Am I An Extrovert Just Because I Travel?

As a twenty-something, I’ve considered myself quite a fortunate individual in the 21st century. Being a mid-nineties child I’ve had the extrovert opportunities of a millennial. How may you ask? Well, from an early age my parents would take my siblings and I on vacations often three times per year. I would frequent to countries such as America, Spain, Egypt and Barbados.

However, as fortunate as I was and exotic as those destinations sound we spent the majority of them in a resort. Likewise lying on the beach, by the pool or at an amusement park. I didn’t really get to interact with the locals, culture or try the local delicacies. The trained personas of the hospitality industry were the ones I’d become associated too.

Due to this lack of interaction with the real country it made me want to know more about cultures so different from my own. The ones I’d witness on the television especially seeing the hustling bustling Asian streets of India and China. Similarly, due to my fascination with karate seeing temples and the Japanese way of life. Dropping out of school and working gave me the desire to earn money to fund my first solo trip beyond the European continent. I travelled to Japan at the naive age of nineteen. Which then inspired me to travel to many more countries since.

Throughout the past five years, I’ve been working to fund my curiosity of the world. What’s fascinated me amongst those years are the questions from fellow co-workers and friends that I’ve been asked about my travels or opinions on them. Here are a few snippets:

“You’re so brave I could never do that on my own. Did you travel a lot with your family? I think travelling must be in your genetics. How can you travel the world but not want to go out partying at the weekend? You’re such an extrovert I wish I could be like you.”

Well, just because I like to travel does not mean I’m any different from you reading this. I like to travel only so much before retreating back to the hotel, hostel or Airbnb. What is my favourite form of travel? Yes, you guessed it, solo. Purely for selfish reasons, as I don’t need to think about anyone else but myself. If I want to visit a certain attraction then can I don’t have to factor in others opinions. 

I like to think I stretch my temperament as far as I can to become what people deem to be an extrovert such as making new friends, partying and backpacking with others. However temperament is like an elastic band once you stretch it, there’s only so far it can go before it pings back into place. Which I can assure you no matter how much of a sociable front of others I am abroad I love to sit by myself with a book reading in the hot sun. 

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People have preconceptions of travel that it’s simply for outgoing types. When reality is, it’s perfect for those who’d class themselves as an introvert. As it gives you the freedom to be anonymous and you also have the choice to choose whether to interact with someone or not. Unlike your day job, you don’t have to communicate with people all of the time.

One part I would mention is that at times you will have to push yourself and take that step if you have to commute somewhere or order food for example. Yet there’s nothing wrong towards lying on a beach or having a day in your room coupled up with Netflix. Likewise, there’s nothing terrible about being a complete travel socialite. 

Whether you’re an extrovert, introvert or ambivert, travel is for all. If you want to connect with just yourself or others that’s completely fine. As both provide and create unique experiences. Often people fall susceptible to this image of what the media portrays as the “traveller type”. Literally, this cannot be narrowed down into a personality type. I could write a never-ending post stating the benefits of travel but I believe you should go find out for yourself. No matter what personality traits you hold remember you’re free to do whatever you want at your own pace. 

Next time you see someone you know you perceive to be adventurous. They may just be putting on a persona to expand their comfort zone. You just never know. Don’t limit yourself, or compare your traits to others go and explore the epic planet we live on.


Extracts of Alex

Navigating Nepal and the World

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