The Best Trips for Introverts, According to Introverts (Video)
I recently went on a trip to Los Angeles with a friend, and after just one day and night together my voice was starting to give out. We were talking constantly: in the car ride on the way there, as we walked around the Getty Museum, as we went out to dinner and drinks, as we went for a run together the next morning.
It was a wonderful experience to take in a new place with a friend and get to know her more by spending so much time together, but as I’m a pretty classic introvert, by the end I was ready for some alone time.
Travel is often thought of as a pretty social activity. Most people travel with friends, family or romantic partners to spend more time together and have time away from work, school, and home.
Even if you are traveling alone, there can be a lot of socializing when you travel. From the plane rides with chatty seatmates to crowded hostels and busy streets, restaurants and nightlife. It's easy to never really feel alone.
But there are also great travel destinations that are perfect for introverts, where you can maybe have some social time and then some precious alone time where it’s quiet and less crowded to give you time to really recharge on your own.
Siskiyou in Northern California
Siskiyou, part of the northernmost region of California, is perfect for introverts who want to spend some alone time in nature. It has 50 rivers, 270 lakes, lava caves and waterfalls, plus Mt. Shasta. The mountain is known as a “spiritual vortex,” meaning a place that is known for aligning spiritual properties to create balance and harmony in the body. If you don’t mind a small, but quiet group, you can take a guided meditation tour. Siskiyou isn’t as busy as nearby Lake Tahoe or Yosemite, making it a great quiet spot.
The country where sheep outnumber people and is filled with incredible sweeping views was made for folks who enjoy solitude and quiet. Brad Hines, who founded NerdPlaythings.com and travels constantly for work and fun, says he favors the south island, which is even quieter. “New Zealand’s south island is majestic farm land, national parks, and greenery for miles, all on easy to drive and safe and clean roads,” he says. “It's a fantastic place to rent a car and hop from village to village. I stayed in places as remote as Toko Mouth that have a population under 100. Quiet, beautiful, plenty of time to think to yourself.”
More and more resorts and hotels are offering tree houses as part of their accommodation options. And there really could be nothing better for introverts; You can rest and have quiet time up in the trees, with beautiful views and no one to bother you. Check out the tree houses at Primland, a resort in Meadows of Dan, Virginia. They are tucked away from the property’s main lodge, instead sitting on the edge of the mountains. Each cabin is built around the solid branches of the tree tops, making for amazing views of nature from a private deck, plus spectacular stargazing.
Brooklyn, New York
Yes, it sounds crazy to suggest anywhere in New York City for people who want to be alone, but as travel writer Charish Badzinski points out, being an introvert means not wanting isolation, but instead wanting meaningul connections with people. “There is so much to see, and everyone is too busy to engage in meaningless small talk,” she says. “I never felt more comfortably alone than I did when in New York.” Badzinksi recommends staying in Brooklyn to avoid the crowds and tourists, where you can check out quiet places like the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens, Prospect Park and Cobble Hill.
Hundred Mile Wilderness, Maine
This section of the Appalachian Trail in Maine is generally considered the wildest and most remote part of the trail. You don’t have to hike the whole thing, or even really at all, to enjoy the seclusion and majestic scenery. Try Medawisla, the Appalachian Mountain Club’s newest wilderness lodge, where you can experience hiking, paddling, fly fishing, canoe camping, snowshoeing and cross-country skiing while staying in either a private cabin or bunkhouse.
Central Asia, in particular Kazakhstan, is the perfect destination for travel writer and self-described introvert Megan Starr. “The landscape is humbling and so large and easy to get away from reality without putting yourself into dangerous or scary situations,” she says. “I often went hiking alone there on trails that were easy, but still trodden by people that I didn't feel like I put myself in dangerous situations.” She says many of the mountains were reachable by public transportation, but still “offered the nature and privacy I needed.” Also, cell phones don’t work, so you get a chance to really disconnect and recharge.
Wandering in solitude in an interesting city can be perfect for an introvert, and Lisbon offers the peak experience for aimless wandering, says frequent traveler and introvert Hannah Lorenz, who works for travel agencies Down Under Endeavours and Africa Endeavours. “Filled with narrow cobblestone streets, intricately tiled buildings, and elaborate street art, you can literally walk around all day exploring intriguing little alleyways and ducking into a cafe for some pasteis de nata or a coffee when you feel like it,” she says. “Public squares overlooking the water are perfect for people watching. At night, the nightlife spills out into the streets with people hopping from bar to bar and taking their drinks outside — the vibe is very relaxed and friendly.”
