On the Internet, I occasionally stumbled upon other travel blogs and I always hope for some inspiration, that would show me some new place I do not know about, which looks so beautiful that I have to write it down to my list of places i wanna visit. By the way, this list is becoming longer and longer.
I found an article titled "How not to be a tourist" or another site had a post "Being a traveler is better". I immediately began to think about when exactly we stop being tourists and become travelers and why does it even matter?. The meaning of the words will be somewhat different, but at the end it's just two people, who have the same passion and that is travel.
I am against some sort of human stickers. Why do we necessarily have to belong to some group, and even worse, why do we have to scream it to the world out there - to show that we are better than others?
"Hello, I'm a doctor, vegan Claire ... a traveler not a tourist!"
But as the question was placed, this is my definition:
Tourist is a person who spends most of the time around sights, take tons of pictures and then returns to a hotel. It was either for a very short euro holiday or such vacation, for which he had to save some time. The holiday usually takes place on spot or in one city.
Traveler, I think, is someone who goes to another country for longer period of time and does not have a set goal. He is mainly interested in the country as such - culture, people, not much into the relaxing part. Probably does not get really warm one one spot before moving else where, because he travels between towns, mountains or even countries. He might even sleep in camps, in a car or underneath the stars. He sometimes even work there.
Based on this label, however, me and MAthew we would not fit exactly in one group. We'll go see the sights, but we do not have to go inside. Most of our holidays or trips are mainly in the nature, even for an extended weekend, and we often go from place to place. The fact that makes us more tourists than travelers is, that we have to take days off from work and for a limited time.
It does not matter to us though, call us however you want we will still travel. This time for a weekend next time for a week and who knows we might even move to Maldives soon. (Secret dream of mine)
Everyone is different and that's great! so let's get each other a break and live our own lives fully without criticizing the others. I might be envious of the fact that you simply packed up your backpack and took off to help and organization somewhere in Asia, on the other hand I know i probably would not be able to do such thing, this is not me and at the end there is nothing to envy.
It is beautiful to be able to travel, no matter the length or distance, because each time we are able to how see than also learn something new.