Struggling to express yourself as a travel writer? Playing into the strengths and weaknesses of your personality type could improve your storytelling.
By ODETTE SNYMAN
Your personality influences your writing style whether you’re aware of it or not. For instance, if you’re you a bubbly, loud and spontaneous extravert, your travel writing style is probably very different to that of a quiet introvert who prefers solo adventures in the wilderness. Understanding your personality type can provide valuable insight into the distinctive style you can bring to travel writing.
One way to learn about your personality type is by using the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI). The MBTI is a popular psychological test that describes different personality types based on four principal functions: extraversion (E) vs introversion (I), sensing (S) vs intuition (N), thinking (T) vs feeling (F), and judging (J) vs perceiving (P).
The premise is that every person has one dominant quality from each category, resulting in 16 unique personality types. To discover your personality type, you can take the Myers-Briggs test here.
As an example of how your idiosyncrasies can guide the travel stories you write, we’ll take a closer look at four of the 16 personality types. [Refer to the main functions to understand the abbreviated type: extraversion (E) vs introversion (I), sensing (S) vs intuition (N), thinking (T) vs feeling (F), and judging (J) vs perceiving (P).]
INFJs are passionate, creative people who love to make personal connections. They are altruistic, finding the most fulfilment in helping others and making a difference.
As travel writers, INFJs are best at drawing readers into the meaningful and educational aspects of travel. They offer insight into both cultural and geographical issues, showing readers the beauty of travelling as a way to connect with their environment.
Their main limitations are that they tend to be perfectionists, sensitive to criticism and prone to burnout. INFJs should practise writing more casually to avoid getting caught up in perfectionism. This way, they can flex their creative muscles without too much effort or stress.
Quiet and unassuming, INFPs have a rich inner world. As sensitive idealists, their journeys focus on reflection, and anticipating the adventure is often more exciting than the actual experience.
INFPs are compelling travel writers who are able to immerse readers in their stories, allowing them to explore the world vicariously.
However, they may need to work on their focus and set realistic goals and deadlines for their writing. INFP writers should also try to be more open to different travel experiences, as they have a tendency to self-isolate.
INTJs are rational, curious and independent travellers who aim to discover and comprehend the world around them.
INTJ travel writers are determined and prone to success. Their proactive approach to writing means that their articles are focused, well researched and informative.
However, they can be dismissive of the social aspects of travel. They should place more focus on people’s lives, emotions and cultures in their writing. For example, improving communication skills, such as interview techniques, can add more depth and human interest to their articles.
ENFPs are free-spirited adventurers and novelty seekers who thrive in a social environment.
They tend to write about their own heartfelt experiences and the connections they form with locals during their travels. With their excellent communication skills, they are powerful motivational writers, inspiring readers to take their own soul-searching journeys.
On the downside, they are restless, disorganised and overly optimistic. Unlike introverts, they find it difficult to be alone, which can cause them to procrastinate. ENFP writers should work on improving their focus and avoiding procrastination.
So if you’re a travel writer looking for inspiration, you might just find it in your own personality. For a start, look at these suggestions for your next travel destination based on your MBTI profile.
About the author
Odette Snyman is a bibliophile who has been on the road since 2020. On a journey of exploration and self-development, she has been determined to engage in experiences that she can share with others. She is an aspiring psychologist and dietician. Her passions include cooking, drawing, and leaving ukuleles everywhere she visits in a futile attempt to learn the instrument.