Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Speaking of Travel ...

On  Kottke I saw a link to something called Confessions of an Introverted Traveler.  So I clicked it.

We introverts have a different style of travel, and I’m tired of hiding it.

Oh, I’m always happy enough when interesting people stumble into my path. It’s a lagniappe, and I’m capable of connecting with people when the opportunity arises. And when the chemistry is right, I enjoy it.

But I don’t seek people out, I am terrible at striking up conversations with strangers and I am happy exploring a strange city alone. I don’t seek out political discourse with opinionated cab drivers or boozy bonding with locals over beers into the wee hours. By the time the hours get wee, I’m usually in bed in my hotel room, appreciating local color TV. (So sue me, but I contend that television is a valid reflection of a society.)

Hey!  I could have written this article.  The author, Sophia Dembling, and I are travel twins.

I am an introvert and I love to travel.  I don't mean that I am shy.  There is a difference.  Sophia explains:

Introversion and extroversion are inborn traits, and the difference between them is not that one is gregarious and at ease in the world and the other shy and awkward. Rather, extroverts are outwardly motivated and gain energy from interaction with the outside world while introverts are more inwardly directed and drained by interaction with others. Introverts’ thinking tends to be deep and slow, we require copious time alone, we prefer probing conversation to shallow chitchat, and our social lives are geared more towards intimate one-on-one interactions than “more the merrier” free-for-alls.

It's why I always prefer to have a room to myself, so I can have a little downtime when I need it.  It's why I'm nervous about staying at B&B's.  Just like Sophia:

We’re also not bed-and-breakfast people, if breakfast with other guests is mandatory. (“Where y’all from?” we joke to each other. The mating call of the B&B guest.) I once read about a B&B where the owner collected antique hats that guests were encouraged to wear to breakfast. Really? That sounds fun to people?

Last weekend was a perfect experience.  The Bed & Breakfast where I stayed was really an Inn.  I could eat breakfast all by myself at my very own table and not interact with anyone except the wait staff.  Heaven.

Sophia also offered 6 Tips for Introverted Travelers which I read carefully and with which I agree  The most important is:  always carry a book.