Tourist vs Traveler

The traveler sees what he sees, the tourist sees what he has come to see

Traveler-see-what-he-seesTourist and traveler are interchangeable for most people but these words have very different implications.

Tourists, for example, are very easy to spot, even if you aren’t a local. They usually have a guidebook, map and camera and are usually dressed in attire that they think is appropriate as opposed to what the culture dictates. E.g. an American in tight little shorts and a tank top in Mombasa because it’s hot, forgetting that the place is mostly populated by Muslims who takes offense at seeing anything other than a woman’s hands and eyes.

Tourists also tend to stay in certain places and wouldn’t venture off the beaten path. They often only visit popular tourist destinations and key landmarks, have their picture taken and that’s about it.

Travelers prefer to immerse themselves in the prevailing culture. They prefer to explore places where the locals go. They do not consider their travels vacations where they get to sit by a beach all day drinking fruity alcoholic drinks but rather a chance to experience something different.

It’s quite alright to be a tourist, feel free to document every single thing with your camera and stick with your tourist friends if that’s what you would rather do but you have no idea just how much you are actually missing out.

tourist-vs-traveler-duck-china

You don’t have to ditch the hotel for a hostel, but you should make an effort to learn a little. Your guidebook should not be your planner, ask some locals where the best places to go are. Take a walk in the immediate vicinity of your hotel, you may discover something awesome. Forget the chartered bus, find your way there yourself through public transport.

Travelers will most likely immerse themselves with the locals and try to blend in as soon as possible.

Go down to a popular restaurant or nightspot and ask questions about how to spend a day there and what to do, where not to go, what to eat, their culture etc. I know, I know, that the Eiffel tower is packed with tourists, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t see it too.

Tourists usually spends 3~4 days in one area to tick off their checklist and buy everything before they have to go back home.

A traveler usually travels at his own pace and has set aside at least two months or even a year to explore what he can.

For a tourist, taking a picture in front of a building in some foreign country is enough of an adventure, but the traveler wants to learn. There is no need to see a site, though a vague list of things he should do exists in his head. The traveler is more concerned about the journey than the actual destination. Moments of interaction and spontaneity are what make the traveler satisfied. For example chatting with the taxi driver may be more memorable than watching the sunset over the Taj Mahal.

shopping-like-a-tourist-vs-traveler

The traveler is a sponge ready to soak up what he may, accepting the different and imperfect as he does the incredible.

If you have no time, but loads of money to spend, by all means be a tourist and vacation the world over, but if you want to learn something and have some great stories to tell while you are at it, travel, you won’t regret it.

If there’s one thing we learnt throughout all our travels at our Singapore Travel Blog, is that landmarks look exactly the same as they do on Google, nothing is different, nothing has changed. If you are just there to see the landmarks before going home, you probably can do the same on Google and save yourself on all your hotel and airfare. But sitting in a public train and watching the locals speak, act and behave, that taught us more about a country than any book ever could.

I’m not saying you shouldn’t visit landmarks on a whole nor that you shouldn’t have a plan. Cause when it comes down to it, the main difference between a traveler and a tourist is that a tourist sticks to his plan and a traveler doesn’t mind deviating from it. I can’t tell you how many times have we tried to get from one place to another on our own only to get lost and stumble across the most beautiful places that are unknown to most people around the globe. Even if you are to visit popular tourist landmarks, spend more time than just taking pictures and rushing back to your chartered bus. Learn about the history of the place, take a moment or two to just absorb everything in, the sight, the sound, the smell and realize how it really is a whole new world out there.

 

75 Comments

  1. cbd oil that works 2020
    June 27, 2020
  2. cbd oil that works 2020
    June 29, 2020
  3. Auditing Firms Near Me
    July 3, 2020
  4. Online Pharmacy
    July 5, 2020
  5. Investments
    July 8, 2020
  6. Web Design Company
    July 10, 2020
  7. Holiday Resort Weather
    July 11, 2020
  8. john crestani
    July 11, 2020
  9. SEO plan pro
    July 12, 2020
  10. indian visa application
    July 13, 2020
  11. cbd online
    July 15, 2020
  12. ndoherty.com
    July 15, 2020
  13. Website Marketing
    July 16, 2020
  14. UX Design Agency
    July 17, 2020
  15. knee pain
    July 17, 2020
  16. cbd online
    July 18, 2020
  17. best web hosting company
    July 18, 2020
  18. Jessie Degolier
    July 18, 2020
  19. Digital Marketing
    July 19, 2020
  20. Continue on
    July 19, 2020
  21. push-up jeans
    July 19, 2020
  22. home cleaning
    July 19, 2020
  23. go x
    July 20, 2020
  24. Reverse Phone Lookup
    July 20, 2020
  25. Continue on
    July 21, 2020
  26. Blogger Task
    July 22, 2020
  27. heyfolio
    July 23, 2020
  28. Umut Alpaslan
    July 23, 2020
  29. Scopiers
    July 23, 2020
  30. real estate ads
    July 23, 2020
  31. Buy Kratom
    July 23, 2020
  32. Jacques Wiebusch
    July 25, 2020
  33. porn video
    July 25, 2020
  34. Tribe Of Dads
    July 25, 2020
  35. LA Weekly
    July 25, 2020
  36. Server Pro North
    July 26, 2020
  37. Trevor Tynes
    July 26, 2020
  38. best web hosting
    July 26, 2020
  39. Best CBD oil for dogs
    July 27, 2020
  40. website host
    July 27, 2020
  41. Reverse Phone Lookup
    July 27, 2020
  42. natlawreview.com
    July 27, 2020
  43. Shore Ditch
    July 28, 2020
  44. Scam Reviews
    July 28, 2020
  45. Tic Tac
    July 29, 2020
  46. airline flights
    July 29, 2020
  47. Appliance Repair
    July 30, 2020
  48. Love Vibes
    July 30, 2020
  49. ecigstoreuk
    July 30, 2020
  50. Stella Immanuel
    July 31, 2020
  51. cheap flights 2021
    July 31, 2020
  52. paul klann vancouver
    July 31, 2020
  53. Aastro Roofing
    August 1, 2020
  54. Ben marks Mackay
    August 2, 2020
  55. Create Online Courses
    August 2, 2020
  56. handyman contractors
    August 2, 2020
  57. sim so dep
    August 2, 2020
  58. Agen Poker Indonesia
    August 3, 2020
  59. 1800 Granola
    August 4, 2020
  60. נערות ליווי
    August 5, 2020
  61. Situs Judi Terpercaya
    August 6, 2020
  62. web hosting companies
    August 7, 2020
  63. Steve Eriquez
    August 7, 2020
  64. Greek SEO
    August 7, 2020
  65. hosting services
    August 8, 2020
  66. marketinginfo.hu
    August 8, 2020
  67. website host
    August 9, 2020
  68. fotopharmacy
    August 9, 2020
  69. active
    August 10, 2020

Give a Comment

Get more Travel Stories like this
in your inbox

Subscribe to our mailing list and get to know firsthand about other interesting travel articles and tips in your email inbox.