Tourist vs Traveler

Surely you know the old difference between a seasoned traveler and a tourist? The former is more interested in understanding a kind of life natives people lead and immerse himself in that particular context he is aiming to be a part of, it is getting more into the local people’s head and seeing the world through their lives as you carry water on your back and do not mind the discomfort. It is interacting on a very personal level, bringing your perspective into the mix, solving the ever intriguing riddles that have long hanged about at the back of your mind, rarely answered by the travelers you have had the pleasure of listening to as they had their own perspective and they moved about in places you have failed yet to see. The construct the people have about the world cannot be easily seen at first, to truly understand another person’s view and their view of the world as shaped by the place they were born in is going to take some time. That experience can never be deep enough if you are simply going through a place like you did a thousandth time before.

Which Category Are You?

A tourist looks and admires but wants to be comfortable in their cosy hotel room. Any difficulty takes away the pleasure of visiting the place, no matter how beautiful it is. The grander the monument the better the vision, but what really does not matter is the people and the country. A tourist listens to the guide but soon forgets and does not really see the purpose of grasping the whole context. Many people actually do so, which is why the tour leader is always at hand, but what they want is to be fascinated by the world they are seeing, too many facts would kill the joy, which is why the personality here plays a greater part than bare facts unless you come across a real history buff who is going to demand things from you at any price.

Perhaps dividing people into categories misses the point, typically, a very specific type of people become true traveler, those with the spirit, love of journeying, and eager to get to know the people. Many kids claim they like meeting people, that explains why Facebook friends are so popular, but in the end it boils down to knowing someone’s avatar, not even a face, and little else. Same with tourists, they have been places, OK, ticked them off fine, but have little to say overall. Then again the joy of being so far and in a place worth seeing makes it up for them, as they are not to blame for anything unless producing waste is one of those problems few people usually raise as an issue.