Social Tips for The Introverted Traveller
Introverts tend to do their travelling alone, preferring the company of a good book over people. However, if you’re thinking of expanding your horizons on your next travel adventure, then good on you. Tour groups and big crowds at a hostel may seem a bit daunting, but lucky for you, I’ve compiled some social tips and tricks from one introverted traveller to the other. Good luck out their comrades!
Try These Convo Starters
It can be daunting to know how and where to start a conversation with your fellow study abroaders. Don’t worry, these kinds of conversations usually happen naturally and on their own unless you really isolate yourself. But just in case, here are some tips and conversation starters that have worked for me in the past:
“Do you know a good place to eat around here?” – this can be a little segue into inviting them to eat with you. Most of the students will be as nervous as you are, by extending an invitation it’s a chance to get to know your classmates before your lesson even starts.
“Where are you from?” I call this the old reliable convo opener – it’s okay to be cliché!
“What are you studying?” – YMCA Global Study has such a broad range of programs, it’s not only interesting to know what someone signed up for, it is also an insight into this person’s passions and personality which will inevitably take you to a conversation – easy!
Say Yes More Often
Being an introvert can mean that you pass up on opportunities because you don’t feel comfortable or big crowds drain you. My challenge to you is to say yes to every exciting and scary opportunity that comes your way. That might mean saying yes to joining a group alone or joining a bus tour somewhere new. I once said yes to a carriage ride (an activity aimed at couples) and enjoyed every minute of it. You don’t want to be having regrets after your trip is over and thinking I should’ve done that or I wish I had the courage to do that thing. Save yourself the regret and say yes!
Make It a Habit to Greet People
Sometimes the common introvert can appear a little standoffish, shy or blend into the background. You don’t need to be the loudest person in the room to avoid this, it’s as simple as introducing yourself to everyone in your group confidently and clearly. Smiling goes a long way, more than you think! As long as you make it a habit to introduce yourself, speak up when you have something to say and have a warm smile, you won’t be forgotten anytime soon.
Connect With Your Classmates Before You Leave
Don’t know anyone in your course? We got you covered. To make the process smoother for you we’ll invite you to a Facebook group to meet all your fellow classmates before you meet face to face. This’ll give you a chance to have a chat, connect and think of a few conversation openers based on their profile. (A little bit of curious stalking profile is allowed)! It’ll be nice to put a face to the name of the strangers that will soon become your good friends!
Take a Day to Re-charge Your Social Battery
Whether you’re on a group tour or the people in your hostel are draining you, it’s important to practice self-care even when you’re travelling. Take yourself out for dinner, bring a book and ignore the world. Skip the hostel pub night and watch a movie on Netflix. Even if you want to lock yourself in your hotel room all day and just chill, it’s okay. This is your holiday that you have paid for and if you need to take a day to feel better tomorrow, then go ahead and do it. Don’t let people talk you into going out if you are too drained.
The Bottom Line:
Forcing yourself out of your comfort zone is a brave and scary thing to do. Be patient with yourself and take it one day at a time, you’re doing something awesome that most people are too scared to do! And I promise that you will come back from your trip feeling more capable and confident in yourself.
Feeling inspired and ready to conquer your fears? Find out more about how you can begin your study abroad journey, check out our programs here!
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