Have you ever wondered what makes some of us seek travel and solo experiences over others? If you’ve never taken a look at your Myers-Briggs personality type, I highly recommend doing so today. I’ve spent the last year thinking a lot about why I am the way that I am, even speaking with a therapist about how there are so many competing facets to my personality that replace one another at any given moment. So as soon as I found out more about my personality type, it all started to make sense.
Being an INFJ
INFJ means introverted, intuitive, feeling and judging, which is one of sixteen personality types recognized by psychologists. This type is recognized as 1% of the world’s total population. They’re known for strong opinions and creativity. This personality type is not usually perceived as introverted, as one may be outgoing in specific situations and friendly to strangers, but ultimately is more comfortable in smaller groups and needs alone time to recharge.
INFJs are masters of written communication, with a distinctively smooth and warm language. In addition, the sensitivity of INFJs allows them to connect to others quite easily. Their easy and pleasant communication can often mislead bystanders, who might think that the INFJ is actually an extrovert. – 16Personalities.com
So it makes sense that I would fall into a writing career, one that is notoriously solitary and self-reflective. We’re determined and passionate, so when we find something we care about, we throw our whole energy into it. Famous INFJs have included Martin Luther King Jr., Nelson Mandela and Mother Teresa, so I’m in humbling company.
Traveling as an INFJ
People frequently ask me why I travel alone. I don’t always. I’ve traveled with friends and family on many occasions, but how I travel is very different in these situations. With groups, I need time to myself to do something that I want to do and can get anxious and hard to deal with if I don’t have it. Anyone who has traveled with me can probably attest to this.
Being an introvert means I have no problem traveling alone. The social anxieties of dining alone and similar experiences don’t affect me as they do others. Give me a good book and I’m fine. But this also means that it’s harder for me to meet people when I travel. I have to push myself to introduce myself to people. I’m also uncomfortable talking about myself most of the time, so when people find out I’m a writer or blogger, I usually under explain so that it won’t seem like I’m bragging.
What It Means
If you’ve met me, or will one day meet me, you never know if I’m going to be outgoing or standoffish. I hope you won’t interpret this as me thinking I’m too important to talk to you. I do my best to put myself out there in social situations, but it can be difficult. It’s much easier to express myself in writing, after I’ve had time to edit and evaluate everything I say, than in real life.
When I worked at a bar in Sydney, my boss ironically nicknamed me “Rowdy” because I was so quiet. But soon my co-workers found out there was much more to me. What I’ve realized about myself from this year of reflection is that I don’t need to be anyone but myself. I don’t have to force myself into situations where I know I won’t enjoy myself. Being an introvert is absolutely “normal,” if that means anything.
How does your personality type affect your travels?
- The Introvert’s Guide to Travel, Twenty-Something Travel