Solo Travel is Ideal for Introverts: Here’s Why

On my birthday this year, about a month from now, I’ll wake up in an unfamiliar city, in a new country, alone.

Charish Badzinski at the 12 apostles in australia
Traveling solo to the 12 Apostles in the south of Australia. Photo by Charish Badzinski

And I wouldn’t have it any other way.

As someone who travels solo frequently, I often field questions about how I can stand to travel alone. The truth is, while many people might feel tentative about solo travel, I don’t mind it one bit.

In fact, I often prefer it.

An Introvert in an Extrovert’s World

Most people assume I am an extrovert–which is understandable since there are loads of misconceptions about introversion. But to be honest, it took me over 35 years to understand why I’ve always felt like I don’t fit in. Why I’ve felt exhausted and burned out from my high-profile jobs or overwhelming gatherings of friends and coworkers and family. Sure I can function; I can play the game. After all, it’s an extrovert’s world, and most of us must become chameleons to be heard at all within this noisy space. I did that, and I did it well for many years, at not an insignificant personal cost. But for the most part I’m done forcing myself to be something I’m not, and I’m all about owning who I am.

I know what I do well. I write. I think, a lot. I wander. And I share it with you after it has had time to develop complexities and deeper meaning.

It took me decades to grow into this skin, and at last, I’m comfortable in it.

I travel. Often alone. Almost never without fear. It suits me.

Why Solo Travel is Perfect for Introverts

1. There’s room to tackle the important stuff

It makes sense that solo travel speaks to my introverted soul. It is the music to which my ear is tuned; the whisper of big ideas. The wonder of our inherent oneness. It is the promise of a deeper sense of connectedness with the world, with the freedom from engaging superficially with large groups of people or even anyone in particular. It takes less time to get to the good stuff; when you strip away the ability to make small talk, when time together is fleeting, I find that people are far less likely to waste words.

In the gap between languages, the greatest sadnesses, the deepest moments of joy, and the most poignant vulnerabilities are laid bare. It is an introvert’s dream.

Ken and baby in cambodia
When BackpackMr traveled solo in Cambodia, he made meaningful connections with locals, including his tuk-tuk driver, Ken, pictured here showing off his new baby. Photo by Joel Badzinski.

How many notebooks have I filled with discoveries found in the quiet? How many more await me? Surely, it is infinite.

2. You can travel on your own timetable, according to your mood

When I travel alone, I can travel on my own timetable. If I need a day “off” during long-term travel, to rest, or recover from illness, or to do laundry or sit in a coffee shop and watch the world go by, I can do it. I don’t need to check in with anyone to get permission.

When I travel alone, there’s no sidestepping the minefields of other people’s moods, to which I am particularly susceptible.


In the gap between languages, the greatest sadnesses, the deepest moments of joy, and the most poignant vulnerabilities are laid bare. It is an introvert’s dream.


3. Solo travel builds confidence, which we introverts could use

More, for me, traveling alone also builds confidence–something we introverts can usually use more of. There’s nothing much that is more empowering than forging your path around the globe, navigating the inevitable challenges, and finding food and lodging all by yourself. I’ve already mentioned that I have fears; overcoming them by myself strengthens me.

As my mom pointed out to me once, bravery isn’t being without fear, it’s doing things in spite of it. I may not be brave yet, but I come closer to it every day I travel solo.

IMG_0304
Finding my way around Eastern Europe, solo. Photo by Charish Badzinski.

4. Small talk is minimal

As an introvert, conversation, particularly the vapid, small-talk stuff heard so often, makes me crazy. If you and I have time together, know that I’ve carved it out for you because I want to talk with you about things that matter. But I’m perfectly happy going for days without any verbal conversation at all, while simply observing those around me. Trust me, the conversation in my head is ceaseless.

I can operate with relative skill in this extroverted world, but after extroverting for any amount of time, particularly if it’s been stressful or heated or dominated by inauthentic or manipulative people in any way, I’ll be thirsting for alone time. Time to roll. Time to put on the eye mask and hunker down in a too-tiny seat on a metal bullet jettisoned around the world. Time to place my feet upon new soil, breathe in unfamiliar smells. Time to dance to the staccato of languages I don’t speak, and to speak instead the language of smiles and nods, a language which I prefer for its genuine, authentic nature.

5. You can find quiet in spite of our cultural noise

In a culture where we are always connected (while actually disconnected from one another), my solo traveler’s soul loves to be unreachable. No cell service? No wifi? No internet at all? No television or streaming video? What, I can’t tweet?

No problem.

In a world where everyone is shouting, my introverted traveler’s heart delights in the silence of solo travel. It aches for long breaks from the overwhelming man-made noise of our world–the written noise on social media, the visual overload of me-first culture, the overheard conversations about hate-and fear-based politics, the giddy announcers on morning radio, the drummed up drama of sportscasters or the solemn, faux concern of news anchors.

The perpetual nails-on-a-chalkboard screech of this culture is exhausting. In a world that seems to never be quiet, silence is among our most valuable currencies.


If you are open to it, open to being present and thinking for yourself and stretching and changing, the world will do wonders for you. But to get there, we have to stop talking, and start listening.


We have so much to learn from the quiet.

solo travel woman looking at painting Le Grande Jette
As a solo traveler, you can spend all the time you like doing what you love, even if it’s staring at the same art for hours. Photo by Charish Badzinski.

6. We can be our true selves

Perhaps most importantly, as an introvert, when I travel alone, I can be my true self. Whoever I am in that moment, on that day, in that country. The same is true for you.

It will be interesting to see who I am in four weeks, when I land in Costa Rica on my birthday.

Introvert or Extrovert: Solo Travel is a Great Teacher

Let this serve as an invitation to the introverts of the world who might be too timid to travel solo, as well as the extroverts of the world who fear entering the quiet beauty we prefer. If you are open to it, open to being present and thinking for yourself and stretching and changing, the world will do wonders for you.

But to get there, we have to stop talking, and start listening.



A special thank you to my friend and fellow introvert, ArtistErin, for this blog post idea. 


Charish BadzinskiCharish Badzinski is an explorer and award-winning features, food and travel writer. When she isn’t working to build her blog: Rollerbag Goddess Rolls the World, she applies her worldview to her small business, Rollerbag Goddess Global Communications, providing powerful storytelling to her clients.

Posts on the Rollerbag Goddess Rolls the World travel blog are never sponsored and have no affiliate links, so you know you will get an honest review, every time.

Find Charish on Twitter: @rollrbaggoddess and on Instagram at @rollerbaggoddess. You can also read more about Charish Badzinski’s professional experience in marketing, public relations and writing.

Rollerbag Goddess Rolls the World by Charish Badzinski is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

 

 

 

 


6 thoughts on “Solo Travel is Ideal for Introverts: Here’s Why

    1. Thank you, Brandy! Wasn’t that a great show? So amazing, and I’m still in a state of shock! And now, my mom isn’t my only visitor! Teehee 🙂

      Like

    1. Thank you so much, Sheena! Honestly, I’m still stunned that happened. What an amazing show! Thanks for stopping by!

      Like

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