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April 19, 2019 | Opinion

Introvert? Extrovert? Read this if you wanna travel

By Reid F.

If you’re an introvert, the idea of traveling with a group may sound about as appealing as hugging a cactus. And if you’re an extrovert—first of all, thank you for taking time away from your busy schedule of befriending strangers to read this—you may feel as though you can travel solo anywhere in the world and strike up a conversation with the most hermetic of mountain tribespeople.

Either way, introverts and extroverts agree that group travel is the best way to experience the world.

To prove it, we went around the office and talked to real, self-identified, Myers-Briggs certified, “let me know when the guests have gone” introverts, and legit life of the party extroverts who have been on an EF Ultimate Break trip.

Photo c/o Monique Aingworth

Photo c/o @annachka92

Introverts come out of their shell on group trips

Prior to their trip, some introverts expressed anxiety over the idea of group travel. Sky E. said she was stressed out about “not knowing if [she] was going to become friends with anyone or not.” Natalie C. said she was worried about it being too much of a party environment.

As soon as they found themselves face-to-face with their group, however, the fears all melted away. Natalie found that “not knowing anybody feels liberating,” and Francis C. confirmed that because of this you can go and talk to anyone, as everyone is in the same boat, not knowing anyone else.

The structure of a trip also lends itself to accommodate introverted tendencies. Everyone needs a little balance, and as the trip goes on, more and more free time is allotted for those who need an occasional break from the group. Francis went to a park in Vietnam by himself for a day, and Hanna M. spent a night out dining in Munich with only a good book for company. Both decisions were greeted warmly by their fellow travelers, who took no offense whatsoever to these self-care sessions spent away from the group.

Photo c/o @lexi_varteressian

Extroverts love the built-in social aspect of group travel

Now, extroverts are a special breed. There’s no doubting that they are social creatures, and that their inclusivity and ability to make friends often knows no bounds. It turns out, however, that even extroverts find themselves relieved by the automatic friend group that they form on group trips.

Linnea G., an extrovert, went on one of our Oktoberfest trips, and never wanted to leave the crowds of the beer tent. Lucky for her, she was able to assemble a team of other travelers in her group who also wanted to mingle all night among the locals. The realization hit her: “There’s always going to be someone in the group that wants to do the same thing as me!”

Besides having a group of like-minded travelers with you prepared to do anything and everything, group travel helps break boundaries for even the most outgoing of people. Vivian P., an extrovert, found herself in the Dominican Republic, and despite being a Spanish speaker, had logistics concerns that only a group could solve. Without one, how does one go white water rafting or organize a night out? “Even I need that social aspect of a group to step out of my comfort zone.”

Photo c/o Micalister Stash

In conclusion, everybody loves group travel

Introvert or extrovert, group travel brings out the best in us, and helps us extract the most out of our environment. As the extroverted Kevin M. put it:

When you travel, you’re going to learn things about yourself. But when you go with a group of people you’ve never met, it makes that experience that much greater because you’re also listening to what they’re getting out of it. I wouldn’t have experienced that if I had gone on my own.

Or take the introvert’s perspective, from Francis C.:

You’re all in awe of the same thing when you travel together…You get to the heart of a person quicker when you’re all sharing a new environment. It was surprising to me how quickly you become so close with people you just met…What you all have in common is wanting to experience this new place with each other.

Group travel brings us together. It encourages introverts to step out of their comfort zone, and emboldens extroverts to explore the world more deeply. As Katie R. put it, “at the end of the day we have the same passion, and that’s traveling.”

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