Tips for Introverts: Travel

introvert definition

Fuck this definition

If you find yourself on the introverted side of the spectrum, make sure you don’t fall for the labels that the extroverted world would love to pin on you.

It doesn’t have to mean you are shy, timid, or scared.

You just prefer to direct your thoughts inward and are more selective in where you direct your energy.

Embrace that.

Its the introverts of the world who can make the biggest breakthroughs, stay separated from trends, and find it easier to come to deep understandings.

screen-shot-2016-11-26-at-3-42-21-pmThe hangups come when an introverted person goes out to socialize and finds himself in a place where most people aren’t wrapped up in their own thoughts, they feel comfortable making small talk and don’t suffer from a loss of energy.

I grew up as a kid who had a wild sense of adventure and spent a lot of time outside, doing crazy shit by myself or with a few select friends that I was comfortable around, but I always felt most at ease while alone and reading books. I actually enjoyed when my parents grounded me because it allowed me to read for days.

Even now, its not uncommon for me to spend a few days alone, working on a solo project, researching, and recharging my batteries by keeping cut off from others.

It took years of practice for me to be able to mimic the extroverted state and free myself from the chains that unchecked introversion can lead to.

The number one activity that allowed me to enjoy getting out of my own head and truly begin to live externally and in the moment was travel.

I’ll break down the best tips I can give for introverts that want to use their travel experiences to crack their shell and become more social in a way that isn’t overwhelming.

Next week I’ll be in Playa del Carmen, Mexico for The Playboy Summit and I’ll relate the following tips in this context. These are things that I will be employing in order to overcome any hinderances my introverted side might cause.

Enjoy the New Surroundings and Practice Small Talk

While in a new environment, its a lot easier to focus on things that are outside of your head because everything is new, so make it extra stimulating.

Think about how this is the greatest time in history and you have the opportunity to see more of the world than 99.9% of the Earth’s population ever has (or most likely ever will).

Playa del Carmen has a main strip where most of the bars, clubs, shops, and cafes are located. Its the perfect place to get a feel for the town, people watch, start a casual conversation with someone, “do you know where to get good ceviche?”, and notice what the girls are like.

Its also key to make some observations about the new place and use them for later conversations–notice the architecture, local art, how the venues are designed, and bring it up when you are out and mingling with people.

I’m certain Playa is going to have a multitude of outdoor bars, which are my favorite places to meet people in the world, just by saying “I love being outside at night” has the potential to spark up a good conversation.

Use those observations to make small talk. As an introvert, it will seem unnatural, but you’ll be surprised at how many people just enjoy shooting the shit about meaningless opinions.

Use travel as an opportunity to exercise chit-chat.

Dress Well

Its good to stand out when you are in a new place. You aren’t from there, so you shouldn’t look like it. In a place like Playa its easy to separate yourself from the crowd since most guys will probably have the uniform of jeans or cargo shorts with either a T-shirt or polo.

I plan on wearing some interesting Alpha Khakis, Dalton Boots, picking up some new slim button-up shirts, rolling up the sleeves to show off my jewelry, wearing a big necklace of some sort, and rocking my signature hat.

You can speak volumes without saying a word by the way you look. My look is along the lines of the ‘mysterious stranger’, which works well with my personality, so when I make an approach, or get approached, girls have something to work with.

The reason I started is because most of the time that a girl chooses to open me up in conversation, or she wants to show her interest–she makes a comment on a piece of jewelry I’m wearing.

Don’t be afraid to develop with your own style, standing out without having to be the center of attention works well with an introverts personality.

Enjoy the Local Culture/Activities

This is my favorite part because not only do you get to enjoy something unique and exotic, but it provides a real source of energetic conversation that you can use when going out.

What I’m looking forward to the most are the pristine beaches, SCUBA diving, and snorkeling that Playa del Carmen is known for.

You better believe that I’m going to be in the ocean as much as possible and trying to identify as much wildlife as I can.

I’m infamous for talking about animals with pretty girls–the sexier the girl, the more I tend to talk about jellyfish, sharks, dolphins, and whatever else I feel passionate about.

