¨ Travel tends to magnify all human emotions.¨
Peter Hoeg

Why Is it Important to Know Your Travel Personality? 

When I started long-term traveling and living abroad, I scheduled too many activities that did not suit my personality, interest, or needs. I also did not anticipate several common psychological issues that cause travel burnout. As a result, while I treasured my experience, I didn’t get as much pleasure from traveling as I do today.

Defining your personality, interests, and style may seem new age, airy-fairy. However, learning my personality, interests, and style is the key to my success as a long-term traveler and expat.

As a young man, I experienced many psychological problems on the road. Nowadays, these issues are rare since I know my interests, style, and personality.

Retaking the psychology quizzes (described below) and reviewing my travel personality periodically have also helped me avoid some of the problems of my youth. The more I learn about my personality, the quicker I understand and address issues and return to enjoying my nomadic life again. 

The Cost of Not Considering My Personality, Issues, and Needs 

Most people, myself included (at least when I first started traveling), think that Travel is about crossing off a list of experiences. But it is not. At its best, trips are a chance to learn about yourself and the world around you and find friends and acquaintances from many diverse backgrounds. Your best memories and lessons will come from Travel, reflecting your personality and interests, not those imposed by others. 

Most long-term travelers will become burned out with Travel, especially whenever you travel for months. (That said, I highly recommend extended Travel. It is more fun and consequential than short-term Travel). 

Fifty Plus Nomads, myself included, often feel guilty because extended Travel fulfills a lifelong dream. Therefore, we should enjoy and get the most out of every moment. 

However, there is no reason to feel guilty. You are lucky, but you will sometimes be frustrated and tired. 

Having these feelings and working through them is a source of personal growth and will make you feel even more grateful for the gift of Travel afterward. 

Anticipating and Resolving Common Psychological Issues of Life on the Road 

One of the hardest things for most long-term travelers and expats to get used to is that they will usually experience psychological problems adapting to traveling and living abroad for an extended period. 

I know I have! In my case, I have experienced mild cases of all of these issues over my 16 years of living and traveling abroad:

I have learned a lot about myself due to these psychological issues. I now can identify when these feelings are coming on and address them quite quickly. 

My Number One Travel Lesson: Variety for Me is the Spice of a Nomadic Life 

I have met some long-term travelers and expats who always do the same type of Travel. Usually, after talking to them for a little while, I wonder if they would also enjoy themselves and learn more if they tried new travel experiences. When I suggest new options, sometimes fellow travelers resist my suggestions because they have misconceptions about different travel experiences, particularly escorted tours, independent Travel, and volunteering and learning vacations. For me, variety is the spice of my nomadic life.

One of the best things about having a long time to explore the world is that you can try things and see if they fit or not. If you only have a few weeks to visit, it can ruin the trip if you do not like something.  

If you are on the road for months and do not enjoy something, it will not affect the trip much. More often than not, however, you will discover things you love more than expected.

Personality Quizzes and Assessments for Long-Term Travelers and Expats 

I recommend you take personality quizzes and assessments to help determine your travel personality, interests, and needs. These quizzes will help you know yourself better, avoid travel burnout and culture shock, and enjoy your Fifty-Plus Nomad lifestyle. 

I am working on two quizzes based on my cultural adaptation research to help you discover whether you have what it takes to be a successful expat in Mexico and long-term travel.

I also provide links to two commercially available psychological assessments. The first comes from one of the most popular and widely accepted general personality assessments: Myers-Briggs. The second quiz comes from Stanley Plog, the best-known and widely accepted travel personality expert. (I decided to give group travel a chance after the Stanley Plog test revealed that I am more of a voyager than expected).

In addition to these personality assessments and quizzes, I pose questions that explore your travel preferences. Some of these questions shouldn’t require much thought. However, you will not know the answer to every question posed unless you have traveled a lot. Specific preferences only come to light through on-the-road experimentation. 

Finally, I have included a detailed explanation of my travel personality, interests, and style. I know that developing and reviewing this inventory over time has been vital to my life as a Fifty Plus Nomad, and it should also help you. 

Fifty Plus Nomad offers personalized workshops and courses in Spanish, English, Living and Traveling in Mexico, and Long-Term Travel Book a Two-hour Free Sample Introductory Session

Things to Keep in Mind When Taking These Personality Assessments and Long-Term Travel and Expat Quizzes

Remember that your personality, interests, and style change over time. I learned, for example, that I could not stay in hostels after giving it a try a couple of times as a fifty-year-old. While hostels are a fantastic way to save money and meet fellow travelers, I could not tolerate sleeping in a dormitory and needing my own bathroom to enjoy my travels. 

The quizzes should be fun and informative.

Want More Posts About Travel Personality?

Check out these posts from Travel Diary and Air Treks.

Some Additional Long-Term Travel Posts from Fifty Plus Nomad

Paul Heller has been a lifelong avid traveler and language learner and teacher, Even as a child, he told Santa Claus that he wanted to visit all the children worldwide. At seven years old, Paul wanted to retire to Mexico. At eight, he memorized the name, capital, location, and some facts about every country worldwide. At twelve, he found a book "Lonely Planet: Southeast Asia on a Shoestring" and started developing his own itinerary for a future round-the-world trip. He remained obsessed with travel; after getting a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from the University of Southern California and working as an administrator, He spent his vacations going to different countries around the globe studying language, touring, and volunteering. In 1994, he quit his job and lived in Russia as a volunteer English instructor. He discovered that he loved teaching languages. In 2004, he decided to make a living out of his travels and founded a community of people who love to travel just like him. He developed 5 three-hour classes about living and traveling long-term worldwide which he taught in over 50 adult education programs throughout the US. After his parents passed, he realized his dream of traveling around the world; cruising and touring some of the most remote places like the North Atlantic, Patagonia, and Oceania; and learning new languages (he knows Spanish, Italian, French, and Russian). Paul encourages everyone to learn foreign languages. He knows that it can be frustrating and slow but that anyone can learn a language if they put in the work and, most importantly, learning a language is well worth the time and effort because it opens up a whole new set of people, ideas, and cultures. He is currently spending the next chapter of his life in Mérida, México. He is excited about using this blog and his classes and workshops to inspire and equip fellow Fifty Plus Nomads with the language, cultural, and psychological skills necessary to be successful and happy long-term travelers and expats over 50.

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