Is it possible for an extrovert to enjoy solo travel? Or is travelling alone for introverts?

Updated January 2024

I had been traveling around Europe for 11 days sharing hotel rooms with a friend when it came time for us to part ways. He was heading back to work, and I was about to gallivant around Germany for three days on my own. Could I solo travel as an extrovert or would I not like it? Here’s what I found.

The solo travel portion of my trip was about to begin. You might think that after a week and a half of sharing close quarters, one might relish some alone time. Even look forward to having a hotel room to one’s self. Turns out, that person isn’t me. I struggled.

It’s not that I was bored, per se, it’s just that I dislike having no one to share experiences with. There I was at an amazing castle in rural Germany, holding a Siberian Owl on my arm. The problem? There wasn’t anyone to share in my excitement. It was somehow less fulfilling.

Women holding owl on her arm
Me holding a Siberian Owl at the Falconry at Burg Rabenstein castle in Germany.

Dining Solo Can Feel Lonely

I was already feeling a tad lonely when, to make matters worse, I was sat at a large table by myself for dinner. It was facing the kitchen. It made me feel like the bad kid in school being told to face the wall and think about what I’d done. Ugh.

All the other tables were full, and no one else spoke English. There was no sense in trying to move places. Instead, I did what any rational person would do. I surfed Instagram on my iPhone while I ate and drank a bottle of wine (hey, don’t judge, I didn’t finish it).

Once back in my room, I sank into a bubble bath. I slathered on a charcoal face mask and finished my wine. Ok, so I didn’t finish it at dinner, but who was I to waste a delicious bottle of wine?

During my solo travel experience as an extrovert, this was the one part of my day I thoroughly enjoyed being alone. Perhaps because it is something one normally does alone? I can only assume that’s why.

My Solo Castle Tour and Stay in Germany

The next morning was a different story when I joined the 11 am castle tour. I had been told to wait for this tour since the guide spoke English. During the 45-minute tour, I believe he may have said 10 sentences to me.

After every speech in German, I was given one sentence before we moved along. Better than the tour of the caves where I received a sheet of paper in English before the tour, which was 100% in German.

This leads me to wonder. Maybe solo travel as an extrovert wasn’t the issue, perhaps it was a feeling of complete and utter isolation…

Solo travels in Germany
Feeling isolated after being sat by myself for dinner at the castle restaurant.

After my castle and cave tours, I headed off to the next castle, spending a joyous four hours driving through the German countryside and on the Autobahn. Would I have preferred having a co-pilot to assist with DJ’ing and the GPS? You betcha, but I made the best of it.

I checked into my hotel and met some friends for dinner, nicely breaking up my feelings of loneliness. The rest of my evening consisted of a swim in the hotel pool, followed by chilling in the Finnish Spa – alone.

The more I reflect on these three days and the experiences I encountered, the more I feel that the issue wasn’t the fact that I was travelling alone, but rather that I felt isolated and ignored.

I was in Germany and I don’t speak German; however, who seats a person for dinner by themselves at a long table?! I mean, come on! My alone time in the pool and spa was relaxing and I recharged my batteries.

Solo travel as an extrovert requires effort

I engaged with other tourists when I could speak their language and both took pictures for others and had them take mine. Admittedly, I do find it more lonely not having someone to share my travels with. Although perhaps it’s not time to write off solo travel just yet.

If you think solo travel is something you’d like to try, check out this post written by a guest blogger who loves to solo travel How to plan the perfect solo trip. If you enjoy solo travel, I’d love to hear about it!

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