Extrovert turned introvert, for the love of travel.
No doubt travel is transformative, but I wasn’t prepared for all the subconscious ways it would change me for the better.
I’ve seen almost a third of the world now and what a blessing that has been. Because all those cultures, countries, and conversations I’ve seen and had in the last four years, without a doubt shape so much of who I am today.
And to the credit of the amazing souls that have graced my path during this time, they’ve also allowed me to process things differently and in a way my extroverted self would’ve brushed off in the past.
There is hardly wrong or right when it comes to everyday practices around the world — only different.
1. Inspiring conversations with strangers would take several days to fully process.
Have you ever had a conversation so deep in the most random circumstances, and the words exchanged lingered in your head for several weeks, maybe months after it happened?
Imagine this happening daily and not having the adequate time and space to truly absorb the things you’re learning.
I was loving the golden nuggets being dropped on me regularly, and needed to make sure I accommodated time and space to implement those lessons learned into my daily life.
2. I no longer had the energy for anything that didn’t change or inspire me.
Introverts may have a reputation for being boring, too reserved, or even a bit mysterious. But I can whole-heartedly admire introverts, because one thing they do really well, is preserve their best energy for people and situations who deserve it.
Extroverts give their all to everything. And that is an exhausting way to live as a full-time traveler.
It’s damn near comical what people get worked up over these days and I’m sorry, but until my panties can unknot themselves, most of it is just isn’t worth the stress.
3. I started resorting to a diary rather than Facebook when sharing life-changing moments.
But the number of times I’ve deleted entire statuses and just wrote them in a diary instead, is too much to count.
Because there are just things that people are still a couple life lessons and lectures away from fully grasping, and there’s no point in sharing things with those who aren’t at your wavelength. No pretentiousness intended, but my woke tribe knows exactly what I mean.
4. When my stress or anxiety got the best of me, locals saw the worst in me.
Extroverts have bad habits of being a bit too vocal about everything. We tend to be overly anxious about things and situations that haven’t even happened.
Introverts do a better job of contextualizing their day-to-day lives, which allows them to slow down, react rationally rather than emotionally, and be a bit more well-rounded people.
I aspire to always let my emotions speak, but only after calming down first.
5. I stopped relying on the media and started creating my own.
Extroverts are broadcasters by nature. When gossip hits, we love to be the messenger. But introverts do a better job at doing their own research.
They don’t take everything at face value and question everything. Perhaps they come off as cynical, but it’s a great approach when it comes to debunking the many myths, stereotypes, and lies mainstream media have conditioned our minds with.
6. My tolerance for bullsh*t is microscopic.
Microscopic isn’t a small enough adjective. My bullsh*t radar (#shadar) is constantly ringing and if you think being a tolerant person means you have to deal with people’s unnecessary bullsh*t, I promise you there’s a freer world out there where that’s definitely not the case. Come join!
7. I watch first, then speak second.
Growing up a social butterfly, being the life of the party was all I knew. But in other countries, I needed to take a step back and let those who were in their natural state take the center stage so I could learn from them as their guest.
Travel threw me into the arms of the most beautiful aspects of life, the most captivating cultures of the world, and through the most unforgettable experiences.
Like many ambiverts who see themselves in both introverts and extroverts, we have a switch based on our environment and the mental capacity we want to give it.
But I’ve very excited to have awakened my inner-introvert and love the peace it’s brought me since.