life of Riley carefully hand-picks game-changing experiences and global events – each one is rigorously researched and checked, then grouped by genre, budget and month, so that they are simple and inspiring to browse. Rather than a booking site, this is an informative, one-stop resource for discovering the extraordinary – whether you’re looking for cultural kicks or push-yourself-to-the-limit sporting challenges. Here are eight of the very best things to do on the planet.
It’s getting to that time of year where all we can think about is going on holiday. Whether it’s solo travel or a once-in-a-lifetime trip, we’re desperate to jump on a plane and experience what the world has to offer.
The list was compiled by analysing the destinations which are most frequently added to their millennial users bucket lists. The data showed millennial travellers are apparently seeking “memorable and original moments,” as well as “activities that focus on sustainable and personalised local experiences”.
With that in mind, here are the 30 most popular destinations to add to your millennial bucket list for 2019:
- Lisbon, Portugal
- Ubud, Bali, Indonesia
- Cinque Terre, Italy
- Utah, USA
- Luberon, France
- Puglia, Italy
- Riga, Latvia
- Bagan, Myanmar
- Carmel-by-the-Sea, California, USA
- Seville, Spain
- Petra, Jordan
- San Diego, California, USA
- Hokkaido, Japan
- Cusco, Peru
- White Mountains, New Hampshire, USA
- Ljubljana, Slovenia
- Occitanie, France
- Cluj-Napoca, Romania
- Patagonia, Argentina and Chile
- Arenal Volcano, Costa Rica
- Sri Lanka
- Merida, Yucatán
- Saint Barthélemy, French West Indies
- Guilin, China
- Chiang Mai, Thailand
- Salvador da Bahia, Brazil
- Franschhoek, South Africa
- Charlevoix, Quebec, Canada
- Palawan, Philippines
- Zanzibar, Tanzania
It’s safe to say there are a lot of places we’d like to visit on that least. From the South African wine regions to the Patagonian mountain range, via the beaches of Puglia and Lake Bled in Ljubljana. Anyone else fancy taking an around the world trip?
I’ve had an adventurous spirit for as long as I can remember.
My first solo trip was at 19 years old, when I boarded a plane for Honolulu, Hawaii, to celebrate the end of high school. I booked a stay at the YWCA and spent my days exploring the beaches and haunts of spring breaks past: International Village, Duke’s Lane, the Waikiki strip.
It was a memorable adventure because I was free. Free to wander, lie on the beach, check out the shops at the Ala Moana Center and watch Dallas with the ladies back at the Y. That trip was the beginning of many incredible solo adventures to come.
Adventure means different things to different people. Adventure can be jumping out of an airplane and sky-diving, but it can also be camping in the backcountry or taking that first solo trip to Honolulu.
Though you may not be ready for hard adventure yet (or ever—I’m not planning on jumping out of a plane anytime soon), adventure is in the eye of the beholder. It’s about going beyond your comfort zone and embracing the spirit of adventure, as much as the actual adventure itself. And you’re in good company.
The rise in female solo and adventure trips is a major travel trend that has taken off recently. The Conference Board of Canada and Allianz Global Assistance Canada published statistics showing that in the winter season 2018/2019, just over eight per cent of respondents intending to travel were women travelling on their own. That’s nearly double the number from eight years ago.
It’s not just the new crop of Generation Z travellers. It’s moms, wives and women over the age of 50. Women are embracing adventurous solo travel as never before as an extension of freedom, and in the spirit of internal and external exploration.
Anything that takes you out of your comfort zone can be an adventure, and that’s where the fun lies. But preparation is key to ensuring a safe and memorable adventure. This applies to all solo travellers, but travelling while female comes with its own set of challenges. Proper planning has ensured that my solo adventures have remained free of major pitfalls and disasters. These practical tips may help you do the same.
Tips for Solo Women Adventure Travellers
Know the Risks
Being familiar with the risks of an adventure activity or destination is important. Activities like skiing and zip lining have inherent risks, but we sign waivers declaring that we’re going to do them anyway.
