If you’re an introvert, or you know one well, you know that introverts need extended periods of alone time to recharge and be able to do life well. It is nothing personal. We are not trying to get rid of our friends or partners, we just need to recharge to be at our best.
And it can be difficult to get quiet, alone time in an RV and on the road. Here are a few things I (and my partner) have tried so far that have worked for us. I will update this post as I discover new ways to accomplish this goal.
Continue a Tried and True Routine
When we are traveling, we do our best to keep the routine that worked for us at our home. He has a gym membership that is a nationwide chain, so that he can continue to work out whenever he needs/wants from wherever we are. Mornings, he goes to work out and then showers and changes and begins work for Instacart. These are the same things he did at home that benefited both of us. He gets his workout and makes money; I get alone time in our home (which is now an RV).
I have my own schedule that I am quite strict about, so that I can get everything done that I need to while he is gone. I meditate, make my morning smoothie, walk for 20-30 minutes, do some crunches and stretches, shower, and get to work on my computer. At some point I fix a salad for lunch and stream a video while I eat. Then I clean up lunch stuff and get back to work.
If you haven’t needed to do this sort of thing with your traveling companion before traveling together, and therefore can’t continue the same routine, consider coming up with a mutual plan that works for both of you. You get to be just as creative with this as you wish.
Go for a Drive Alone
This is a simple one, but it does work for me. Thank gawd for GPS, b/c I often don’t pay much attention to where I’m going when I need to get out for a drive. Make sure you know where you are staying and/or the address, so you can get back to the site using GPS. This seems like a no-brainer, but when you’ve been traveling a while and you’ve moved around from park to park, all the park names begin to blur together and sound alike. Are we staying at Desert Oasis, or Desert Sands RV park? Take the brochure the office gave out when you checked in so that you have the address with you. Better yet, leave it in the car.
Go to Favorite Places Alone
Do some research in the area and see if there are things available that you like to do or see and then plan to go alone. The idea is to be alone amid “crowds” in public places. My fave places are botanical gardens and fabric/quilt shops. Check out their hours, and maybe even call ahead, to find out when their least busy times are. Be the first one in the door when they open, or plan to be the last one out when they close – whatever it takes to be there when there aren’t many other peeps there. Wear your headphones or earbuds, even it you aren’t listening to anything, to encourage folks to leave you alone. Take a book or device and sit and stare at it – even if you aren’t reading, to get some much-needed lack of attention from others. If you encounter loud people or a group close to you, ignore them, sit and let them go ahead, or change your course and find a quieter spot. Introverts already know this, but don’t make eye contact with anyone. Make it clear you are not interested in interactions. One thing that nearly always works is sitting quietly and closing your eyes. Folks tend to leave you alone, b/c they think you’re meditating, or they think you’re too weird. LOL
This has the added benefit of giving the extrovert some time alone in the RV also if they need/want that.
Go to the Public Library
Nearly all places have a public library. Most places have several branches. Do your research online and pick one to go to. Unless there are activities planned, most are quiet, still places. They usually have free wifi, and you can work online, read a magazine, read your own book you brought with you, or simply sit and be weird enough to not be bothered. LOL Most allow you to take your water bottle and snacks in with you, so that you can hang out a while. Of course, there’s always a bathroom handy too.
Be “Weird” Enough – But not too Weird
Most folks think introverts are weird b/c we are not like them. We do not need noise and action and people to feel okay. In fact, those things can wear us out. So some folks will find it weird that we like to sit quietly and not talk and not move around and not interact with whatever is going on around us. In nearly all settings, if you are quiet and still, wear your headphones/earbuds, and close your eyes, peeps will leave you alone. They will think you’re weird, but most will avoid you. The trick is to be “weird” and different enough to be left alone, but not so weird that someone calls the authorities. Perhaps don’t start talking to yourself out loud while doing this. LOL Maybe you have never tried this, but I encourage you to think about trying it. It works when overwhelm threatens and can buy you a few minutes – or even longer – to regroup.
This can also work in your RV with your travel companion. Maybe you both agree on the rule that when headphone/earbuds are being used, interruptions need to wait. Maybe when one of you are at your computer, the rule is that you are working and don’t want to be interrupted. Hours and days for work and leisure and un-alone-alone time (sitting in the same space but respecting silence and not talking to each other) can be agreed upon also.
Yes, I refer to simply going outside at anytime you can safely do so and not be bothered, but also use this if you are at an event and it is getting to be too much. Is there a patch of grass or a tree nearby outside? Have a look around as you are entering to ascertain the possibilities. Even some strip malls in cities have a patch or two of grass in the parking lot – or a tree or two. If you are really lucky, there will be a park nearby. Go outside and hug a tree, or just sit on the grass and lean on a tree. Again, close your eyes for a while. Go inside and rest. Please keep in mind when doing this type of thing that you may have no idea what has been sprayed on the grass/vegetation and also remember safety first. Make sure it is safe to be outside alone – (unfortunately) especially if you identify as female.
If you don’t have a toad like we do, remember, depending on where you are, you can use Lyft and/or Uber to get around. You can also use the public transit system where you are or even a taxi. Also, I understand some RV resorts/parks have shuttles to help you get around. Check their website before booking.
Throw an Introvert Party
What is an introvert party, you ask? It’s sitting in silence. Some RV parks have activity calendars and a newsletter that goes out to all residents. Consider creating some quiet time by offering to lead a “meditation” or a self-care hour – or whatever you decide to call it. Schedule it with the office, and they will put it on the calendar. Then you show up to the (hopefully, quiet) spot they provide for classes with your requisite pillow (and maybe a yoga mat too) and “lead” the meditation. Sure, you’ll have a couple of moments of talking with takers when the class first starts, but after that you simple instruct them to sit on their pillows and be quiet. Maybe you share a quick breathing technique you use, maybe you play an intro meditation on your meditation phone app – or maybe you just sit. Keep it simple. Set your timer for one hour, tell folks to stay as quiet and still as possible. And tada, you have just created an hour of quiet for yourself too.
This has the added benefit of helping out other introverts that may need this time/space. Perhaps you make an introvert friend and decide to sit in silence together at other times too. LOL
Let me know what works for you, as I am always looking for more ways to be more fully my introverted self. I will add more to this post when I discover more ways to be introverted while traveling in an RV that work for me. Happy introverted travels! 🙂