¨Whatever the circumstances of your life, the understanding of type can make your perceptions clearer, your judgment sounder, and your life closer to your heart’s desire
What is the Myers–Briggs Personality Test?
The Myers-Briggs personality test is one of the most common personality tests around.
The test categorizes people by their preferred method of thinking and behaving. Myers-Briggs features 16 personality types, each designated by a four-letter code, like INFP or ESTJ.
Isabel Briggs Myers and her mother, Katharine Briggs, developed the test in the 1960s based on the work of psychologist Carl Jung.
The Myers and Briggs test assume that most people have a “preference” for one of the two different options among four personality dimensions. The sum of a person’s four preferred dimensions becomes their personality type.
Myers and Briggs theorized that people with the same four preferences share many traits, including hobbies and professions.
Taking the Myers-Briggs Test
Many people, I included, find that they may fit into more than one of these personality types. Even so, most people find that the descriptions are accurate. However, remember that personality traits may change over time, and we can consciously change certain personality traits.
While I have not seen Myers-Briggs formally applied to travel, I like how the Two Drifter’s Blog discusses these types as they apply to travel. The Two Drifters had fellow travel bloggers take the test and used the results to develop an informal travel-related personality type for each of the 16 personality types.
I have taken Myers Briggs three times in my life and have studied it quite a bit. Using the Two Drifter’s blog as inspiration, coupled with my knowledge of the test, I developed the following descriptions of the 16 personality types for travelers.
What are the Four Key Personality Dimensions?
Myers-Briggs explore four dimensions of personality:
- Introversion vs. Extraversion
- Sensing vs. Intuition
- Thinking vs. Feeling
- Judging vs. Perceiving
I/E: Introversion or Extraversion
- Introverts get energy from spending quiet time alone or with a small group. They seem more reserved and thoughtful than extraverts.
- Larger groups energize extraverts. They thrive in busier, more active environments. Extraverts are more expressive and outspoken than introverts.
S/N: Sensing or Intuition
- Sensors depend on the information they get from their five senses. They trust what they see, hear, feel, etc. They are hands-on learners. Generally, others categorize sensors as “practical” people.
- Intuitives use more abstract thinking than sensors. They are comfortable with theories, patterns, and explanations. They focus more on the future than the present. People usually view intuitives as “creative¨ people.
T/F: Thinking or Feeling
- Thinkers make decisions using their heads. They seek logical, reasonable choices.
- Feelers feel comfortable with decisions made from their hearts. In decision making, feels tend to consider how a decision affects others and how the decision fits into their values.
J/P: Judging or Perceiving
- Judgers generally like structure and order. They want to have things planned and are uncomfortable with last-minute changes.
- Perceivers are comfortable with flexibility and spontaneity. They tend to leave their lives open so that they can change their minds to fit new options and opportunities that come along.
The 16 Myers-Briggs Personality Types and How They May Apply to Travelers
ENFPs emphasize inspiration and feelings.
They travel in the hope of creating beautiful memories, interacting with locals, and recording their experiences often in writing. ENFPs are excited about discovering new experiences and places and do not quickly get bored with life on the road.
INFP’s are quiet and reflective and comfortable exploring their innermost values and emotions. They are often gifted writers and observers of the human condition. INFP is one of the rarest personality types, and many INFPs feel like outsiders. (Note: I am an INFP).
INFP travelers enjoy wandering around unfamiliar places (particularly cities), observing their surroundings, and studying local history. They need time spent alone to process the observations and emotions they experience on the road.
ENFJs are outgoing and caring. They love dealing with people and are talented at motivating, leading, and encouraging others.
ENFJs are natural-born group tour leaders, and they are experts at planning a well-organized and busy itinerary.
INFJs love to help others. They understand and respect others’ emotions and needs. They make connections quickly, making them seem extroverted, but they require considerable time alone to process their experiences.
INFJs seek purpose in their travels. INFPs often volunteer abroad, live with local families, and participate in experiences that positively impact the world.
INTP can seem mysterious and aloof. They appear to be deep in thought, and it can be challenging for other people to read their thoughts and emotions.
INTPs are often the most perceptive observers of life in the places where they travel.
Bold, curious, and adventurous, ENTPs also love a good debate.
They find it easy to meet people while traveling and enjoy discussing their observations and beliefs with fellow tourists and locals.
