There’s no denying that a love for travel transcends personality type.
While many members of each type are keen on exploring the world, there are significant differences in how they prefer to travel, as well as their motivations for doing so. Some types prefer short, adventurous escapades. Others prefer long, drawn-out experiences. And at the end of each trip, each personality walks away having learned something slightly different. Here’s how your Myers-Briggs personality type correlates to the traits you exhibit on the road.
ENFP: You’re a soul-searching traveler.
You travel not just to discover the world but to discover yourself and your place within it. Through each new experience, each new adventure, and each new fascinating personality you meet, you come to understand a little bit more about where you fit in the grand scheme of it all. What may seem like a series of disjointed adventures to others is actually a life-long journey that you’re taking inside of yourself—each new excursion teaches you a meaningful lesson and helps you construct a more holistic worldview.
Your travel mantra: “Not all who wander are lost.” –J.R.R. Tolkien
INFP: You’re an imaginative traveler.
When you travel, you aren’t just seeing new lands or meeting new people. Rather, you’re telling yourself a story inside your mind—one that educates, inspires and revitalizes you, every step of the way. For you, travel isn’t about being in the moment; it’s about reflecting upon the moment and coming to understand what it has taught you. You enjoy dreaming up the adventures you’ll have (and reflecting upon what past adventures have taught you) even more than you enjoy actually going on them. You may internally embellish your experiences once they’re over, but why not? Some of the best moments in your life have taken place inside your mind.
Your travel mantra: “Like all great travelers, I have seen more than I remember, and remember more than I have seen.” –Benjamin Disraeli
ENFJ: You’re a people-focused traveler.
For you, the trip isn’t as much about the sights you see or the places you explore as it is about the people you meet (or take with you) along the way. There’s nothing you value more than forming quality memories with loved ones, and travel allots you the opportunity to do just that. You tend to look back on your trips and remember not the details of the places you visited, but the essence of the fascinating and invigorating people you met along the way, each of whom made you fall in love with your location that much more.
Your travel mantra: “A journey is best measured in friends, rather than miles.” –Tim Cahill
INFJ: You’re a slow and inquisitive traveler.
You aren’t one for whirlwind vacations or sight-seeing trips, you want to travel slowly, meaningfully and inquisitively. You seek to learn what life is like in each new place you visit and to arrive at a profound understanding of how cultural and geographical context affects the human experience across the globe. For you, travel isn’t just a source of pleasure but a source of education. Unless you take the time to educate yourself thoroughly and meaningfully, your trip simply hasn’t served its purpose.
Your travel mantra: “Certainly, travel is more than the seeing of sights; it is a change that goes on, deep and permanent, in the ideas of living.” –Miriam Beard
ENTP: You’re a perspective-seeking traveler.
You travel not just to explore but to experience and understand different ways of life. In each new location you arrive at, you seek to gain a first-hand understanding of how this country’s system of government operates, how the locals earn a living, what issues plague different geographical areas, and how different lifestyles manifest in different places. You travel not just to explore the world but to deepen your understanding of it and to consider what you might have to learn from other cultures. After all, who are you to assume that your home country is getting everything right?
Your travel mantra: “One’s destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things.” –Henry Miller
INTP: You’re a critical and inquisitive traveler.
It’s not that you travel to criticize other cultures; it’s that you do so to gain a critical analysis of your own. You enjoy melting yourself into a new country, culture or way of life in order to get an idea of how other parts of the world function. You thoroughly enjoy challenging your own perceptions of how government systems, economies, relationships, communities and lifestyles ought to manifest. The more differing perspectives you’re exposed to, the more biases you’re able to drop and the more clearly you’re able to understand the world around you.
Your travel mantra: “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry and narrow-mindedness.” –Mark Twain
ENTJ: You’re a comfort-zone-pusher.
You’re a strategic risk-taker, and travel allots you the perfect opportunity to push your own boundaries and expand your personal comfort zone. You enjoy the new perspectives that are offered to you through travel and you see it as an opportunity to develop into a more educated and well-rounded person. The less comfortable you are in your surroundings, the more you’re forcing yourself to grow, expand and change—and personal growth is something you just can’t never get enough of.
Your travel mantra: “A ship in harbor is safe, but that is not what ships are built for.” –John A. Shedd
INTJ: You’re a student of the world and of the universe.
You travel not just to relax and enjoy yourself (though you aren’t opposed to the occasional vacation where that’s the case) but to learn and understand more about the world. You often travel in order to meet up with gurus or mentors who can teach you more about the field that you’re interested in (the field, of course, being life). You’re on a constant quest for wisdom and growth, and if there’s a specific physical location (or a person in a specific physical location) that can offer you that in abundance, you have no objection to packing up your bags and boarding a flight.