There’s a thrill in trying an activity for the first time or overcoming a fear of heights, tight spaces or other phobias. Once you’ve conquered one fear, you may be emboldened by a new confidence to continue on that path.
As far as destinations go, be informed. Certain countries and cities may contain more risks than others, and that risk can change over time. Check the Government of Canada’s websites for up-to-date health information and travel advisories when assessing your destination choices.
Book your accommodations in advance so you know where you’ll be sleeping each night. Plan your transportation and walking routes as much as possible so you know where you’re going and when you’ll get there. Try to arrive before dark, particularly in a new and unfamiliar destination.
I’m a big fan of travelling light and only use carry-on luggage. Backpacks are great depending on trip style and duration. The less you carry, the more you can manage on your own and keep a free hand. Wear clothing with concealed pockets and consider using a money belt or neck pouch. Stash copies of passports in your suitcase and keep your luggage locked.
I’m positive that my spidey senses increased when I became a mother, and I use that vigilance when travelling to ensure my own well-being. Stay on higher floors in hotels, wear minimal jewelry and take extra precautions at night. Being aware of your surroundings is important. Listen to your gut.
It’s easier than ever to keep in contact with loved ones and friends. Even if you want to stay off-grid, check in every once in a while. Register with the Canadian consulate so they can reach you in case of emergency. Connect with other women travellers and the local women’s community to share travel advice, or cabs, meals and even hotel rooms.
Ride a camel in the desert? Check. Climb a 60-metre ice tower? Check. Kayak through a mangrove forest? Check. My taste for adventure has only increased as I’ve gotten older. I want to try new things, and I don’t care what people think anymore (a happy side benefit of aging?).
I hope you’ll embrace your own spirit of adventure and plan a solo adventure soon.
PS. Do you want to live a more adventurous life?
Claudia is an Ambassador of the ‘Live the Adventure’ Club Gear Box.
Every four months, we send over 4,000 explorers across North America a subscription box filled with exciting, new and seasonal gear.
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Thanks to the plummeting prices of long-haul plane tickets, traveling is easier and cheaper than ever before. That said, the second biggest expenditure when heading to a new place is, of course, a place to stay. Airbnb may have revolutionized the way we travel, with homey accommodations available at a fraction of the price of a hotel room, but those costs still add up.
Luckily for the impecunious among us, it’s totally possible to stay around the world for free, and I don’t mean just by crashing on a friend’s couch or pitching a tent behind a McDonald’s. A number of house-sitting services have popped up in recent years, pairing travelers in need of a cozy bed (or sweeping ocean view) with homeowners in need of a guardian for their pets and plants.
Travel the globe
This system has worked extremely well for people like like Gabrielle Yetter, who, along with her husband, spent around four years house-sitting around the world. The two had been living in Cambodia, but decided upon leaving that they wanted to keep traveling. They signed up for the site TrustedHousesitters, which they thought “might be a good way of just putting out feelers to find out what kind of opportunities there were for house sitting,” Yetter said.
Turns out, the opportunities were limitless. They made their first foray into house-sitting in England, where Yetter’s family lives, and from there, just decided to keep going. Their travels took them everywhere from New Zealand to Italy to Nicaragua, an experience Yetter said was pretty much as good as it sounds. “The whole idea was to go places. We didn’t have anything to tie us down or to hold us back,” she said. “Basically, we just thought this would be a great way to see the world.”
Things to consider before you go
While house-sitting can be pretty ideal, keep in mind that it can also be quite competitive—after all, there are a lot of other people out there looking to stay in that spectacular cliffside Moorish mansion on the Irish coast. To maximize your options, you’ll want to not only look at house-sitting opportunities, but pet-sitting ones as well, since that’s where the majority of listings are
Yetter suggests making a very thorough profile that really speaks to how well you’re going to care for someone’s prized crocuses or, more importantly, their beloved cats and dogs. Are you a pet owner yourself? Have you volunteered or worked with animals? Don’t be shy about singing your own praises in your profile.