ENTJs are decisive and driven. They are natural-born leaders and are comfortable being the center of attention.
If they want to travel the world, they will do everything possible to make this desire come true. If traveling in a group, they will take charge of planning for the group. They would also like to meet many locals and fellow tourists on the road. Shier travelers will often seek out ENTJs to help them meet more people.
INTJs are passionate about achieving their goals and passions. They are intelligent and insightful and are keen observers who are talented at recognizing patterns and systems.
The INTJ love to immerse themselves in foreign cultures and have little patience for touristy experiences.
ESTJs are among the most social personality types. They make friends quickly, have a reputation as being responsible, and are known as loyal friends.
They enjoy hanging out in groups and are not comfortable being alone for a long-time.
On their travels, ESTJs enjoy many diverse types of travel but favor traditional, group-based experiences like tours and cruises.
ISFJs are quiet but intensely loyal. They love to help people. As a result, ISFJs make up a significant percentage of people in helping professions like medicine and social work. Known for their generosity, they also are more inclined than most other personality types to be volunteers.
ISFJ’s enjoy visiting places with natural beauty or rich cultures that appeal to their love of sensory experiences. They may enjoy volunteer travel through organizations like Global Volunteers, Amizade.
ESFPs are spontaneous and can be melodramatic at times. They are known as fun-loving and impulsive.
ESFPs are well suited and enjoy traveling, particularly in luxury. They may, if not careful, spend a lot of money while traveling to get the most fun from their adventures.
ISFPs love to explore and experiment. ISFPs observe the world around them and can seem a bit standoffish. However, instead of reacting, they are taking in all the sensory detail of their environment.
ISFPs appreciate art. They also are comfortable, allowing others to lead their trips, and enjoy letting things unfold.
ESTJs want to oversee their life and travel experiences. They are hyper-organized and are natural at getting people to join in on their adventures.
ESTJs get energized by human contact, but they like to control and thrive in structured experiences. ESTJs are the ideal people to plan a group vacation.
ISTJs tend to believe that there are definite right and wrong ways to act and view the world. They enjoy traveling but are most comfortable when things are ordered and predictable. They often return to the same destination.
When they go to a new place, ISTJs plan their journeys methodically, saving money ahead of time and sticking to a particular itinerary.
ESTPs thrive on excitement and do not like to sit around for long. You are likely to find ESTPs climbing mountains or bungee jumping.
ESTPs find it easy to adapt to new environments. They thrive when they are involved in whatever adventures life brings.
The ISTPs are curious and will spontaneously decide to do things without much forethought. They love people watching.
They can be fun travel companions because they are adept at making insightful observations about their environment. However, they can be infuriating to people who need organization and predictability like ISTJs.
Want to Learn More About Travel Personalities?
- My Own Travel Personality InventoryPaul Heller, the Founder of Fifty-Plus Nomad, has outlined in detail his own travel personality. This inventory was developed after taking all the quizzes and answering the questions contained throughout the travel personality section of the blog. It is intended as a model for other fifty-Plus Nomads to use in developing their own inventory.
- Five Essential Fifty-Plus Nomad QuestionsIn addition to taking the four travel personality quizzes, Fifty-Plus Nomads should ask themselves five essential questions to help them determine how they like to travel.
- Quiz #2: What Type of Fifty-Plus Nomad Are You?Take Fifty-Plus Nomad’s Quiz Number 2 and discover if you prefer to travel like a local or as a jet setter. Or maybe, instead, you are an artful or a traditional traveler.
- Quiz #1: Do You Have What It Takes to be a Successful Fifty-Plus Nomad?Take Quiz #1: Find out if you have what It takes to be a successful Fifty-Plus Nomad? (Hint: Chances are, you do).
- Take the Myers-Briggs Personality Test and Become a Better Expat and Long-Term TravelerTake the Myers-Briggs Personality Test and discover more about your personality and needs before you begin your long-term travel and living abroad adventures.
- Take Stanley Plog’s Travel Quiz and Discover Which of 6 Travel Personalities You HaveTake Stanley Plog’s Travel Quiz and discover if you are a pioneer, venturer, voyager, journeyer, sightseer, or traditional traveler.
- Find Your Travel Personality: A Vital First Step on Your Fifty-Plus Nomad JourneyI recommend everyone spend at least a day exploring their own travel personality, needs, and goals before they embark on a long-term, round-the-world trip or live in another country.