Keepin' It Real Long-Term Travel Public Journaling

7 Interesting Ways Travel Turned Me Into an Introvert

Estimated Reading Time: 3 minutes

Colombo, Sri Lanka |
Colombo, Sri Lanka

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.

Mekong Delta, Vietnam |
Mekong Delta, Vietnam
Travel has definitely turned me into an introvert, and here were the 7 ways it did. Click To Tweet

1. Inspiring conversations with strangers would take several days to fully process.

Bali, Indonesia |
Bali, Indonesia

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 accommated 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.

If it doesn't make me wise, make me happy, or make me money, I don't have time for it. Click To Tweet

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.

Without a doubt my Facebook profile and fan page see the most insight when it comes to a comprehensive scope into the words and visuals of my everyday travels.

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.

Livingstone, Zambia |
Livingstone, Zambia

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.

Johannesburg, South Africa |
Johannesburg, South Africa

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.

Can anyone relate to this personality transformation through travel? Would love to hear in the comments below!

Extrovert Turned Introvert Through Travel |
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  • Jessica van Roij

    Nothing wrong with being an introvert, but still very open minded to what is out there! It is the perfect mix of caring for the world and their people, but still focussing on yourself and your inner peace.. important steps for happiness! Thank you for sharing

  • Ketki Gadre

    Super interesting to read this. I had always read about introvert changing to extrovert after continuous traveling. However your points are so well written and it something to think about.

  • Louise Oliver

    What a fabulous post – I can totally relate to all these points! In particular points 1, 2 and 4. Saving your energy for things that truly inspire you and people and situations that deserve it is something that really hit home for me when I returned to the UK after a long time travelling. So many things begun to feel pointless getting worked up over! I’m so glad you feel you have evolved for the better – and nice to read a different perspective 🙂

  • This article takes an amazing perspective of introverts. It’s refreshing and inspiring. I love the quote “If it doesn’t make me wise, make me happy, or make me money, I don’t have time for it.” I couldn’t agree more.

  • This post is really interesting to read and I can relate to so much of it, definitely number 6! Love your photograpghs, so beautiful!

  • Outdoors Wonders

    Loving this article. You are a truly inspiring woman. I believe your transformation makes a lot of sense. I have been adjusting my “shadar” of late, but i am sure yours is way sharper thanks to your extensive travels 🙂 can’t wait to get there!
    Without you, or your book, i wouldn’t have a blog nor decided to work towards/focus on getting the life i truly want. Nobody seems “to get me” here, but reading your blog keeps me motivated. Life is exciting again!
    Keep it up, the world need more awesome women like you!

  • Aimee Lim

    Wow, I love this. Most people hear the word “introvert” and think it’s a negative thing. Like an introvert is a shy, quiet person. But hearing about all the different ways travel has changed you is so inspiring. Giving less of a f*ck about unimportant things and only making room for what is, is key (along with every other point you listed too). This was such a great read, thanks for sharing!

  • Tünde Vass

    Thank you Gloria, this is exactly what I’ve came accross whil traveling and living in other countries , but also through getting to know new people. One of the very first lessons was to listen and to accept the change. I used to be very vocal and felt the need to be the “soul of the party” . Now in the lat 5 years this has changed. I realized that is completely fine to be with myself and to only accept those in that can bring something veluable into my life. Since than I have much more nergy for those that matter and not wasting any on meaningless conversations. No guilty feeling at all!

  • Heather Ferry Casteel


    “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.”

  • Sione Lister

    This is amazing! I love all the ways that travel has challenged me and you captured so much of the internal change we go through. Thank you for this!

  • Danielle Bricker

    Love this! A lot of people tried to tell me travel would turn me from an introvert into an extrovert. (Actually, what they said was travel would “fix” me.) If anything, my year-long RTW trip made me defiantly introverted. What most resonated with me here was the line about saving your energy for the best people and situations. A lot of folks like to hate on me for not being 100% with every single person I meet, but I’m never judging the inherent worth of others. It’s simply because I only have so much to give and I’m not afraid to set priorities when it comes to my time and energy.

  • Susan

    I love this post! I’m also an extrovert turned introvert. #1 really resonates with me. I find that even several weeks after I return from some trips I’m still engrossed in conversations I’ve had with strangers along the way. It’s hard to pinpoint the moment when you change, at some point you just realize you’re different. Also, totally going to use #shadar 🙂

  • Michelle Chumbley

    Interesting read. I’ve definitely become more of an introvert as I’ve gotten older.

  • I’m definitely an ambivert, but often find myself reverting more to the introvert side of my personality whenever traveling (or in large groups. HULLO wine!). It just allows me to sit back and observe which allows me to learn and be in the moment more. Fully agree with everything in this post!

  • Thank you for this post! Your explanation couldn’t be anymore spot on and real. I myself have always fallen more on the introvert/shy side. I was hoping travel would help me put myself out there and become more social, which it has… when I’m traveling. As I love learning from others and hearing their stories. But being home I definitely feel you on #2 and no longer have any interest or energy for people and their first world problems or uninspiring conversations.

  • Nícolas Fontes Corgozinho

    Thank you very very much for sharing this! You put in words what I feel so assertively … I couldn’t even explain it myself. Glad to know I’m not alone into those thoughts. =)

  • Great article! I’m an introvert myself, and so often I come across the stereotype of people travelling to overcome their shyness. Which certainly happens, I experienced myself what a confidence boost travel can be. But it’s still refreshing to hear a different perspective on this, from an extrovert who actually turns more introvert through travel. Sounds to me like you found your perfect balance between the two!

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  • I so appreciated this line: “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.” I hadn’t ever thought of it that way, but it makes me feel so much less guilty about not having that relentless energy in every social situation. Cheers !