“It’s really about the person wanting you to take care of the pet. It’s not about them wanting you to take care of the house,” Yetter said. She added that it’s also a good idea to use profile photos of yourself with animals, which “you would think is self-explanatory, but not everybody does.”
Yetter also recommends that when a listing comes through that you want, jump on it immediately. “The place that we went to in Cyprus? They said they had 67 people apply for it,” she said. She tends to have a form response ready to go that she can quickly customize when a listing pops up that she wants. And in that response, “you don’t just say hello, I want to come and house sit for you because I liked the look of your animal,” she clarified. You want to point out why you, specifically, would make the optimal sitter, preferably pointing to concrete examples citing your successes—maybe you’ve owned a home (and it didn’t burn down!) had a pet (and it lived a long and happy life!), or are already experienced at taking care of people’s homes and animals while they’re away.
Jennifer Ambrose, a yoga teacher and writer who has house-sat nearly a dozen house times, agreed that personalizing responses to listings is essential. “I’ve heard some homeowners say that when they put up a posting, they get letters that they can just tell are a copy-and-paste form letter,” she said. This method is not only ineffective, but it actually doesn’t serve sitters, either, since a careful reading of a homeowner’s post is the best way to ensure that there aren’t any surprises when you actually arrive to the property.
Neither Yetter nor Ambrose had any negative experiences to report—aside from an unfortunate incident in Tucson in which a dog for which Ambrose was sitting got bit by a rattlesnake. (Don’t worry, she got the dog to the vet and everything turned out fine!) But both emphasized that it’s important to feel comfortable with a homeowner before showing up. Make sure they have prior reviews, and that their profile is thoroughly fleshed-out, including detailed photos. Oftentimes, a homeowner will request a Skype session to get a better sense of who, exactly, will be living in their home. But if they don’t, sitters can also request one themselves.
“Asking as many questions as possible when you’re having the phone conversation or email conversation with somebody is really important, because then there aren’t as many surprises,” Yetter said.
Now that you know what to expect when you take your first house sitting assignment, it’s time to take a look at some of the most popular services out there.
TrustedHousesitters is the biggest name in house-sitting, which means it’s got by far the most options for potential house- and pet-sitters. While the highest concentration of homes is across the UK, the US and Australia, there are also listings in places like Cape Town, South Africa and Chiang Mai, Thailand. The site gets up to 300 new listings each month, and a notification service alerting sitters to new assignments makes it easy to jump on a good catch the moment it’s available.
TrustedHousesitters charges both homeowners and sitters an annual fee of $119, which makes it steeper than other sites by a fairly wide margin. But it also delivers the most options, meaning that once you start to build a reputation on the site, you’ll have a competitive advantage when it comes to traveling anywhere across the globe.
MindMyHouse is perhaps the second most popular option for house-sitting. While it only has a fraction of the listings boasted by TrustedHousesitters, at $20 per year for sitters, it’s also much cheaper. The low fee, paired with the site’s good reputation, makes MindMyHouse a great option for people just looking to dip their toes into the house-sitting waters without having to make a larger financial commitment upfront.
Nomador has a heavy Europe-focus, particularly in France, where it started. But since its launch in 2014, it’s definitely become a global service. Nomador is $89 per year for both sitters and homeowners, though it does offer a “Discovery Option” that lets you try out the platform before you commit.
The company’s ethos places heavy emphasis on building connections and creating community, so in that spirit, Nomador also has a cool stopover feature that allows homeowners to offer accommodations to sitters for a night or two if they’re on their way somewhere else. Think Couchsurfing, but…not!
Australia-based HouseCarers has been in the house-sitting game since 2000, making it the longest running service out there. In that time, it has amassed a sizable number of available sits, primarily in Australia, New Zealand and North America. It runs $50 per year, but with around 300 new house sits popping up per month, HouseCarers offers an excellent cross-section of affordability and available opportunities.
Expat Facebook Groups
Though not a house-sitting service itself, Facebook is home to a number of expat Facebook groups in nearly every city where there are expats. In addition to social gatherings, advice and items for sale, members of these Facebook groups regularly post house-sitting opportunities. (In some popular expat spots, there are actually pages dedicated exclusively to house-sitting.) It’s worth searching around if you are interested in house-sitting in a certain place but don’t want to pay a fee or otherwise go through a service.
