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Being an Introvert is, contrary to popular rumor, not synonymous with being shy.

In fact, introverts can be defined by the fact that it costs them energy to interact and they can only recoup their energy through spending quiet time alone.

One might therefore consider that travel, by design, does not exactly favor the introvert. But one would be sadly mistaken. Certain traits shared by many introverts lend themselves quite brilliantly to successful travel and introverts are especially good at solo travel.

Coping mechanisms for Introverts

Understand that you can only recharge when you are alone – so go ahead and ask for ‘me time’.

Compromise by organizing activities with others only once a day.

Consider solo travel – that way you can call all the shots, make plans as you please, and choose when and where you socialize.

Remember that it’s perfectly fine to be an introvert—many of the world’s most famous travelers were introverts!

Cautions for Introverts

Have an escape route… whenever you commit to a social gathering plan how to get out of it if you need to before you go.

Plan to never be without your headphones, a book, a podcast, an audio book etc.

… and Warnings for the Rest of Humanity

Introverts need their space like the rest of us need air.

Never underestimate an introvert.

How to Spot the Introvert on Safari

Why would you want to find an introvert? Because they will have a wealth of knowledge about the area you are visiting and will be able to enrich your journey with tips, tricks and little-known facts.

This is what you look for:

Noise Canceling Headphones

Introverts will protect their silence wherever they go.

Single occupancy

They will not share a room unless they are travelling with someone. And even then, they might opt for a single.

Travel Apps

The introvert will have done their homework and might prefer to travel with an app rather than take a tour.

Sharing a Meal with a Book

Expert level solo diners, introverts love dining alone.

Excellent Travel Destinations for Introverts

It has been scientifically proven that individuals close to the poles of the earth are less interactive and prefer personal space of four feet or more (compared to only 18 to 24 inches for the gregarious lot who live at the equator)

Central Kalahari Game Reserve, South Africa

The largest, most remotely situated reserve in Southern Africa, and the second largest wildlife reserve in the world. During and shortly after good summer rains, the flat grasslands of the reserve’s northern reaches teem with wildlife, which gather at the best grazing areas.  At other times of the year, when the animals are more sparsely distributed, the experience of travelling through truly untouched wilderness is the draw.

Bazaruto Island, Mozambique

Bazaruto is a true paradise island. The park was created in order to protect dugong and marine turtles and their respective habitats. Due to their significance the vegetation of the islands, the coral reefs, marine birds and the fauna of the park were also included.

Iceland

A Nordic island nation where most of the population lives in the capital of Reykjavik and the rest of the country is defined by dramatic landscapes strewn with volcanoes, geysers, hot springs and lava fields. Massive glaciers are protected in Vatnajökull and Snæfellsjökull national parks.

Patagonia, Argentina/ Chile

Incredibly vast, unbelievably diverse, and stunningly beautiful, Patagonia is divided by the Andes Mountains with the Argentine side featuring arid steppes, grasslands and deserts, and the Chilean half glacial fjords and temperate rainforest.

Atlas Mountains & Sahara, Morocco

Long the province of the Berber tribes who fiercely resisted all efforts at external governance, the High Atlas and its way of life remain for the most part undisturbed by modernity as the majority of the population still live in remote earthen villages. The Sahara is a mystical landscape best explored as you ride on camelback, led by a Bedouin guide. The only people you will meet here are nomad families and Touaregs, who are known as the “Blue People” for the indigo dye of their robes.

Galápagos Islands, Ecuador

Home to a stunning diversity of species that can’t be found anywhere else, the Galápagos Islands are one of the best places in the world to experience wildlife. The islands are home to birds such as boobies, frigates, flightless cormorants, the waved albatross and those specialized finches that drew Darwin’s attention. Marine life includes sea lions, seals and penguins, marine iguanas basking on volcanic rock, and a healthy underwater world. The Gálapagos is a haven for snorkelers and scuba divers. On land watch lumbering 500-lb, 100-year old giant Galápagos tortoises – a species that can’t be found any other place on earth.

Ethiopia

History dates back millions of years – the 3.2-million-year-old skeleton Lucy was found here. In more recent centuries, ancient Christianity has been the main religion of the central & north regions, with rites-of-passage ceremonies and numerous festivals throughout the year. Ancient obelisks in Axum (also where locals believe the Arc of the Covenant sits today), the famous rock-hewn churches of Lalibela, the castle at Gondar and monasteries of Tana all combine to provide the chance to step back in time to a world almost forgotten.

Images via Aziz AcharkiBen WhiteRawFilmChristian FregnanMatthew Henry