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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
As with many INFPs, I'm prone to melancholia.

One of the issues for me is the whole "living in the future" thing. It's good for introspection and planning for self improvement, but sometimes, I fantasise about ideal scenarios which I know are unrealistic. But it causes me to have expectations for how things should be anyhow.

So when reality doesn't meet my imagination, be it due to circumstance or my own laziness, it leads to to the worst kind of sadness - disappointment.

Before I went travelling, I had my doubts about whether or not I'd enjoy it. I thought about my shyness and lack of people skills and thinking "what if it this ends up being the most uncomfortable endeavour I've had to endure?"

To my surprise, once I reached my destination all my worries faded away.

Firstly, I became incredibly proactive in doing everything. Usually I am seriously disorganised and I am not a person that can be held accountable for things going to plan. However, I turned out to be the one person in my group that was looking up hostels and places to visit. I organised busses and flights and I was meticulous in keeping my belongings together and organised.

Basically, I became a "J" which, in a way, is how I've always wanted to be. But I was too comfortable being lazy.

But most importantly, I stopped thinking about unrealistic ideals for the future and I didn't dwell in the past either. I was surrounded by an entirely different culture and it was as though I was permanently content with everything. I was inspired. I could've been staring at a wall while I was over there and I would have been happy. In many ways it was puzzling, I had never felt like I was living in the present as I had then. A truly incredible experience. Being happy was effortless and it continued for long stretches of time.

The most surprising thing of all, was the fact that I became outgoing. I was striking up conversations with other travellers and it was an incredible feeling. I think part of the reason was when you're travelling, small talk isn't so small. The usual questions like "what do you do?" or "what have you been up to" that generally inspire mundane answers are replaced with interesting conversation.

All you have to ask is "where are you from?" or "what brought you here?" or "where are you going next?" and already you have a solid basis for an interesting conversation - because you're meeting travellers who are all doing things they want to do. They're not weighed down by thoughts about work or any other crap that follows everyday life, so they're more willing to talk about their passion or what excites them. The things that matter.

And when you meet locals, it's instantly engaging because you're experiencing their culture. What's normal for them is alien to you and vise versa. And comparing the differences between your cultures can be an interesting and hilarious conversation in itself.

Basically, when I was travelling I became the person I wanted to be. And I learned that I was capable of doing things that I could only dream of in the past. Ultimately, it opened me up. After I got back, I was more tolerant of the things that used to bother me, and I found myself pushing to make some of those unrealistic ideals become a reality. It has made me try harder to attain the things that I want, and even if it doesn't go as planned, I would be resilient and try again.

So I was wondering if travelling has had similar effect for anyone else here.

What were you like when you travelled?

Did it make you feel or act differently?

And while I'm at it:

Where was it that you went and why was it great (or not great)?
 

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I've always enjoyed traveling, although I haven't done that much of it. I'm still not good with striking up conversations with strangers, but then I've yet to travel alone. I do find it energizing and inspiring, and I will ride that wave for awhile after returning.

Traveling helps me not feel "stuck". I think the negativity of the Fi-Si loop is feeling like things will not change and so your ideals really feel so far away. Novelty really helps cure that, and traveling brings a lot of novelty.

I've idealized being semi-nomadic with a location independent job and a "home base" to come back to, and it's still sort of a "dream". The logistics of it are hard to pull off though.
 

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Alas I love traveling, I really do. And I'm fine with striking up conversation with strangers, haha. It's interesting to meet people on occasion, though most of the time I like to tune myself out and listen to music.

But a lot more than not, depending on the mood. Traveling just gives me more time to brood, with or without people. So in the end it just ends up being a hit or miss haha ^^
 

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I haven't enjoyed traveling, oddly. I feel lonely. I also tend to stumble across batshit crazy people, locals at the destination or traveling.

I can also only afford to stay in hostels....and I happen to hate hippies. I grew up in a family of crusty old hippies. Like, just thinking about this bothers me. Thinking about their granola and incense.

Also, raucous, drunk Australians. They should have a lifetime traveling ban.

I'd enjoy traveling with a good pal because we could look out for one another and laugh about things together. Traveling alone was tougher and lonelier than I had imagined it would be.

I'm organized and personable at home so don't need to rely on traveling for those attributes. I specifically remember being in a hostel one day and thinking, shockingly, "I love Canadians.... I love my home town."
I even missed my enemies.
 
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I have a job where I have to travel and I've been lucky enough to see many countries and places. To be honest, most often travel would be great if it weren't for all the people! As Sartre said, "Hell is other people." If I could hit the pause button and explore places undisturbed I would enjoy traveling a lot more. That is not to say I don't enjoy meeting the occasional interesting person, simply that I like solitude. Not to mention that I am a huge nerd and am much more interested in going to museums, historical places, and the like than most of my co-workers are who generally want to find the closest watering hole.
 

