Credit to http://deptoflindsey.com/2012/04/10/an-introverted-retort/ for the above graphic.
A few basic parameters need to be set.
First, business travel is NOT glamorous, fun, exciting, a vacation, full of drunken debauchery, cool, etc. If you think it is, then you obviously don't travel on business very often. It is the equivalent of being at work 24/7.
Second, introversion does not equal shyness. If you think it does, then you are a moron. Sorry.
The above noted, I find that being a traveling introvert is particularly difficult some times. Here are a few reasons why.
External Stimuli - There is a ton of external stimuli to process. While I like a change of scenery every once in a while, being in a new town means that I have to re-orient myself to my surroundings. That takes time away from other things. It also means that I need to have my guard up even more than usual. So much energy is expended on stuff like this.
Being "on" - When I travel,it is, sadly, not with the primary purpose of sitting all by myself somewhere working. Nope. Rather, I always end up having to extrovert to some extent. It might be because I am teaching a class, running a meeting (or series of meetings), participating in meetings, or attending a class. I have to interact with people I don't know. I am forced to engage in that which I hate the most: small talk. Regardless, it always requires me to act extroverted for extended periods of time. Another thing that sucks the life force out of me.
Many Choices - Traveling requires almost constant choices. Where do I turn? What do I eat? How will I manage my time back at the hotel? Making choices isn't an introverted trait, I know, but for me all these choices require thought and analysis. They require me to sometimes make spot decisions. My preference is to be able to think about what I want to do; while I can make spot choices, I'd prefer to have a routine in place whereby the choices can be made ahead of time. Travel = no routine. No routine = more stressful.
Away from people I care about - I don't have a ton of close friends. Guess what? This is okay. I'm not coming to Boston, for example, to make new friends...I have come here to work and learn new "stuff". While I am okay not necessarily making new friends, that doesn't mean that I treasure being absolutely alone in a hotel room either. In fact, it is rather disconcerting at times. I miss the regular routine that I enjoy with Ms Rivers. Sometimes being away get's egregiously bad, such as last night when my youngest daughter had to go to the ER for some pain she was experiencing. Yes, she ended up okay, but it was downright painful for me to be here, 300 miles away from her, feeling helpless. Now I'm not claiming that introverts love their children more than extroverts, but I am going to claim that when the circle of people in your life is smaller, those that are in the circle tend to mean a lot to you.
Bottom line? Yes, I am blessed in that I have a job whereby I get to travel, but business traveling isn't all sunshine, smiles and rainbows.