For years, decades in fact, I’ve puzzled over the knee-jerk response most people have when I tell them I (mostly) travel alone.
“You’re so brave.”
Why is it that a woman travelling alone, as I have often done for months at a time, is perceived to be “brave”, whereas men who travel alone are entirely unremarkable? Besides, in my case at least, it’s not true. You are only brave or courageous when you are afraid of something but still do it anyway. I have never been afraid of travelling alone. It doesn’t mean that there aren’t things along the way that cause me deep fear, such as overloaded buses with bald tyres on mountain roads with sheer drops, but being by myself out in the world has never scared me.
The chief joy of travelling alone is the simple act of just doing it: crossing that invisible border in your head before you ever leave home, by deciding you want to see the world anyway, even if it means doing it by yourself. What’s the alternative if you don’t happen to have a partner at certain times in your life but still long to travel, as I do? Stay at home and never go anywhere? Deny yourself all those incredible experiences you will definitely have, in addition to the more difficult ones, which you will also definitely have? It’s that prospect, the one of self-imposed stasis, that has always incited true fear. Travel has always been far too important to me to sit around waiting for a partner in crime to come along and join me.
The first time I travelled alone was by default, when I was 19. I was due to go Interrailing with a friend at the end of the summer. She was an au pair in Germany at the time, and announced by letter two days before my departure that she would be ditching me halfway through the month, at Vienna. She had made a more-exotic new friend, Freya, a fellow au pair, who had invited her to Finland. It was too late by then to rope in another friend, so it was either go home after Vienna, or keep going by myself. I kept going. I got on trains by myself, checked into hostels by myself, found my way around by myself. It was weird, initially, and then I got so subsumed by the atmospheric glory of Venice and the exhilaration of the overnight trains that I stopped fretting about travelling alone without even noticing.
When I got back to Ireland after that trip, I felt proud of myself. I had done something I had assumed would be hard and not much fun, and it had turned out to be not hard at all and mostly astounding. My one souvenir was a necklace of colourful gold-infused glass beads I bought at a tiny shop in Murano, from an Italian woman I somehow communicated with in my dire French. She explained her son sourced the beads, and she strung them. I survived on bread and bananas for two days after buying them, so tight was my budget.
Years later, while browsing at a London market, I came upon a stall run by an Italian couple selling Venetian-sourced items. The man spotted the beads, which I wore coiled around my wrist as a bracelet. He asked to examine them and, thrillingly, pointed out six beads that were more than 100 years old. I still have those precious, storied beads; evidence of my first solo adventures.
That was three decades ago, and since then I have travelled all over the world, usually alone. I’ve carried the same rucksack I have had since the age of 25: a modest 45-litre-capacity one, that is now more or less knackered, but I cannot bear to replace it. It has become as familiar to me as a carapace. It’s small and light enough, even when full, to walk for miles with but large enough for all the essentials.
Travel to me is about freedom, in every sense that the horizons of that immense and beautiful word suggests. Hence the small rucksack that I don’t have to depend on anyone else to carry. I don’t like carrying anything valuable and until I had an iPad, never did.
I got an iPad in 2015 and so now I also have a camera by default, though I still don’t take many pictures. In 2007, I went travelling overland through Argentina to Ushuaia, at the tip of South America, so that I could buy a (relatively) cheap last-minute ticket to Antarctica. Although Antarctica was in fact the seventh continent I would visit, I did not have a single photograph of anywhere I had been before that.
On that journey out to the fantastical ice I was the only tourist on our ship not to have a camera and, 12 years on, I still don’t regret my lack of pictures from the White Continent. Everyone wants different things from their travels; I have never wanted to be distracted from living in the moment. Not taking photographs didn’t begin as a conscious decision when I went away for the first time on an extended trip – a year in Australia, in 1987 – but it has become one over the ensuing decades.