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I've travelled a decent bit and it has its benefits. I don't like the physical act of travelling unless on a bicycle or on foot, occasionally on a nice, quiet train... But going to beautiful places with beautiful nature you can enjoy without too many humans around is a bliss. I don't mind humans if

A) There's not too many of them (I've concluded that somewhere around 90-100 humans per sq.km. is doable, less is obviously better; this rules out all cities)
B) They're not loud (no "music", "parties", "shopping" or "fun")
C) They don't try to sell me shit and generally leave me alone unless I feel like interacting

I don't think I change when I travel: there's that same mofo in my bathroom mirror every morning, paradise or no paradise. But there are places where people are more open and less stressed out, which generally makes it easier to connect with them. I've probably seen enough human cultures to conclude I don't like any of them :tongue: I like bits and pieces here and there, from Finnish awkwardness to Swiss efficiency to Thai you-leave-me-alone-I-leave-you-alone aloofness to Malaysian durian <3

All in all, when I travel, I do so to come to a quiet, warm place with plenty of beautiful nature, even more of divine durian and as few humans bothering me as possible, with a reasonable chance of the odd meaningful connection :happy:
 
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Change of environment works wonders for the mood. It is absolutely true that a vacation has the potential of eliminating or reducing work stress and worries in the personal realm. (That's why I don't understand people who take their work with them on vacation, reading work mails at the pool. Ridiculous, but an entirely different discussion. Back on topic.) Which is basically why people yearn for the next vacation so much. A moment to recharge, reflect, relax etc.

I couldn't live without vacation, honestly...not possible for me. I'd rather spend my money on travel than on material posessions (well...apart from books/cd's), because the experiences you have and the things you learn during your travels are infinitely more meaningful than almost all material goods. Apart from that, I love the change of scenery and I love to learn about new cultures.

The positive impact that a vacation has on my life is also a reason why I would prioritize travel spending over a lot of things. I become energized, inspired and more positive.

I agree with the OP that talking with strangers is more doable when travelling than in normal live. Curiosity is probably what causes this change of mentality towards small talk. I don't however think I act differently when on travels. Me = me. The location doesn't change that. But the fact that you are in a new environment, around new people and that you can become inspired might make you look more upbeat, open and sociable in the eyes of others.
 

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I think what I really get out from it is that it's a change of pace. There's no longer a routine way of handling your day or anything like that. It's all fresh and new.
If there's an event you're there for, meeting all the other people there for that from all over is a blast. Conversation with them is a far cry from normal banter and interests merge.

I wouldn't say it's a cure. I personally haven't travelled enough to say it always will do that. But i'm excited to go back and experience these things all over again. That in itself is great.
 

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I think what I really get out from it is that it's a change of pace. There's no longer a routine way of handling your day or anything like that. It's all fresh and new.
Yes...and I suppose those who travel as a lifestyle might find it old to always be packing/unpacking, catching a plane/train, etc.
I think travel can make you appreciate home again, as you return to it with new eyes. So a balance would be ideal to me. More travel than I do now, but definitely with a "home base". That sounds sort of "normal" to some I imagine, to take a trip or a few a year, but growing up working class, we didn't have many "vacations" growing up. My biggest wish was to escape the small, boring town I grew up in and see more of the world and experience different cultures, etc.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I've idealized being semi-nomadic with a location independent job and a "home base" to come back to, and it's still sort of a "dream".
If you don't mind me asking, what's the location independent job you've got in mind?

I haven't enjoyed traveling, oddly. I feel lonely. I also tend to stumble across batshit crazy people.
On my trip I travelled with 2 people I didn't know well so I felt pretty lonely, too. One night I ended up at some bar in Bolivia. My travel buddies abandoned me because they didn't want to wait around while I filed a police report for something that was stolen.

With no phones to contact each other, I had no choice but to stay where I was. I sat alone with tears streaming and in that moment I wanted nothing more than to be with my best friends back at home. But then the moment passed and I realised my own company wasn't so bad. Suddenly the music sounded better and I ordered another drink. I felt good again and I even found myself in conversation with a stranger.

Then.. it turns out the stranger was one of the batshit crazy folk you mentioned and he got really weird. He was in his late 30's and he talked about how attractive his insane mother is and how I should meet her. When he sensed me getting weirded out, he insisted on me coming back to his room to take pills and smoke weed. I kindly declined and started walking away. Each time I looked back, I saw him glaring at me. I just smiled.

You gotta be careful with some of them but really, the crazy are everywhere. Some are better than others and I find them more interesting than the average person. Where I live, people are like drones trying to replicate their parents lives for themselves.

I can also only afford to stay in hostels... And I happen to hate hippies.

Also, raucous, drunk Australians. They should have a lifetime traveling ban.
Where were you travelling? I never came across any hippies at hostels. So true about Aussies though, couldn't get away from them when I travelled. Ha
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I couldn't live without vacation, honestly...not possible for me. I'd rather spend my money on travel than on material posessions (well...apart from books/cd's), because the experiences you have and the things you learn during your travels are infinitely more meaningful than almost all material goods. Apart from that, I love the change of scenery and I love to learn about new cultures.
That's exactly how I am, too. Other than concerts (which I go to a lot) and recording equipment, I don't spend on much. I use public transport instead of buying a car - all so that I can spend what I want, when I want, when I go travelling next.