While fitness and health retreats involve group interaction, yoga retreats are an exception because there is so much focus on individual practice and quiet time. And then the social time often involves more meaningful conversations, less chitchat, which is perfect for introverts. Try out Prana del Mar Retreat & Wellness Center in Baja, Mexico, which sits between the Pacific Ocean and the Sierra de la Laguna mountains. The retreats last about a week in luxurious accommodations, and come with meals and outings including watching a baby sea turtle release, surf lessons, or sea kayaking.
Bali is the perfect escape for beach-lovers or yogis. Padang has quiet and spacious streets and locals who are “friendly and not in your face, allowing you to escape from people without much effort,” says Chizoba Anyaoha, founder of travel company TravSolo. “Believe or not but you can find a quiet spot on the beach to catch the sunset, especially around evening time at either Padang Padang Beach and Suluban Beach,” Anyaoha adds. Or, try Ubud, which has private one hour yoga and meditation lessons.
While the capital Tokyo is bustling and can be overwhelming, the culture of Japan is quiet and respectful — even when it’s busy. “The trains are always quiet, even when super packed,” says Anyaoha. “Here you don't have to worry about someone starting any kind of conversation or small talk with you. The locals are pros at keeping to themselves, as it is a sign of humility in the culture.” Check out cities such as Kyoto or Yokohama for an even quieter feel.
Alex Schnee, a travel writer at The Wayfaring Voyager, calls herself “a certified introvert” and highly recommends this European city. “Vienna is undeniably peaceful, and you are unlikely to be hassled by hawkers and strangers,” he says. “Austrians are friendly, but do not intrude on personal space, and everyone is given room to explore on his or her own terms. Along with the stately architecture, you'll find little chaos and the opportunity to sit and enjoy a cafe or beer without having to engage with a loud-spoken society.”
Many Asian cities are very loud and bustling, but according to Schnee, Seoul is an exception. “I found Seoul to offer a blend of modernity and nature,” she says. “Within a 40-minute bus ride, you can retreat from downtown to foliage-filled national parks. You can take a weekend to meditate at a temple stay, or hike through the colorful spring and fall leaves. Even in the city, the clean and orderly transportation system makes it simple to get around.”
This northern city has lots of history, parks and museums to explore, all in calm and quiet settings. “Oslo is an incredibly safe city with lots to do for an introvert,” says Schnee. “While citizens speak excellent English, you won't be bothered by random people. Fans of architecture will love the modern designs mixed in with imperial buildings.”
The Lake District, England
In “Pride and Prejudice,” Elizabeth Bennett first plans to tour the Lake District with her aunt and uncle, but then changes destinations to a different area, which includes Mr. Darcy’s estate. While the detour works out well for her, she did miss out on a beautiful getaway. The Lake District is perfect for those who want to get away from the crowds and enjoy solitude, says travel writer Lauren Pears. “There are many hills and trails to hike, lots of remote lodges to stay in, and lots of English pubs where you can order some good food and just be,” she says. “Relax with a good book by the pebble shoreline, wander the circumference of the lakes, or perhaps even watch a show at the theatre by Derwent Water.”
One of Canada’s biggest cities, Toronto is known as a city of neighborhoods, so it can be broken down into less overwhelming pieces. Tour just a neighborhood a day and take in the range of cultures and foods in the city. More than 50 percent of its population was born outside of Canada and 230 different nationalities are represented.
This small rural town has a population of about 20 humans and two cats. “On the southern slopes of the Sierra Nevada overlooking the Mediterranean Sea lives a clutch of mountain villages together known as Las Alpujarras, and Fondalez is one of the quietest villages here,” says travel writer Namita Kulkarni. “The kind that makes you want to sell everything and move, if you have a taste for the uncrowded life. As an introvert here, you'd spend your days surrounded by rarified air, tangles of mountain trails, stray cats sunning themselves all day, a laidback sense of time and the freshest spring water that keeps you coming back for refills. A way of life where the days are savored rather than rushed into a blur.”
Lifelong introvert and travel blogger at the site Nomad by Trade, Kris Morton says Iceland is the perfect destination for introverts like him. “If you can skip the bus tours departing from Reykjavik and rent your own car, a road trip around the Ring Road will take you through some of the most spectacular scenery you can imagine while also giving you breaks away from people to recharge,” he says. “Iceland has an incredibly low crime rate, so if you're looking at solo travel and nervous about it, it's a great place to start.”