I’m confident and outspoken – sometimes too much so. I’m not shy. I’m known to speak my mind, even if that means openly disagreeing with teachers, my boss or other authority figures. I’ve occasionally been called argumentative or stubborn.

I can spend days on my own without ever feeling lonely or bored. 

I have this incredible rich inner world that is full of ideas and inspiration. I can just sit here, think and daydream for hours without needing anyone or anything other than just me.

I have a loud and strong voice. I can deliver presentations in front of 1,000s of people without breaking into sweat. I can walk up to a stranger to strike up a conversation without even feeling nervous.

I’m at my best when I work on something on my own. When I get a chance to think things through in my head, on my own. I usually think long and hard before I talk.

Last week I delivered a training session to 30 strangers and I was only a tiny bit nervous. It barely got my heartrate up. But afterwards I felt like I had run a marathon.

I have an amazing group of friends. I love each one of them deeply and would do just about anything for them. I love spending time with them. But I also love when they leave. There is this sense of relieve that comes over me when I’m alone again.

I love to smile at strangers on the street and say hello.

I often have a quick chat with the owner of a shop or the barista making my coffee. I like to ask them how their day is going.

But I only enjoy long conversations with selected people – usually those I know well.

I like to go to parties and social gatherings – for about 30 minutes to an hour. After that my energy is drained and I want to leave to re-charge.

I often withdraw from lengthy group conversations and debates. I just stop engaging or, if I can, even walk away. It’s not because I don’t care or because I’m rude but simply because part-taking takes more energy than I have.

I’m a natural leader. Somehow, I often find myself in positions where people look to me for direction and advice. I often initiate activities and motivate others to come along.

I like people but being around them is exhausting. 

For every minute I spend around people, I need at least two on my own to recharge my batteries.

I’m confident in who I am. I’m not afraid to be different. I don’t need to always fit in.

I can fall asleep in the middle of a thunderstorm but people quietly talking or the TV running in the background drives me crazy.

I love that I’m never afraid of being on my own. I wish I had more energy for spending time with other people.

I love that I’m comfortable with silence. I wish I was better at dealing with the constant noise and stimulation of the world we live in.

I love that I don’t need other people to feel happy and content. I wish I was more open to meeting new people and getting to know them – and letting them know me.

I love that I don’t need external stimulation to be creative and have ideas. I wish I was better at sharing them with people.

I love that I’m living and traveling in a campervan all by myself. I wish I had more energy to meet other travellers and locals.

I’m a woman, a reader and a writer, a friend, a (wannabe) surfer, a daughter, a dreamer and a realist. I’m creative and strategic, I’m friendly and open, I’m independent and strong.

I’m confident and outspoken. And I’m an introvert!

I love how well I know myself these days. Realising that I’m an introvert and what that actually means is a huge part of that. I wish more people would understand what it means to be an introvert. It doesn’t mean being shy. It doesn’t mean that I walk around with my head down afraid to talk to anyone. It doesn’t mean that I spend all my Saturday nights home along with a book – just like being an extrovert does not automatically mean you’re outgoing, constantly parting or that you get bored if you’re alone for 10 minutes. 

Being an introvert or extrovert doesn’t define you – it doesn’t put you in a box. 

All it does is determine where you get energy from. Extroverts get energy from being around people. Introverts get energy from being on their own. That’s it. It’s that simple and at the same time that complex. 

I really wish there was more awareness around what it actually means to be an introvert – and that it’s not about being shy. If you relate to this story, please share it to help spread awareness. Or even better, write and share your own story and perspective. Let’s show the world that being an introvert can mean all sorts of things – just like being an extrovert does.

My name is Lisa, I’m 33 and I live in a campervan. 

I’m traveling around beautiful New Zealand while I explore what life has to offer if you don’t want to follow the traditional path around work, marriage and kids. I share my journey, stories and thoughts on my blog and on Instagram and Facebook. Follow me if you’re keen to see and read more.