View Full Version : Introvert vs. Extravert
If this question has already been asked i'm sorry, but I have not seen much discussion on it...
My wife and I are planning a thru hike for 2005. I am an introvert and she is an extravert. Does anyone have any experience on the emotional impact on someone who thrives on interaction with other people? We plan on making the usual phone calls and emails while off the trail, but will she get enough interaction while on the trail for 5-6 months?
If you start out with the crowds between mid-March and mid-April, then there should be plenty of people around at the shelters and towns, at least for the first half of your journey. The bigger question would be if she can stand to walk by herself for several hours at a time (or will she eventually drive you crazy since you want to be alone for awhile).
We are hiking in 2005 as well! You're wife and my wife can chat all 2000 miles while you and I sit quietly off to the side :)
Seriously, my wife and I are somewhat similar in description although I don't know how extroverted your wife really is.
My wife really really fed off the interactions with other hikers. On tough days, we knew it would be smart to try to find some other people to hang around with. It always lifted her spirits. But we didn't always find those people, but more often than not we had someone to talk to (we did 1/2 the trail in 2001).
I wouldn't worry too much about it. She'll be fine! There are a lot of extroverts out there, pretending they are introverts! One of the best parts of hiking is the people you will meet!
.... but will she get enough interaction while on the trail for 5-6 months?
Hmmmmm... does she talk to animals?
, but will she get enough interaction while on the trail for 5-6 months?
only if you plan on tenting alot
I am very introverted and my husband is a born extravert, and we have both had to adjust to each others' personality "styles" to some degree, both in our marriage (all 8 months of it ... so far!) and on the trail. My husband thru-hiked northbound in 1999, hiked on and off with a sizable group of folks he met as he hiked, and loved every minute of it. I hiked southbound in 2000 and reveled in having days where I saw only one other person--and felt stressed out by the occasional crowded shelter or "group hiking experiences" that seem to happen when several people are hiking for several days at the same pace.
My husband and I tend to strike a balance and hike well together, so far at least! ;-) We thru-hiked the Long Trail in 2002 and have been on several 2-3 day hikes since and are planning a PCT hike in 2006. We pretty much spend the day hiking alone or together, and then Hubbie gets all his socializing done in the shelters or in towns. It was a pretty good balance, on the Long Trail at least.
That said, there were many times that I, the introvert, would retire into the tent while Hubbie stayed out and chatted and played games with the folks in the shelter. Having hiked the AT solo, I know for a fact that, if I were alone, I probably would have "socialized" more and made friends rather than turning in and letting Hubbie do all the talking. I know that, had I stayed in "introvert mode" for my entire AT thru-hike, I would not have made the lasting trail friendships that I made.
It's important to respect each others' needs; I get cranky if I don't get my "alone time" (which will happen after a couple of zero days in town, or several "shelter nights" in a row), and he gets cranky if he doesn't get his "social time" (easy to do when the introverted hiking parter wants to stealth camp every night!). So, just be aware that you both have your needs, and be willing to compromise as needed.
I have a, , , , , unusual perspective as I can (mostly) see both sides. A number of years ago a company Psycologist said of me: "Introvert with Extroverted tendencies" Whatever that means :p
From my somewhat odd perspective, you both should get what you want, somewhat along the lines of an old navy (6 months away 6 at home submarine service) saying: "No matte how good/bad a marrage you will be happy half the time". You will be happiest while hiking, her when in camp (usually lots of people at the shelters).
Most time you will hit a town every 4 to 6 days so she can get her "People fix" then. A good place to visit early in the hike is Gatlinburg in the Smokies. Plan your hike so as to hit Damascus during trail days, Major people fix then. And she will adjust, just be supportive, take extra town time when she is "feeling Lonely", and DON'T take it personally.
As I said, I can go either way: I love being alone, and I am a performer at a local Renaissance fest. You both will do fine.