Tag Archives: travel

The Introverted Traveller

Starting with the declaration that “We introverts have a different style of travel, and I’m tired of hiding it”, Sophia Dembling looks at the differences in how introverts and extroverts travel, and what this means.

I’m always happy enough when interesting people stumble into my path. It’s a lagniappe, and I’m capable of connecting with people when the opportunity arises. And when the chemistry is right, I enjoy it.

But I don’t seek people out, I am terrible at striking up conversations with strangers and I am happy exploring a strange city alone. I don’t seek out political discourse with opinionated cab drivers or boozy bonding with locals over beers into the wee hours. […]

For some of us, meeting people is not the sole purpose of travel. I travel for the travel. […] It’s good to know that I might be a loner, but I’m not alone.

This is exactly what I needed to read: considering any extensive travel I always feel like I’ll enjoy it less due to my moderate introversion. This article and the corresponding tips make me realise that it’s OK.

Like Jason (via), this reminds me of one of my favourite essays: Caring for Your Introvert (which in turn reminds me of The Nerd Handbook). I loved these two essays when I first read them, and think of them both often.

Observations on London and Paris

Returning from a trip to Europe, Nate Silver—proprietor of the political analysis website FiveThirtyEight—has promptly compiled a list of observations on London and Paris from an American point of view.

As an ‘insider’ it appears that I’ve take a lot of these gradual changes for granted, not really making any conclusions.

London, and the United Kingdom in general, has sort of become ground zero for what is known as libertarian paternalism, with all sorts of subtle nudges to influence behavior. For instance, cigarette packs now contain not only the phrase ‘smoking kills’ in prominent letters on the front side of the package, but also, a disgusting picture of rotted teeth on the backside (a practice which is somewhat reminiscent of an American PsyOps operation in Afghanistan). There is now a commuter tax to drive into the city. Tube maps contain firmly-worded admonishments to riders, advising them to avoid changing trains at busy stops like Covent Garden or Bank. Black cabs feature doors that lock and unlock automatically as the car begins to accelerate. The amount of liquor in a cocktail is strictly regulated (although this was true when I was there as well). Overall, one is generally more aware of the presence of government than one is in the United States, even though they have several freedoms over there (broader tolerance for things like gambling and gay marriage for instance) that we don’t have over here.

via @zambonini

Living Abroad Enhances Creativity

Could living abroad, (or more specifically, adapting to a foreign culture) enhance creativity? Researchers conducting a series of novel and interesting tests (including the candle box functional fixedness test) are starting to suggest so.

Across these three studies, the association between foreign living and creativity held even after controlling for personality variables. In other words it wasn’t just that time abroad was a marker for having a creative personality. Another consistent finding was that travelling abroad had no association with creativity – only living abroad did. […]

The researchers cautioned that longitudinal research is needed to more fully test whether and how living abroad is linked with enhanced creativity, but they said their findings made a good start. “It may be that those critical months or years of turning cultural bewilderment into concrete understanding may instill [creativity]”. 

Update: The Economist has their own take on the research.

Japan Travel

Hoping to have an extended visit to Japan in the near future? You may be as pleased as I was when I stumbled upon a site offering 10 Japanese Customs You Must Know Before a Trip to Japan.

A perfect compliment to Tim Ferriss’ Hacking Japan: Inside Tokyo for Less Than New York (part two).

I’ll be double-checking facts with my brother (who lives in Tokyo) and if there are any anomalies will be posting them here. Seems promising though.

Also: 10 Reasons Japan is Better Than America