In a great article over at Lifehack, 23 Unconventional Places Introverts Would Love To Travel, I was able to recently contribute my pick for the best place to travel for introverts. I know I am an introvert, I just never realized before considering my answer for this article, that I have always preferred travel destinations and experiences that get away from the crowds. This is why I write about outdoor adventures around the world and I wanted to expand on my answer for Lifehack.
I of course chose the Camino de Santiago as a wonderful travel destination and experience particularly suited for introverts. As you walk the Camino de Santiago you have the perfect mix of solitude, spending hours alone with your thoughts, and a peppering of interaction with other people. The albergues (places you stay as a pilgrim) can be a bit intense for introverts, but you are so tired after 10 hours of walking that you somehow manage.
I love spending time with friends, but after a full day of socializing and stimulation I need a break all to myself. Carl Jung, a psychologist, coined the term introvert, which describes a person who tends to minimize their contact with other people and is generally preoccupied with their own thoughts. This is why travel destinations like Las Vegas, are not great places to visit if you define yourself as an introvert.
From one introvert to another, here is my list of places I wholeheartedly recommend for a peaceful, small dose of human interaction and an incredible vacation.
- Granada, Spain – I have visited almost every country in Europe and without a doubt this is my favorite city. Somehow Granada has remained relatively under the radar and because of this the huge tourist crowds you must navigate in places like Barcelona and London have not yet made it here. The city is filled with quiet places where you can enjoy views of The Alhambra, the most beautiful castle I have ever seen. Go hike in Las Alpujarras in the mountains above the city for a break from the world.
- Montezuma, Costa Rica – As my wife and I were ending our almost 17 hour journey to Costa Rica from Colorado we found ourselves on a tiny airplane with 2 pilots, ourselves and 2 other passengers making our way over a mountain and landing on a beach near this oasis. “We sure choose some remote locations,” she said as we landed. We do so because well, we like solitude and peace. Montezuma is hard to get too but well worth the journey. The town is surrounded by dense jungle and after sipping a beer and devouring ceviche in a beachside bar with a normal amount of patrons, you can enjoy hours of walking on the beach. Your only company hermit crabs and the sounds of howler monkeys.
- Crested Butte, Colorado – I avoid all ski towns in the winter here in Colorado because of the massive amount of people that come in the winter to enjoy our mountains, including this tiny hamlet. Crested Butte is great for introverts in the summer, when the crowds thin and the wildflowers bloom. Some of my favorite places to camp are near this small mountain town (I will never tell you where;), and whenever I feel the need to get out of the city, this is where I go. It is just the right mix of mountain town and nature, minus the snooty feel of places like Aspen.
- Wellington, New Zealand – If you find you are half introvert/half extrovert, depending on the day and mood then Wellington is a great place to visit. The entire country of New Zealand is perfect for introverts because of the natural wonders that abound here. Wellington has a great music scene for when you are feeling social and easy access to some great hikes when you are not. For me, the vibe and feel of the city was relaxing and inviting.
- Farming in Ireland – As I mentioned in a previous post, WWOOFing is an amazing way to travel and doing so in Ireland is a wonderful way to spend time as an introvert. Extroverts would hate the experience of spending your days with animals and vegetables but for an introvert it can be incredibly invigorating and a rewarding travel experience.