“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.”
Understand Better Your Travel Personality with Myers-Briggs
What is the Myers–Briggs Personality Test?
The Myers-Briggs test is one of the most common personality tests.
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-Briggs test assumes that most people have a “preference” for two different options among four personality dimensions. The sum of a person’s four preferred dimensions becomes their personality type.
Myers-Briggs theorized that people with the same four preferences share many traits, including hobbies, travel, and professions.
Taking the Myers-Briggs Personality Test
I have taken the test three times and had a slightly different result each time. I have consistently had strong Introverted and intuitive personality dimensions. My thinking, feeling, judging, and perceiving personality dimensions have gone back and forth over time.
In retrospect, I put too much weight on the fact that I had the least typical personality type: INFP when I was 19. I used it to justify feeling different from other people. Now, I use it more to help me identify new potential ways to explore the world and myself.
I suggest you use it as one of many ways, including Stanley Plog’s Travel Type Test and my upcoming Fifty Plus Nomad quiz #1 and #2, to find out what you may like and dislike to do while you’re traveling around the world and living abroad.
Therefore, using the Two Drifter’s blog as inspiration and my knowledge of the test, I extrapolated how these 16 personality types can help you understand how you like to travel.
What are the Four Key Myers-Briggs 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 extroverts.
- Larger groups energize extroverts. 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, feelers tend to consider how a decision affects others and how it 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 they can change their minds to fit new options and opportunities.
How the Myers-Briggs Personality Dimensions May Apply to Long-Term 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, reflective, and comfortable exploring their innermost values and emotions. They are often gifted writers and observers of the human condition. INFP is among the rarest personality types, and many INFPs feel like outsiders. (Note: I am an INFP).
INFP travelers enjoy wandering around unfamiliar places (mainly 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 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 deep in thought, and it can be challenging for others 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 plan 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, insightful, and keen observers who recognize 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 long.
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. Known for their generosity, they are more inclined than most other personality types to be volunteers. As a result, ISFJs make up a significant percentage of people in helping professions like medicine and social work.
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 take in all the sensory details 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 naturally get people to join in on their adventures.
ESTJs get energized by human contact but like to control and thrive in structured experiences. ESTJs are the ideal people to plan a group vacation.
ISTJs believe 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 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 infuriate people who need organization and predictability like ISTJs.