As an introvert, I have always found traveling to be a mixed bag. I absolutely love experiencing new cultures and even the very act of going from place to place, but the constant interaction and energy needed to communicate can be equally draining. And being an entrepreneur essentially doubled down on this issue, as fundraising, media and user engagement all require more social time and, often, more travel.

Extroverted entrepreneurs may have the natural stamina to be social on the road, but there are smart ways, just like on social media, that introverts can stay engaged without overextending themselves.

Put the phone in airplane mode: If you are an introvert, having quiet time is as necessary as sleep. Your phone airplane mode is designed to turn off outside communications so calls aren't received. Try turning it on if you need an absolutely quiet lunch or are taking a break during a hectic trip. Airplane mode still allows you to have a Wi-Fi connection, too, so you can still surf the web and other activities in hotspot areas without having the hassle of phone calls.

Sneak away: One of my best moments of a recent group trip to Italy was getting up at sunrise, wandering around the local piazzas and having a quiet cappuccino with the locals. It seems minor, but introverts need time, however briefly, to be by themselves. A simple way to do that is to actively create that alone time by staying up late, getting up slightly early or stepping away during the course of the day. It is equal to a breath of fresh air.

Stay off social media: It's easy to forget that social media is actually social, so it can take as much energy as it gives. Constantly posting pictures, status updates and location check-ins while traveling not only can distract you from being present, but can actually burn out your already stretched social requirements when you travel. Try limiting your social media while you're on the road. 

Make schedule gaps: The toughest, most effective way of maintaining your social energy while traveling is to make gaps in your schedule. If you're like me, your trips are usually short and compact. Think about it like this, though: Those back-to-back meetings or social gatherings will be worthless if you aren't at the top of your game. Schedule your quiet time as if it were a meeting. Worse case scenario, skip the fastest route to the next meeting and create extra time for taking the scenic route For instance, walking in Manhattan - rather than taking a cab or train - always works for me.

Published on: Nov 20, 2015
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