Mobile phones, the internet and social media did not exist when I first went travelling. I still do what I did then, which is to keep a diary. I never post anything on social media when I’m travelling; I want to feel far away, not to know my thoughts are popping up in real time on screens at the other side of the world.
The greatest gift of solo travel has been those I’ve met along the way. I may have set off alone each time but I’ve encountered many people who became important to me: other travellers, whom I would never have met had I stayed at home; people who changed the course of my life. I met my ex-fiance in Kathmandu and a long-term partner in Palenque, Mexico. I met lifelong friends in Australia, Poland, Hungary, Turkey, India, Indonesia and many other places.
When you’re travelling alone, you have to make an effort to talk to other people. I have always loved this part of travel. (Or rather, loved it until everyone started looking at their screens instead.) You might know from guidebooks what you can expect to see but you can never know who you will meet. In Bali, halfway through my last extended period of travel (six months), I saw a sign outside a cafe that read, “We have wifi so you don’t have to talk to each other”. It was one of the most depressing things I’d ever seen. But I kept on talking to people anyway.
Rosita Boland is senior features writer at The Irish Times. Her book Elsewhere: One Woman, One Rucksack, One Lifetime of Travel (Doubleday Ireland, £14.99) is published on 30 May 2019. To order a copy for £13.19, including UK p&p, visit The Guardian Bookshop or call 0330 333 6846
A Three-Bedroom Combination Villa in Apulia
$1.6 MILLION (1.45 MILLION EUROS)
This three-bedroom home is just outside San Vito dei Normanni, a rural town in the southeastern Italian region of Apulia, about 15 miles west of the coastal city of Brindisi and the shores of the Adriatic Sea.
Completed in 2017, the 2,691-square-foot home includes a contemporary one-story villa with two bedrooms and a cluster of traditional structures with conical roofs known as trulli, made from Apulian dry stone.
Set on nearly four acres, the property has landscaped gardens, fruit trees, an olive grove and a swimming pool.
The five attached trulli have been refurbished and include a single bedroom, dressing room, living room with open kitchen, and bathroom. The trulli complex is linked by a glass hallway to the contemporary portion of the stone-and-concrete home, also painted white, which has barrel-vaulted ceilings made from a volcanic stone called tuff. The living area has an open kitchen with a four-burner induction cooker and professional oven, among other appliances. The two bedrooms in the contemporary structure each have an en suite bath.
All of the main rooms in the home open to a patio area with a barbecue, anchored by a 50-by-16-foot rectangular pool. The contemporary wing is topped by a roughly 1,000-square-foot roof deck.
The property functions as a single-family home, but could also be rented to tourists, as many renovated trulli complexes in the Apulia region are.
“This project was born from a completely renovated period village of trulli, to create a luxury residential and tourist facility equipped with every comfort,” said Francesco Cavallo, a founding partner of PROF.IM. Real Estate Agency, which has the listing.
Specific to Apulia and dating back several centuries, trulli are built from stone, without mortar. They were originally used as temporary field shelters or dwellings for agricultural laborers that could be disassembled easily. This home’s trulli, which date to the early 19th century, were rebuilt with an eye to retaining their historic authenticity, Mr. Cavallo said. One of the structures had partly collapsed and had to be rebuilt by local artisans, known as trullistos,who specialize in the regional architectural style, he said.
The furniture, which is included in the asking price, was handmade by a local cabinetmaker in keeping with the home’s design.
The pool terrace has an outdoor shower, a large barbecue and a wood-fired pizza oven. Several dozen lemon, orange and other fruit trees have been added to the property’s centuries-old olive grove. There is also a large English-style garden, an irrigation system, parking for four cars, a security system and an automatic vehicle gate at the entrance.
The town of San Vito dei Normanni, with a population of about 20,000, dates to the Middle Ages and is notable for its religious architecture. San Michele Salentino, a small community with shops, is about a mile from the property, Mr. Cavallo said, and Ostuni, known by tourists as the White City because of its whitewashed old town, is 10 miles north. The beaches of Alto Salento and the Torre Guaceto Nature Reserve are about 20 minutes away. Brindisi’s international airport is about 25 minutes by car, while Bari, a city of more than 300,000 with an international airport and a cruise port terminal, is just over an hour up the coast.
