The Outgoing Introvert
Everyone assumes that I must be extremely extroverted in order to travel alone and meet people. Actually quite the opposite. I am quite introverted, and in my day-to-day life, I prefer to keep to myself. You’ll often find me chilling at home, and if I do venture out, it’s typically with the same couple of people. I’m more of a listener than a talker (although I absolutely LOVE great conversation). “Reserved,” as I was once described. I’m the friend that you bring to the party and have to convince everyone “Oh, she’s fine… No really…She’s not ready to go…. She’s always quiet like that.” But I’ve come to find that enjoying life is not about a personality type. It’s more about the desire to enjoy whatever life throws at you. The decision to make the best out of all situations. The openness to new things, places and ideas.
People ask, “How do you meet people when you travel?’ The short and simple answer? It depends. I meet them everywhere. I meet people at airports, at restaurants, at hotels, walking down the street, you name it, I’ve probably met someone there. However, most of the people that I spend a lot of time with in my travels, I have met online. Living life on the edge! LOL. I’ve always viewed online dating the same as meeting someone in person, except you don’t know what the person really looks like. I’ve come to find that there is a certain type of person who is willing to meet up with a complete stranger and show them around. This type of person usually has a great story to tell, and I’m all ears. But anyway, online dating is a whole other topic. But yeah, I just find someone who catches my interests, say a prayer, and go for it. No horror stories so far (fingers crossed).
If you dare to travel alone, getting a conversation started is as simple as “Hi, how are you? Where are you from?” Things usually flow from there. Most people love nothing more than to talk about themselves. If you find that they are from the place you are visiting, ask them what they recommend doing. Again, this feels good to the ego. “Wow, someone wants to know what I like to do?” I mean really, how often are you randomly asked your opinion on something? Umm… hardly ever. We usually have to force that bad boy onto unsuspecting people who could care less about hearing it. And you can plan all you want, but nothing beats first hand experience from someone who has been there. They know the best times to go, the best way to get there, the unknown local spots, and they may even have some coupons or freebies.
Life is what you make it. And don’t live by the notion that you HAVE to make friends wherever you go. One can live a perfectly enjoyable life without soliciting conversation from strangers. However, I suggest that you try it. You will be surprised to find that you too can be an outgoing introvert.