For years, whenever I traveled, I mentally scolded myself each time I ducked out of a party early, wandered off to be alone, or spent an afternoon reading a good book.

“What’s wrong with you?,” said the voice inside my head. “Everyone else is out exploring. You’ll miss out if you don’t join in, go out, stay late, attend the lecture, visit the cathedral, …” 

It took me a long time to accept and eventually embrace the fact that my need for quiet and solitude is just as valid as the more social pursuits of my extroverted siblings, friends or travel companions.

Letting go of the need to do it all, and learning that it was okay to travel at a slower pace and in my own way, has paved the way to richer, more enjoyable journeys.

Are you an introverted traveler wondering how to navigate an extroverted world? 

Learn my travel-tested tips for how to maintain your independence (and sanity) in the article An Introvert’s Guide to Small Group Adventure Travel.

What about you? How do you, or the introvert in your life, stay balanced when traveling? 

Photo Caption: Enjoying a solitary moment at Lago de Apoyo in Nicaragua. Image by Robyn Ricketts. 



Ellen Barone is an American writer and wanderer. She co-founded and publishes the group travel blog and is currently at work on her first book "I Could Live Here".