Introvert travel is tricky. I’m definitely on the introvert side of the spectrum, meaning my energy mainly comes from time alone, which makes our life on the road really freaking hard sometimes—especially when you consider that most of our travel is with people, coaching camps and doing talks. And I love every second of it, but it does end up being a little draining for me at times. Ask Peter what I’m like after I do a talk at a bike shop—I’m wrecked for the next 12 hours at least. I know what happens to me if I don’t take care of this side of my personality: my stomach clenches, starts hurting, and I end up completely miserable emotionally and physically. So, I’ve started to figure out a couple of tips and tricks to ease the issue of traveling as someone who really values alone time, but wants to be out in the world exploring!
In airports and on planes, big headphone beat earbuds every time. Even if you’re not listening to anything, they help block noise and basically serve as a do-not-disturb sign. Pair these with eyeshades on the plane, and you’re good to go.
I’m not really an early bird. (But my friends at home are, hence the early af run club shirts in my shop now!). But I’ve become one over the years because I realized that the only way to get some quiet solo time was to wake up hella early and go to be as early as I could.
Honesty / getting over FOMO
I used to feel like I needed to stay up and hang out, even if I wasn’t contributing to the conversation in any meaningful way, because I didn’t want to miss out. Now, I’m a little less likely to do that—I’m the first one to go to bed, and I’m OK with it.
Set your limits
This is a weird one, but I don’t do game. Cards, Bananagrams, whatever. This is the hill that I am willing to die on. My friends know this about me, and respect it. Setting this expectation early on a trip with friends really helps avoid awkward kind-of-sort-of saying no to games every night.
Your happy place
Mine is reading a book. Even on hectic days, I will find a few minutes to sneak away and just read. I’ve been known to even go so far as to sit in a public washroom stall and read on my Kindle app on my phone just to get a couple minutes of quiet.
…But push your limits
I’m extremely introverted by nature. But there’s no way that I would have the jobs that I do have or get to do the travel that I do if I wasn’t willing to push my boundaries a lot of the time. So, this last tip is to remind you that just because you’re more on the introverted side doesn’t mean you can’t have an awesome time meeting new, interesting people, exploring cities, putting yourself out there. Just make sure you carve out some recharge time, and you’ll be good to go!