overseas? I’d love you to share in the comments below so that we can all benefit from each other’s insights.
And if you have an introverted adventurer in your life, I would appreciate you sharing this post with them (and I’m sure they would too!)
Photo courtesy of Christine Rose Elle