How can one consider himself a traveler/tourist? What are their differences? What is the very essence of travelling and what makes it worthwhile?
Travelers and tourists are the two words that have been commonly misused and confused by people in the travel world because of their puzzling similarity in terms of their respective meanings. Despite of their many similarities, there is still a handful of differences that can be sited if one were just to really ponder deeply.
First, travelers may travel light but they usually return to their original destination with a hundred times more baggage. As opposed to travelers, tourists carry a whole lot but return to their destinations with a purse because of airline baggage constraints.
Second, while a tourist’s journey would last for a 7-day search for the mummies in Egypt, a traveler’s journey would have lasted a lifetime. He sees each trip to a place as an opportunity for travelling that even if one were just to go to the corner, he would get a vacation-like experience out of it.
Third, a tourist’s goal in going to places is so he could cross off an item in his bucket list while a traveler would go somewhere to be somewhere.
The fourth item has to do with the element of surprise and bewilderment. Tourists don’t go to places to see the through what has been written in the travel books. They want to be entertained by this but they don’t really go for the feeling of surprise a traveler looks for and gets after discovering a hidden or undiscovered waterfall, for example.
Fifth point is that tourists stick to their original culture or religion and hold them up in front of everybody. Travelers would most likely adjust to the culture or religion of the places they visit and try to belong to the crowd. They are open-minded and are most likely happier if they were to experience something new in their life when it comes to notions of life and lifestyle.
The next (6th) point pertains to the unfortunate events that happen in the travels of both the tourist and traveler. A traveler would learn from mistakes and sees the event of something going wrong as a learning opportunity that will provide for a more meaningful journey while a tourist would sue and put the blame on other people.
Seventh point is that tourists go on travels following and always sticking to their travel guides and always following someone else’s recommendations while travelers prefer to have a much more thrilling escapade. They’d rather be lost and have something surprising behind their tails than to see the world in someone else’s eyes.
The last point is that while tourists go for travels for the sake of showing that Hawaiian Tattoo behind their neck to their workmates, travelers would travel for the sole sake of traveling. They often never want to leave their destination even if there are a lot of tattoos or souvenirs in store for them and they never get tired of travelling.
Somewhere along the eight sited differences of a traveler and a tourist, one will see the very beauty of travelling. That is, you live in that magical moment of seeing something rarely beautiful without having preconceptions about whichever thing that may be and being faced with a lot of surprising challenges along the way. Truly, unfortunate events can make one think that his travel has gone to ashes, but in the eyes of a true traveler, it just makes the journey more interesting. And even if the places a traveler goes to are all but the same, it would be all be different as long as he keeps up a new mindset each time. That is because mindset is what makes a traveler a traveler and a tourist as, well, just a tourist.