Your travel mantra: “All journeys have secret destinations of which the traveler is unaware.” –Martin Buber
ESFP: You’re an open-minded, adventurous traveler.
When you head out exploring, you’re heading out in search of true, unadulterated adventure. You want to see as much of the world as you possibly can, in as authentic a fashion as you possibly can. You have no intention of rotting away inside your comfort zone and growing old harboring regrets. You keep your mind open to every new opportunity that presents itself to you on the road. The more you push yourself to experience new things, the more you’ll learn about yourself and the world that surrounds you—and no amount of reading or speculating can stand in for that real-world education.
Your travel mantra: “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” –Mark Twain
ISFP: You’re a sensual traveler.
No, not like that. You’re a sensual traveler in that you use travel as a means of reawakening your senses. You have a tendency to get lost inside your mind throughout your day-to-day life, but when you’re out exploring nature or even just framing a photograph of a particularly beautiful landmark, you feel viscerally awakened and invigorated. Travel helps you to reconnect with the world that surrounds you and remember your unique place within it. It’s a palate cleanser for the body, the mind and the soul.
Your travel mantra: “Wandering re-establishes the original harmony which once existed between man and the universe.” –Anatole France
ESFJ: You’re a cultural explorer.
You hold the customs, traditions and values of your own country incredibly close to your heart, and you’re thrilled by the opportunity to share in the customs, traditions and values of other nations. You’re a curious and highly respectful traveler, who likes to take in as much as you can from the local people when you go abroad. You’re fascinated by learning what makes different societies tick, and you believe that understanding that starts with understanding the people who make each society up.
Your travel mantra: “If you reject the food, ignore the customs, fear the religion and avoid the people, you might better stay at home.” –James Michener
ISFJ: You’re a sentimental traveler.
You enjoy traveling, but not quite as much as you enjoy having traveled. You love the lessons that travel teaches you about the world around you—about the history that makes up different nations, the people who populate them presently and the various customs and practices that differ so radically from your own. Travel enriches your worldview and forces you to think about things in an entirely different way. You always have a new thought to chew on once you arrive back home. You enjoy reflecting on those thoughts almost more than you enjoy going on the trips themselves.
Your travel mantra: “Once you have traveled, the voyage never ends, but is played out over and over again in the quietest chambers. The mind can never break off from the journey.” –Pat Conroy
ESTP: You’re a flexible and adaptable traveler.
When you travel, you want to leave no rock unturned and every previously uncharted course discovered. You seek to take in the world around you in as raw and genuine a fashion as possible—every experience, regardless of how risky or unconventional, teaches you something and provides you with a new opportunity. And you’re not one to pass up new opportunities. When you travel, you keep your plans and your options wide open. After all, you can never truly plan the kind of adventures you’re interested in having.
Your travel mantra: “Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.” –Helen Keller
ISTP: You’re a clarity-seeking traveler.
You’re never entirely sure what to expect from an experience, a group of people or a physical location until you get there and take it all in firsthand. To you, travel serves as a great and almighty clarifier—it helps you understand how the world outside of your comfort zone compares to the life you’re accustomed to living. And you thoroughly enjoy the process of comparing the two. Every new place that you set foot in helps you gain a less biased and more realistic worldview—and hey, if you can throw some adventure into the mix while you’re at it, all the better!
Your travel mantra: “To travel is to discover that everyone is wrong about other countries.” –Aldous Huxley
ESTJ: You’re an intellectual traveler.
You travel not just to enjoy the world that surrounds you but to understand it on a deeper level. The more you learn about other cultures, customs and ways of life, the more you understand about your own and why the nation you were born into functions the way it does. You travel not just to have new experiences but to broaden your worldview and to bring new schools of thought to your awareness. The more you learn about how the rest of the world functions, the more effectively you’re able to structure your own.
Your travel mantra: “We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time.” –T.S. Eliot
ISTJ: You’re an absorptive traveler.
You travel not just to enjoy the experience but to soak in as much information as you can about the history, culture and background of the sites that you visit. You seek out educated guides or locals who can help you get a sense of what you’re experiencing. You want to walk away from each trip you take with a new knowledge base. You’d much rather learn and grow through traveling than waste your time binge drinking and forgetting everything you’ve seen.
Your travel mantra: “The World is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page.” –Saint Augustine
Heidi Priebe is a personality psychology writer who focuses primarily on the Jung-Myers model of psychological type. She is the author of five books, including The Comprehensive ENFP Survival Guide and How You’ll Do Everything Based On Your Personality Type. Follow her on Facebook here or argue with her on Twitter here.