Going Solo: Are you Spiderman or Superman?
Superheroes have to be extroverts to take on the world. For Superman, this is natural. His superhero costume is always on. He covers it up to become Clark Kent and blend in with the world then changes in a phone booth with window on all sides! He is, without doubt, an extrovert.
Spiderman, on the other hand, has to put on a costume to gain power for his superhero duties. He layers extrovert strategies onto his quiet personality to head out into the world. That’s me. And, interestingly, when my boys were young and asked who my favourite superhero was, I’d always say Spidey.
Introvert turned extrovert
Yes, I’m an introvert. But, when I talk about going solo to people they assume the opposite. They figure I’m a party starter, able to walk into any situation and feel at home. In fact, it’s a challenge for me to go into new situations and meet new people all the time. But it’s also fun. And I’ve found a few skills to weave into my introverted personality to make going solo work.
This ‘extrovert’ assumption is so common that I began to wonder: am I the only introvert traveling solo. So, of course, I took a very unscientific approach to find out. I took a poll of the Solo Traveler bloggers and my Twitter friends and the results were exactly 50/50 – when you take my response out of the analysis. In fact, add me in and more introverts travel solo than extroverts. Interesting! But every one of those introverts described a Spidey-like layering of extrovert characteristics onto their personality.
Ultimately, the feedback I got from everyone was that solo travel is rewarding regardless of your disposition.
Keith of the Velvet Escape, summed it up well: