"It’s important to know and reflect about what type of traveler you are so you can act upon your strengths and be aware of your weaknesses."
I am a pretty extroverted person and love being surrounded by people. I don't mind a bit of alone time every now and then but I am definitely happiest when I'm socialising with others. I'm not sure if this stems from growing up in a pretty big family (I have six younger siblings) but it's definitely something that impacts all areas of my life.
Even though I live abroad, I still have very close ties with my family and friends back home and talk to almost all of them on a weekly basis. At work I'm surrounded by people every day and enjoy working in a team and across a range of different departments, I spent almost my entire spare time surrounded by friends and socialise during pretty much every free hour I've got. Naturally, the same goes for the way I travel.
I definitely fall into the "extroverted traveler" category. I am naturally drawn to action of every kind and love meeting new people wherever I go!
I’ve traveled extensively on my own and with others and I have learned that if you are mindful about the way you interact with others you can maximise the most positive aspects of your extroverted personality to bring a lot of joy not just to yourself, but the people who you are traveling with as well.
It’s important to know and reflect about what type of traveler you are so you can act upon your strengths and be aware of your weaknesses.
Here are some travel tips for all you other extroverts and social butterflies:
1) Bring people together
No matter if it comes down to organising a trip with your friends, or bringing a bunch of random people together for a joined dinner in the hostel kitchen, your talent of reaching out to people can help others to join in on some social time and even make new friends. It's about sharing the fun and the adventure while you are all somewhere new and most likely far away from home. Travel brings people together and it provides a great opportunity to form close bonds with people you would have otherwise never met. As an extrovert, you can help others maximise this opportunity.
2) Respect other people’s personal space
Respect that some people are less outgoing than you and give them some space. It's always nice to try and include others and a lot of people are grateful if you walk up to them to start a conversation or invite them to join you for dinner, drinks or an activity. However, if they don't seem keen or prefer to stick to themselves or their own group of friends, then don't take it to heart and respect that not everyone is on the road to meet new travel buddies. Some people like to get away on their own to reflect or recharge their batteries. They might come up to join you the next day now that you've invited them so leave it up to them ;-)
3) Maximise time in "social travel spots"
Extroverts feel right at home in the midst of a random group of people. Why not enjoy places where these accumulations of humans occur naturally? Do some research ahead of time on events happening in your next destination during your stay. Meet like minded people at a local concert or sporting event. If you find yourself craving some social activity, food is always the answer. Hit the hot spots in town and chat someone up about the incredible street food/craft beer/dougnuts… people can’t help but bond over delicious experiences. If nothing else, start with where you choose to stay. Why splurge on hotels when hostels provide you with a group of fellow travelers to talk to without any effort whatsoever?
4) Spread the love, the joy, and the excitement
The majority of extroverts are easily excited. With our tendency to share our feelings, we can go off on one without even realising it. Put us in a hostel or dorm room full of strangers and we are chatting to all of them about our latest adventures and life stories in no time. If we’ve had a bad day, this can turn a bit south as we rehash the horrid details of it all to unsuspecting strangers. Instead, use your social gifts to spread the love! Include others and let them join you on your next day trip or even on the entire next leg of your journey. Get them excited and help them form bonds with others, and share your travel adventures together. Everyone needs to vent every now and then but try to keep the drama and negativity in check, and be the positive force of nature you know you can be.
5) Take a step back
Most extroverts are natural leaders and organisers which are really useful traits, especially when it comes to traveling in groups. However, just because you are good at it doesn't mean that you have to do it all the time. Find out what the rest of the group wants to do and let someone else take the reign. You might be surprised with the suggestions they come up with. Even though I'm sure you have a solid plan for every day, it can be nice to follow the lead of someone else for once and see where it takes you. This way you can focus even more on socialising without having to "lead the pack" or "run the activity" at the same time.
6) Practice your listening skills
If you are a full extrovert, chances are you love talking to people. While I'm sure that you have amazing stories to tell and are probably dying to get them out to get people excited about whatever you have been experiencing or are planning to do next, try to sit back every now and then and practice your listening skills. People really appreciate it if you give them a chance to talk and it's a great opportunity for you to hear what other people have seen and done. It might inspire you to do something you haven't even thought about rather than telling your favourite story to yet another person, let them tell you about their favourite stories and learn something new :)
7) Fit in some solo time to recharge your batteries
If you are one of those hard-core extroverts you might not feel like you need a break from being social - ever. But I speak from experience when I tell you, you sometimes don't even realise that you needed a break until you allow yourself to have one. Wander off on your own for a walk on the beach, have a lie down in the closest hammock, walk up the road and get yourself a coffee, go for a solo hike etc. The options when traveling are endless! You'll realise how nice it is to let your thoughts wander and just relax a bit on your own. Being social is wonderful but it can also be a little exhausting at times. Take a little time out and you'll have even more energy to jump back into socialising afterwards!
Being an extrovert has a lot of benefits but it’s important not to get carried away too easily and overwhelm others with all the excitement you have to share ;-) As with most things in life, traveling (no matter whether you are an extrovert or introvert) is all about balance. As you head off on your next trip, be sure to look after yourself, look out for others and let the best aspects of your bubbly, extroverted personality shine through.
Author - Natalie Gruner
Nat is one of the co-creators of Travelher and loves travel, family and all things beach. She is currently working in NZ and getting away for an adventure as often as she can.