Outside for the introvert

Just because you’re an introvert, doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the outdoors.

Contrary to popular belief, introverts aren’t socially awkward hermits who never go out and do anything. It’s also untrue to say they are antisocial or don’t like to be around other people.

According to Psychology Today, an introvert is someone who is “drained by social encounters and energized by solitary, often creative pursuits.”

Introverts still go out and enjoy themselves, they just tend to enjoy activities alone or with a few friends. Rather than going to a big concert or a crowded party, introverts might rather spend their free time curled up with a good book or going to the movies with friends.

With warm weather just around the corner, there are many options for introverts to go outside and have a good time.

Run, walk or spend time tending your garden

Enjoying the sun doesn’t have to mean going somewhere far away; it can be as easy as walking outside.

Go on a run in your neighborhood instead of going to the gym, take your dog (or even your cat) on a walk, or spend time tending your garden or working on your tan.

There are plenty of other activities—like doing your homework (which is a bummer, I know), reading, eating, listening to music or just relaxing with friends—that can easily be moved outside.

Go to the park

If you don’t have a backyard of your own or are just in the mood to get a little farther away from home, go to the park!

Almost every neighborhood in Portland has a park or two you can enjoy. There’s Laurelhurst Park in Southeast or Cathedral Park under the St. John’s Bridge in North Portland.

Bring a novel, your favorite adult coloring book, or a knitting or crocheting project and enjoy the feeling of grass on your legs and the breeze in your hair.

Hang out somewhere low-key with outdoor space

If the park isn’t your idea of a good time, find a chill place to hang out with an awesome outdoor space.

Townshend’s on Alberta, besides boasting dozens of unique and interesting tea blends, has an awesome garden space with lots of outdoor seating and plants.

Rogue Hall here on campus also has good food, good drinks and lots of outdoor seating.

Choose a less-traveled hiking destination

While hiking is often seen as a solitary and peaceful pastime, hiking destinations such as Multnomah Falls can get overly crowded with tourists. The last thing an introvert wants is to be bombarded with loud hikers when they are trying to enjoy nature.

Instead of choosing a really popular place to hike, don’t be afraid to go off the beaten path and pick something a little less traveled. Just make sure to bring a friend or two!

Behind the main stretch at Multnomah Falls are miles of additional hiking that most people either don’t know about or simply don’t bother with. There are also lots of smaller trails spread throughout Forest Park that may prove to be the perfect outing for an introvert.

Or stay inside!

Don’t feel obligated to go outside if you don’t want to. For people who sunburn easily or have seasonal allergies, it can be more enjoyable to just stay inside, play some video games, catch up on your chores or have drinks with friends.

Open up a window and let in some fresh air—or don’t. Enjoy the season any way you want, but don’t feel obligated to go out and do things if you don’t want to.