In the past decade, Apulia, a scenic region encompassing Italy’s “boot heel” and bordering the Adriatic and Ionian seas, has become a destination for those seeking second or vacation homes, said Huw Beaugié, the founder of the Thinking Traveler, a company specializing in Mediterranean villa rentals.
“It’s part of a general increase in desirability of a simpler, more sustainable lifestyle,” he said. “Apulia appeals to a desire to return to basics.”
A 2018 report by Gate-away.com, an Italian property portal for overseas buyers, ranked Apulia second among Italian regions (after Tuscany) for the volume of inquiries from potential investors, said Simone Rossi, the company’s managing director.
The area’s traditional properties, which typically sit on the Adriatic coast or in inland fields shaded by olive groves, are “very much in demand among investors who renovate them and bring them to their ancient splendor,” Mr. Rossi said. “In many cases, they turn them into B&Bs.”
Properties that attract vacation-home buyers have increased in price over the past decade, although it is difficult to say exactly how much, Mr. Beaugié said. “It’s still possible to pick up pieces of land with a few tumbledown stones for a few tens of thousand euros,” he said, while a large feudal farmstead, or masseria, “will cost a few million to buy and restore to a good standard.”
Apulia has become a destination for celebrities in recent years, with lavish weddings and parties, said Marta Calligaro, a property researcher with the brokerage Homes and Villas Abroad. “The global recession just over a decade ago saw prices fall,” Ms. Calligaro said. “But the past two to three years have seen renewed growth, with the market for second homes being its driving force.”
The average price of a home in Apulia is about 1,300 euros a square meter ($136 a square foot), with the city of Bari being the most expensive area and Taranto the most affordable, although prices can vary widely, Mr. Rossi said.
A country house or seaside villa might cost about 150,000 to 300,000 euros ($170,000 to $340,000), and a masseria could run from 400,000 euros ($450,000) into the millions of euros, Ms. Calligaro said.
Many buyers plan to rent out their properties when they are not in residence, Mr. Cavallo said. Rental prices range from about 1,500 to 2,000 euros a week ($1,700 to $2,260) to 4,000 or 5,000 euros a week ($4,500 or $5,700), he said.
Who Buys in Apulia
A decade ago, Northern Italians were the first to seek deals on vacation homes in Apulia, back when a trullo in need of work could be had for as little as 20,000 euros ($22,600), Mr. Beaugié said. But now more buyers are foreign, from Britain, the United States and Australia, as well as Germany, France and other European countries, brokers said.
The ongoing Brexit turmoil and the most recent American presidential election may be responsible for driving the “huge growth in the interest of both Brits and Americans,” Mr. Rossi said.
There are no restrictions on American or Canadian buyers in Italy, although citizens of some countries face obstacles, making it easier to buy through a company, Ms. Calligaro said.
Buyers may hire a real estate agency to assist them, typically for a fee of 3 percent of the sale price, Mr. Rossi said.
The closing of home sales is handled by a notary, for a fee of 2,000 to 3,000 euros ($2,260 to $3,400) paid by the buyer, Ms. Calligaro said.
A personal lawyer can provide legal advice throughout the process, for a fee of about 1 to 2 percent of the sale price, she said.
In all, buyers should budget 10 to 20 percent of the sale price for closing costs, Mr. Rossi said, including a 9 percent tax on the assessed value of the home if it is being used as a part-time or vacation home. Those buying a home as a primary residence pay only 2 percent, he said.
Apulia tourism: viaggiareinpuglia.it
San Vito dei Normanni: comune.sanvitodeinormanni.br.it
Languages and Currency
Italian; euro (1 euro = $1.13)
Taxes and Fees
The annual property tax on this home is about 1,450 euros ($1,640).
Francesco Cavallo, PROF.IM. Real Estate Agency, 011-39-08-3199-1613; immobiliareprofim.com
According to new data being released by one top global travel agency, 96% of Americans say they want to travel in 2019.