And that is the key to this–passion. You might be interested in the local cuisine, music, history, art, festivals, whatever…

It really doesn’t matter what you are talking about as long as you are passionate about it.

If there is one piece of conversational advice I could give when it comes to seduction–you must speak with feeling.

I’ve turned girls on before just by describing how much I love green tea–women are drawn to men with intensity.

One thing I have found true with most introverts–they usually have a bit of an obsessive personality where when they find something that interests them, they dive into it fully.

So discover something about your new surroundings that makes you feel genuine passion, and talk to others about it.

Use Your Wingmen

This is going to be easy during the Summit because whenever me and McQueen get together its nonstop laughs, good conversation, and friendly competition–which is just the thing you need to get you mind in the right place for having fun and meeting girls.

What I’ve noticed with myself, and most introverts I know, is that they just need a few minutes of real conversation, some humor, and genuine connection in order to loosen up for the night.

A great thing about traveling is that so many people are willing to talk to you and are eager to give suggestions. Even if you are having dinner alone at a bar, someone there is usually happy to answer questions you have about the area.

When I travel somewhere solo, many times I’ll find a couple of guys who look like they are out to meet girls. I’ll ask them right away “do you know where the girls are at?” and if they are cool I’ll tell them to come and meet some with me.

Its hilarious how fast you can become accepted by guys when you bring girls over. Many times this ends up in free drinks and smokes for me.

Have a Good Backstory

Boring small talk about where you are from or what you do usually sucks the energy right out of an introvert.

Have something prepared for when girls inevitably ask those questions.

If they ask where I’m from and I say New York, I immediatly keep the conversation going by asking if they have ever been there.

If asked what I do for a living, my response is “its complicated, I’m trying to figure that out myself…” and run from there.

The point is, have something prepared for those boring questions before hand so you don’t get thrown off guard, then change the topic of conversation to something more interesting.

What not to Do

The worst thing you can do is feel pity for yourself as an introvert.

If you feel that anxiety in a social situation, recognize that its your energy that is being directed inward–which is nothing to be ashamed of. It just takes a little work to be able to project outward and share it with others.

Don’t be selfish and keep it to yourself.

I’ll have more to say in the future about how to make the most out of your introverted nature.

And remember, traveling doesn’t have to mean flying across the continent and spending a lot of money.

A new town, a museum, National Park, or hike through a forest can suffice.

If you want to read an in depth story about what happened right after I realized how to spill my introverted energy out into the world in full force, check out Go Forth.

About Goldmund

Goldmund grew up a wild-child and was constantly being disciplined. Using ancient rituals and game, he broke free from the shackles of his mind and the norms of this backwards society. He frequents bars in Brooklyn, mountains in Mexico, and retreats to the desert. His passions are nature and women.

5 comments on “Tips for Introverts: Travel

  1. Good piece, as an introverted guy myself I, just like you, have had to develop everything you’ve mentioned over a number of years. My biggest issue has always been making small talk and just getting out more. People are surprised when I tell them I’m not actually outgoing out all, I only seem like it because I’ve practiced it for years. Even now my social skills are still a little rough but thats only because I don’t get out much.

    • Yes, it takes a while for it to develop, but it is certainly possible.

      One thing that worries me about modern living is that how much it beats down on the introverted guys.

      So many of them are confused and frustrated as young men and end up clinging on to a girl at the first sign of interest. They think that there won’t be many more options available.

      Then they are locked in for a good portion of their life–thats terrifying.

      If there is one thing I hope to do with my writing, its to showcase what is possible if you are willing to drop ego and put in the work.

  2. Very good article, I too think that introverts can be genuinely more passionate about things than extroverts,
    Introverts shouldn’t associate their nature to something negative because it will only accentuates their shyness,
    As you said, introversion should be seen as a source of energy.

    • The most intense people I’ve known (myself included) are introverted by nature.

      Something to be cautious with because lack of control once the passion kicks in can get dangerous. I’ve been there, I’ve seen it, and still have to grapple with it.

      Makes for some goddamn interesting stories though.

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