"I am an introvert" But what exactly does that mean?
I enjoy being alone now and then. In fact, I need to be in order to recharge after a long period of socializing. I need plenty of time to think before I speak. I favor one-on-one conversation to group situations.
I'm startled when my phone rings unexpectedly (particularly when it reveals an unidentified number), and I’m not prepared to speak. And my chronic daydreaming leads me to miss my subway stop more often than I care to admit.
If you can relate to this, welcome to the club, you just might be an introvert as well (don’t worry, you're not required to introduce yourself). Introverts tend to have an eye for detail, tuned in to their surroundings and take pleasure in being a fly on the wall.
In this case, what activity is better suited for an introvert than travel?
Now a traveller's introversion wouldn't stop them from travelling -- there's bound to be a location or activity that'll spark your interest -- but it might affect the reason and the way they do it.
Some might travel with a small group of friends as long as everyone's okay the introvert's quietness. An introvert might want to wander at their own pace in order to fully understand a city. They'll talk to strangers (if they have to) but that's not why they came in the first place.
All things considered, while introverted travellers aren't restricted to a set number of countries, there are some destinations that naturally cater more towards the needs of an introvert than others.
So here's a list of 10 introvert-friendly destinations that are safe for solo travel, provide an ideal nature escape for thoughtful reflection and are sure to get your creative juices flowing.
10 Places Perfect For Introverts
If there’s anywhere an introvert is going to feel at ease, it is Finland. You don’t have to agonize about making small talk in this Nordic country. Finns appreciate silence, thoughtfulness, nature and are respectful of personal space. So no need to feel judged when wandering thoughtfully around the beautiful capital of Helsinki or dining alone. And you cannot leave without letting loose in a steamy sauna where Finns head to relax and reflect in silence.
For introverts in search of an adrenaline fix (and yes, they can enjoy one too), New Zealand is famous for its adventure and nature tourism with its dazzling and diverse landscape. It is also a popular destination for solo or small-group travel, so grab your closest friend(s) for a wild rafting ride, skiing, bungee jumping or zorbing. However, if you find yourself in need of some quality alone time, ditch your pals for the company of a camera and head to <a href="http://www.whalewatch.co.nz/" target="_blank">Kaikoura</a> for whale watching, swimming with dolphins, kayaking along the peninsula, seabird spotting or a long nature walk.
“Wonderful, wonderful Copenhagen” is a safe and gorgeous spot for independent travel. It’s also known for being one of the most bike-friendly countries in the world. Take a ride to the old port, Nyhavn, to see the colourful old houses, laze by the canal and listen to jazz or sit in a café with a good book. To escape the busy crowds, find a patch of green in one of Copenhagen’s many gardens, such as King's Garden or the Botanical Garden.
Costa Rica is an introvert’s dream. It’s safe, ranked number one when it comes to the population’s "<a href="http://www.gfmag.com/tools/global-database/ne-data/11940-happiest-countries.html#axzz2h7B28MJ6" target="_blank">satisfaction with life</a>" and has a wealth of national parks for introverts who come to life when surrounded by nature. Roll around on one of Costa Rica’s many beaches or practice yoga. Alternatively, hike through the rainforest or kayak along the quiet mangrove forests of Damas Island’s estuaries.
Bhutan’s a country sure to pique the interest of the curious introvert and awaken their spirits. If an escape from technology and noisy city streets is what you seek -- Bhutan is the place. The country has only been open to tourism for about 40 years, and has a low volume of tourists. That means its mountainous landscape; forests and culture are largely untouched. It is safe for solo travel and peaceful (its well-being is measured by Gross National Happiness). Visit the cliff side Taktsang Palphug Monastery, a sacred Buddhist temple. Or take the Druk path trek to take in the inspirational Himalayan scenery.
If you’re in search of a tranquil escape to recharge or somewhere quiet enough to hear your own thoughts, there are few better places than Iceland with its other-worldly landscapes. Unwind in the warm mineral waters of Blue lagoon geothermal spa. Hike to one of Iceland’s many waterfalls such as the popular Gullfoss, or to the hot springs in Reykjadalur (“Smoke Valley”). Better yet, take a load off your feet on a horseback trek in the countryside on an (adorable) Icelandic pony.
Introverts typically love learning and exploring topics in-depth. Rome, the largest city and capital of Italy, is the perfect destination for ditching your map and schedule for wandering the streets alone, trusting your observant eye as you seek out the city’s hidden gems. You can tour popular attractions, such as the Coliseum or Vatican City, on your own time without the stress of group tours. With a wealth of old churches, ruins, monuments and other historical sites to see, it’s easiest to submerge yourself in the rich history and culture of Rome when travelling solo.
There's no better place to sit alone and daydream without interruption than on a long, trance-inducing train ride. Kick back with a book or gaze thoughtfully out the window while taking in Canada’s diverse and breathtaking scenery on a cross-country train ride. If you don’t have time for the full journey, board the <a href="http://www.rockymountaineer.com/en_CA_ON/" target="_blank">Rocky Mountaineer </a>and be wined and dined as you chug your way through Canada’s majestic Rocky Mountains.
Vietnamese culture also tend to favour introversion, so you can enjoy what locals have to offer without the pressure to socialize or meet new people. Swim or relax on one of the country’s gorgeous turquoise beaches, such as Doc Let or Nha Trang. Explore colourful markets teeming with fresh vegetables, herbs and seafood. Discover the beautiful landscape by motorbike, the transportation mode of choice in Vietnam. And document all of your experiences in a journal as you sip on cup of Vietnamese coffee in a shop on Hang Hanh, Hanoi's “Coffee Street.”
Japan is another country known to embrace introversion. Unleash your muse while on a hike to snow-capped Mount Fujisan. Catch the sunrise from this mountain's summit, known to poets and artists. If you enjoy disappearing in the crowded streets of a bustling city for people watching, Shibuya, Tokyo – one of the busiest intersections in the world – is a great spot. Or bring the world to a standstill as you meditate at a Japanese rock or Zen garden in Japan's old capital, Kyoto.
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