Friday, February 3, 2012

Coming to Grips: Introversion and Travel

It was my first domestic travel to a bustling, cosmopolitan city south of Manila. I was with my friends, one of whom has a sister who played host and driver. We had our fill of lechon and fresh seafood, and a free pass to an exclusive, white-sand beach resort. I should be having the time of my life, but inside I felt I was choking.

All these years I wondered what was wrong with me.

It was not until recently, after reading materials online, that I came to fully realize that I’m an introvert, and that introverts enjoy travel differently from extroverts who make up the majority.

Introverts are described as “people whose energy tends to expand through reflection and dwindle during interaction,” and “often take pleasure in solitary activities.” Introversion is also different from shyness. Although I prefer to be alone, I’m not afraid to engage if the situation calls for it. Just don’t expect me to do small talk.

This explains why, when traveling with others, I go bonkers unless I carve out some alone time, just chilling. My companions would usually chance upon me in the hotel lobby at odd hours, with a margarita in hand, or they’d see posted in Facebook the pictures of food I ate from my solitary jaunts. I also enjoy the company of few, select friends, and from time to time I do the odd zipline or two.

In a few weeks I’ll be taking out my red luggage from storage. I haven’t mapped out where I’d go during the after-hours, but I know where my path to happiness is.

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