06 January 2012

An Introvert's Guide to New Places

Places I've Been; 2009
As a pretty introverted person, new places are a bit scary to me. There are a lot of unknown things in new places- that is what usually makes me nervous. What will the weather be like? What address will I be at? How close is it to Target? What is the bathroom situation? What will the noise be like at night? What can be an "escape excuse"? When will I get to go home? How will I know what direction north is?

After moving around and traveling so often, I think I have a technique down that helps me feel more comfortable in new places fairly quickly.

1. Get someone who knows the area to drive you around. Emily drove me around Austin the first weekend we lived there, which helped me get my bearings straight. Josh drove me around the town we'll be living in in New Mexico, and now I have a good image of where I'll be living. It always helps to visualize things.

2. Read about where you are going (or even where you are). I like to read about weather patterns, local businesses, history and real estate. It helps me get a feeling for the area. You might also run across random, yet useful information that is always welcome in my book.

3. Google Earth that sucker. I Google Earth every new place I know I'm going to. We are so blessed to have this awesomely creepy technology. If you haven't noticed, I'm very visual and GE is great for putting visual anxiety to rest. You can see what turns look like, what business fronts look like and whether or not sidewalks are available. Also, you can tell if something is in the ghetto or not.

4. Make a list of pros and cons of your trip. Excessive, I know, but sometimes I get to packing and I get overwhelmed. That is when I make a list of the people or things I'm eager/excited to see and what I'm not looking forward to. Usually the cons are completely silly and I instantly feel better about the trip.

5. Ask questions. I usually ask questions about people. This helps me know what to talk to them about and more importantly what not to talk about. When I was meeting Josh's family for the first time, he probably gave me every bit of information he knew about them. I was really nervous about them not liking me, but when I began to see how similar our families were, I was more excited than anxious to meet them.

You'll be okay and be sure to have fun- don't let anxiety hold you back!

1 comment:

  1. For some reason as I read this post Robinson Crusoe screamed out to me. I guess he's more of an introvert by circumstance. Here's one of his list of pros and cons about being stuck on deserted island.

    I began to comfort myself as well as I could, and to set the good against the evil, that I might have something to distinguish my case from worse; and I stated very impartially, like debtor and creditor, the comforts I enjoyed against the miseries I suffered, thus:—

    I am cast upon a horrible, desolate island, void of all hope of recovery.
    But I am alive; and not drowned, as all my ship’s company were.

    I am singled out and separated, as it were, from all the world, to be miserable.
    But I am singled out, too, from all the ship’s crew, to be spared from death; and He that
    miraculously saved me from death can deliver me from this condition.

    I am divided from mankind—a solitaire; one banished from human society.
    But I am not starved, and perishing on a barren place, affording no sustenance.

    I have no clothes to cover me.
    But I am in a hot climate, where, if I had clothes, I could hardly wear them.

    I am without any defence, or means to resist any violence of man or beast.
    But I am cast on an island where I see no wild beasts to hurt me, as I saw on the coast of Africa;and what if I had been shipwrecked there?

    I have no soul to speak to or relieve me.
    But God wonderfully sent the ship in near enough to the shore, that I have got out as many necessary things as will either supply my wants or enable me to supply myself, even as long as I live.