Some very un-helpful sociable introvert solo travel strategies

At my young and tender age I am about to embark on my first ever solo (in that I am not going with anyone I know) travel adventure. As a sociable introvert this fills me with trepidation as I have calculated that I have 384 hours of possible communication time. I love interacting with people but my limit is about 5 hours with good friends and 2 hours with strangers and then my battery needs to be recharged.

So I pondered, and in today’s world of positive thinking I decided to think positively and embrace the words of Abraham Lincoln “We can complain because rose bushes have thorns, or rejoice because thorn bushes have roses.” So I looked for the roses and realised I could reduce the 384 hours:

I can watch movies on the plane and ignore my fellow passengers – approximately 10 hours.

I have a potential 48 hours of sea sickness at the beginning of the journey. Together with jet lag this will make talking to people very difficult (especially if I am vomiting).

I plan to do a plunge into guaranteed sub-freezing waters of -2.8 degrees Celsius. This may give me teeth chattering mild hypothermia which has the following symptoms:

  • Shivering
  • Dizziness
  • Hunger
  • Nausea
  • Faster breathing
  • Trouble speaking
  • Slight confusion
  • Lack of coordination
  • Fatigue
  • Increased heart rate

I am not sure how long the hypothermia will last (the vodka that will be administered to me will probably not help my communication skills either). Let’s assume 3 hours in total.

Excluding my sea sickness I will be sleeping for about 85 hours.

There will be presentations that may use up 10 to 20 talking hours.

I then have another potential 48 hours of sea sickness at the end of the trip.

I can watch the same movies on the plane back home and still ignore my fellow passengers – approximately 10 hours.

This leaves me with 170 hours to talk to fellow adventurers. That is a lot of hours and at this stage I lost sight of the roses and began to see the thorns.

So I asked my friends and family for advice – which was not at all useful:

  1. Put ear phones in your ears and pretend you are listening to music
  2. Pretend you can’t speak English
  3. Glare at anyone walking towards you
  4. Suck it up

As my last resort I then turned to good old google which was not helpful either. I was told not to drink coffee before a social event and rather drink chamomile tea – I really don’t like chamomile tea.

So – is there anyone out there who can help me!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The Power of Introverts

One of the most empowering discoveries I made about 22 years ago was that I am an introvert. However, our society prizes extroverts and it is not always easy living as an introvert in an extrovert world.

Evidence shows that introverts are more sensitive than extroverts to different types of stimulus, and that introverts and extroverts often need very different levels of stimulation to function at their best. Introverts and extroverts also draw their energies from different sources – introverts from solitude and extroverts from interacting with others.

In the video below, Susan Cain, the author of ‘Quiet – The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking’, speaks about how dramatically our society under values introverts, and how much it loses in doing so. Cain defines introverts as ‘men of contemplation’ who may enjoy the company of others, but are also comfortable with solitude. Introverts are sensitive, contemplative, modest and calm, and spend a lot of time thinking and reflecting. They can enjoy social occasions, but need restorative time alone afterwards.

Are you an introvert in an extrovert world?
Once you understand what your strengths are and where you are on the introversion/extroversion continuum you can consciously situate yourself in environments favourable to your personality.

One of my coaching services is a Jung Typology Test that can assist in exploring your strengths and understanding where you are on the introvert/extrovert continuum. Contact me for more information.