Keep your distance! An introvert’s travel plan for sanity

People drain me. Crowds of people, bodies strung across spaces, their faces and clothes, the way they walk, they way they move, react and talk — it's like a troop of malevolent monkeys clinging to my brain, scraping away at my energy as they swing from one observation to the next.

I read people like I read text. I can’t help myself. It’s a constant chatter of appraisals, questions, judgements, admiration, repulsion — all going off in my head.

Worst places for people drain are:

Airports / Buses / Trains / Planes / Shopping malls / Bars / Concerts / Anywhere that people wait / Anywhere that people gather

It’s not just unknown people that drain me. Sometimes I have to escape my family and friends too. Being with other people is tiring. I can’t keep up. I don’t have the chat skills. I’m not witty. I don’t make people laugh. I don’t give advice. I don’t tell stories. I’m not informative.

I’m an introvert. I find energy by being alone. So I’m going to be a bit stuck during the year that I’m traveling the world with my husband and two sons.

How will I find my recharge space? How will I find my distance?

Running is a good solution. Checking out a new place for decent run routes is fun … might take a few days to get to know somewhere well enough to head on out, but I’ll do it. I’ll check local info for run events, parkruns and maybe even join some running groups when I can.

Running the Thelma + Louise Half Marathon in Moab, Utah. View over Salt Lake City on an early morning run. Bryce Canyon run just after sunrise.

Walking is another great way to recharge. Escaping the rental to have a quick explore whilst the kids lounge about and the husband plays his music is very rewarding, especially when you dedicate the walk to finding the perfect ‘gun’ stick for the 8 year old whilst taking photos of anything that takes your fancy as you go.

My go-to place at home in North Somerset… the woods, the sky, the hill, the wind all help me to recharge.

Funnily enough, it’s during the times when I am most alone that I strike up conversations with strangers. Quiet, space, nature, movement, ambient sound, independence and accomplishment recharge me enough to want to reach out to others.

And I’m a great question asker. And listener. My inquisitiveness is a gift when I’m not people drained.

A quick walk to find distance in Salt Lake City rewards me with colour and joy.

I promise to recharge. Cross my heart and squash a fly.

First distance will be running in Park Skowroni, Poland, and second will be parkrunning in Kraków.

I will find my distance whenever and wherever I can in the world.

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