The overwhelming majority–76%–are planning at least two or more leisure trips this year. But the real surprise is that 36% say they will take solo trips. And where are our favorite domestic destinations?
The Travel Leaders Group listed Hawaii as number one followed by Alaska and California.
And for solo travelers, Florida was number one.
But overseas, there’s a surprise because it’s not Paris.
Number one is the Caribbean, which is due in no small part to the growth of cruising.
And for solo travelers, Eastern Europe has now made the list.
(What’s your personality type? We recommend this free personality assessment.)
INFJs are known as both dreamers and doers, the ones who think big and also follow through on their dreams and goals. For me, that big goal is traveling to 100 countries before age 100 and helping other young professionals travel better and cheaper through my blog MeWantTravel. Based on my personal experience and my research about INFJs, here’s a glimpse into how this personality type travels.
How an INFJ Travels
1. Despite being “extroverted” introverts, we will still need alone time.
For the introvert, alone time is absolutely necessary. If you’re traveling with extroverts, they may not understand why you need to disappear into your room and recharge after a busy day of sightseeing, but I’m here to tell you that it’s perfectly okay to ask for that time. After you recharge, you’ll essentially be a better you. So tell your extroverted friends that they will like you more for it!
2. Deep, meaningful conversations are key.
INFJs crave meaning in all that they do, and relationships are no exception. Conversations of substance — not just small talk — are very important to us, and we may find that speaking to locals is both eye-opening and crucial to truly experiencing a new place. For me, the more I travel, the more I realize that people everywhere are the same at their core. Though we may look different and speak different languages, we all have fears, dreams, and people we deeply cherish. We can choose to find common ground and stand together, or we can choose to be divided and separated by our differences. As INFJs, we will always be in favor of — and push for — the first option.
3. We may want to write about our travels.
INFJs are highly creative, especially when it comes to working with words. And when we travel, we often want to somehow creatively capture what we’re experiencing, whether it’s through the written word, art, or something else. This helps us reflect on our experiences, and as INFJs, we love optimizing, learning, and personal growth. In terms of journals, I personally love ones that are small and easy to carry around in your backpack or purse, so I can jot down notes or ideas as they strike me. And who knows, when you write down those personal recollections or draw that stunning view, it may just be the beginning of your memoir.
4. Whenever possible, we aim for the “local” experience.
This may mean dining at local hidden gems and skipping some of the “must see” tourist traps. It may also mean staying in Airbnbs or hostels as opposed to hotels because it gives us an opportunity to learn about the culture by staying with a local, and it gives us a guaranteed chance to meet other folks. A paradox of the INFJ is that we’re genuinely interested in (and fascinated by) other people — so much that we’re mistaken for extroverts. But we truly are introverts who need that precious downtime. Having a private room in a hostel or Airbnb home is the perfect way to get the best of both worlds.
5. Being “judgers,” planning is a must.
As a “judging” personality, we INFJs like to know what we’re doing in advance and where we’re sleeping, and we may or may not have a pre-researched list of all the places we want to go, eat, and explore (okay, we probably will have that list!). There’s little that stresses out an INFJ more than having to make rapid-fire decisions on the fly. Meanwhile, “perceiving” personalities, like the INFP or ISTP, feel more comfortable going with the flow and being spontaneous. For them, it might even be fun to roll into a new city with no solid plans and discover what they’ll do and where they’ll stay as it strikes them.
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6. Use your “chameleon” abilities to your advantage.
INFJs are chameleons who can adapt to pretty much any social situation, because we’re tuned into social norms and expectations, and we read others well. This can be draining, however, because it means you’re constantly assessing and reassessing the room. This radar is part of who we INFJs are, and it’s not something we can easily turn off. But one thing I’ve learned the hard way is not to sacrifice social harmony at the expense of myself!
INFJ, take care of yourself; know that even though people may misunderstand you, this doesn’t make your feelings or thoughts invalid. Continue to be the INFJ boss that you are and take pride in your uniqueness — and then go out there and experience all those exotic places you’ve been dreaming about!