I don't however think I act differently when on travels. Me = me. The location doesn't change that. But the fact that you are in a new environment, around new people and that you can become inspired might make you look more upbeat, open and sociable in the eyes of others.

I complete agree, I probably should've worded it differently. My personality doesn't change, I'm just more confident. Talking to strangers becomes more like when I am with a group of close friends, I give my opinion more often and I joke around more. Not to mention being inspired gives me plenty to talk about.

Usually I'm too self-conscious, which leaves me with little to say to people and that also makes me feel worse.
 

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I honestly love travelling, I find it really cleans me out.

I live in Canada currently, and I'm actually planning to hopefully do some travel time in South East Asia starting in the summer. I want to be gone for at least a year if I can. I might start off doing volunteer work in Thailand, then maybe afterwards I might just wander aimlessly. This is honestly something I've dreamt about doing for quite a few years, and now I'm at a point in my life where I may actually be able to.
 

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I love to travel, I always have, especially when going somewhere I've never been. Its hard for me to know if it changed me though, I was a military brat, travel was a constant part of my life for many years. I don't believe I ever stayed in one place for more than two years until I was in my late twenties.
I do know that when I travel I am much more open, to new ways of thinking, to different experiences, and to new friendships. I'm much more curious when I travel, and probably much more adventurous as well.
As for where I've been and the pros and cons thereof it really would take far too long, but I think theres something I've found that I loved in virtually every place I've been. My positive experiences with travelling have far outweighed my negative ones, sure theres dirt everywhere, but thats not whats stuck with me, on the other hand the nice things are unforgettable.
 

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I complete agree, I probably should've worded it differently. My personality doesn't change, I'm just more confident.

Usually I'm too self-conscious, which leaves me with little to say to people and that also makes me feel worse.
Change of environment makes you more confident indeed, especially in interaction with strangers. The chance is small that you will see them again, so your behavior doesn't have a lasting impact on your 'relationship' as it would with friends and loved ones.

There is an expression in Dutch that is very appropriate right now. 'Wie kent mijn kont in Keulen?' and this translates into 'Who knows my butt in Cologne?'. The meaning behind this expression is that you do not mind how strangers view you, because you won't ever see them again. Therefore you are more comfortable with being yourself in Cologne :tongue: or other new environments.
 

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Migrating around keeps me sane.

I hate being in one place for too long... everything starts to lose it's "freshness" and it irritates me.
 

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I like seeing new, beautiful places but the physical action of traveling tires me greatly. I have always been weak-bodied.
 

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Travelling has really helped me in the past. I was feeling very trapped and miserable when we moved from the city to the countryside 5 years ago. We lived very far away from everything and there weren't really any public transportation because it was summer, so if I wanted to go somewhere I would have to ask my mom to drive me. I hated that more than anything, being so dependent on others. I felt stuck, like I had been abandoned on a desert island.

At the end of the summer I got the opportunity to go on a little trip with two of my best friends and together we travelled to a foreign country where we lived by ourselves in my friend's dad's house. We could do anything we wanted. We spent the days walking around and exploring the secrets of the beautiful city. I was the happiest I had been in a long time, I just felt so free! That trip truly turned everything around for me, it gave me hope.

I really wanna go travelling as soon as I get some extra money! I would love to go alone, I have dreamed of doing that ever since I was a child.
 

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Honestly, it's probably the surest cure I know of at the moment.

I just got back from a trip to Japan and Taiwan, and honestly the pervading feeling of novelty, balance, and just general excitement made me feel superhuman. I can only hope that the feeling stays with me for a while, but hell I'd love to feel like this all the time.

I think all your points are valid as to why it helps. I went on a trip with my buddies after college, and also found that I was the ringleader of the group finding cool stuff for us to do, initiating adventures, and navigating with my good sense of direction and my surroundings. Thinking of these moments and all the challenges that you face when traveling really provides a huge boost of confidence for me, be it in making friends, making decisions, and being able to enjoy myself in the moment.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
I just got back from a trip to Japan and Taiwan, and honestly the pervading feeling of novelty, balance, and just general excitement made me feel superhuman. I can only hope that the feeling stays with me for a while, but hell I'd love to feel like this all the time.
Don't worry friend, it should last a while :wink: I went travelling for 2months and the effects of that lasted for over a year. I continued to seek new experiences back in my home country and did things without questioning it. I even enjoyed being back at college and did really well for a change :tongue:

...the challenges that you face when traveling really provides a huge boost of confidence for me, be it in making friends, making decisions, and being able to enjoy myself in the moment.
Making decisions is definitely not my forte. I read somewhere INFPs aren't keen on leadership (which I'm not) but are good at it if they "must" take over. I didn't really believe that until I was forced my hand during my travels. One of the two partners I travelled with was too good at being indolent. So much so that he managed to make my other travel partner equally inactive. If it wasn't for me, we may have been stuck at the airport at times.. Ha

The whole trip definitely made me believe in myself more. But the juices are running low since it's been so long since my last travel. 2 months of travel gave me a year of motivation so I'm gonna travel for a year next time and see if it gets me going for 6 years. Ha

Oh yeah, and I lived in Japan for about 8 years. A very interesting, unique country.
 
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