¨Travel tends to magnify all human emotions.¨
Why Is it Important to Know Your Travel Personality?
When I first started traveling, 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.
Defining your personality, interests, and style may seem a bit new age, airy-fairy. However, learning my personality, interests, and style is the key to my success as a Fifty-Plus Nomad.
As a young man, I experienced a lot of psychological problems on the road. Nowadays, these issues are rare since I know my interests, style, and personality.
Retaking the quizzes periodically and reviewing my travel personality has also helped avoid some of the problems of my youth. The more I learn about my personality, the quicker I understand and address problems and get back 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 that reflects your personality and interests, not those imposed by others.
Most Fifty-Plus Nomad will become burned-out with travel, especially whenever you travel for months at a time. (That said, I highly recommend extended travel. It is more fun and consequential than short-term travel).
Fifty-Plus Nomads, I included, often feel guilty because extended travel is the fulfillment of a lifelong dream. Therefore, we should be enjoying and getting the most out of every moment.
However, there is no reason to feel guilty. Sure, you are lucky; but you are going to be frustrated and tired sometimes.
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 Several Common Psychological Issues of Life on the Road
One of the hardest things for most Fifty-Plus Nomads to get used to is that they will usually experience psychological problems adapting to travel and living abroad for an extended period.
I know I have! In my case, I have experienced church overload syndrome, backpacker’s syndrome, loneliness, justifying my nomadic lifestyle, paying more than locals, culture shock, and even an occasional feeling of too much togetherness over my time as a Fifty-Plus Nomad. Some of these maladies have lasted a while and caused me to rethink my plans.
That said, I have learned a lot about myself due to these psychological maladies. I now can identify when these feelings are coming on and address them quite quickly.
My Number One Lesson: Variety for Me is the Spice of a Nomadic Life
For me, variety is the spice of my nomadic life. I have met some Fifty-Plus Nomads, 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 group travel, independent travel, and volunteering and learning vacations.
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 couple of weeks to visit, if you do not like something, it can ruin the whole trip.
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.
Four Personality Inventories for Fifty-Plus Nomads
Here are four assessments to help you figure out 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 to the fullest.
The first two are assessments explicitly developed for Fifty-Plus Nomads based on my culture shock and adaptation research. The first quiz will help you discover whether you have what it takes to be a successful Fifty-Plus Nomad, and the second will assess what type of Fifty Plus Nomad you are.
The next two quizzes are commercially available psychological assessments. The first one 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 reveals that I am more of a voyager than expected).
In addition to these personality assessments, 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. Certain 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 help you as well.
Things to Keep in Mind When Taking These Personality Assessments
Keep in mind 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 wonderful way to save money and meet fellow travelers, I could not tolerate sleeping in a dormitory and needed my own bathroom to enjoy my travels.
The quizzes should be fun and informative. Understand that none is a substitute for seeking professional help.
Some Additional Travel Personality Related Posts
- 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.