What is the difference between being a traveler and being a tourist?
For the tourist 'place' is the subject; for the traveler 'experience'.
Travelers want to know and respect the area and the people. Tourist just care if people speak their language and are accommodating to them.
A tourist is there to see the sights, go to museums, enjoy the food and night life. But they consider the place just temporary.
A traveler is there to sit in restaurants, take the time to discover off-the-beaten track places, live a little on the edge, and hope to get to know the people.
Neither is better than the other. After all, a tourist still takes back a piece of the place with them. It will come out in unexpected ways and they may become a traveler on their next trip.
I've been both, but prefer to be a traveler when possible.
I've noticed I've been both myself...
When I was the 'Tourist', I seemed to follow an agenda. I had things I wanted to see and do. I had a map, a guidebook, a plan... Ideas.
When I was the 'Traveler', I wandered. I followed no schedule or itinerary. I let myself follow any direction and see where it ended. Talk to strangers and learn about the locality.
Tourists are people traveling for pleasure. Travelers are people going from one destination to another . . . and possibly for unpleasant but necessary reasons. Refugees are travelers. Hawaii hotel guests are tourists - with the rare exception. I traveled to my grandmother's funeral in Schenectedy and I toured the Riverwalk in San Antonio.
Thank you for the question. For me,being a traveler and not a tourist is basically this, get away from where all the other tourists are going and see the places the locals go. Blend in and experience the real destination. What do you think it means for you?
a traveller explores, a tourist follows with camera hanging from bag, and waits for the crowd, follows an agenda and seldom goes off the beaten track. The traveller seldom goes where the crowd and always wanders of the beaten track
The wonder of being a tourist or a traveler is you can change from which you are at any time. I think of a tourist as someone who has money to spend on vacation; whereas a traveler does so because they have too. Work and family sometimes require travel and then there are those of us who have to travel because it's in our blood. As dearly as I love family and home, I must travel, or my soul withers. Since, I was small I remember watching airplanes take off and land from San Francisco and Oakland airports wishing I could just attach myself and go where ever they were off to. A tourist has the option of being silly and taking pictures, a traveler sometimes gets so involved in the culture and location they forget to take pictures. There is a time and place for both
I think for Westerners who have the luxury of experiencing the concept of 'travel' or even 'tourism' - we like to think that 'travelers' see more of the 'realness' of a place and care more about understanding the culture of the people. They think that by somehow getting beneath the 'touristy' facade of a location and getting to know the 'real' Vietnam, or the 'real Bolivia' - they have escaped the notion of being a 'tourist'.
Tourists on the other hand just take happy snaps, only want to see the sights and are not too interested in the real lives or experiences of the locals.
Travel however is something that is not available to billions of people in the world - for them, any traveling might be to visit family or flee violence/poverty/war.
What a thought provoking question and designation of viewpoints!
I truly commend you.
The " tourist" will be going home.
The " traveler" will still be seeking home.
I have some experience........I am married to the traveling man.
I travel from home to office and office to home daily, so i am a traveler.
But on weekends go out of the city for travelling, but now i am not a traveler, Right now i am Tourist..
As an avid traveler, I am intrigued by the general perception about these two terms. I descibe myself as a traveler as I travel for pleasure as well as business. Merriam-Webster describes traveler as one that goes on a trip or journey and tourist as one that makes a tour for pleasure or culture. If traveling for pleasure makes you a tourist, why the negative connotation?
A traveler can go through time traveler to mind travel in book, a tourist is usually a stranger to land and can point but not aid the resident living there.
By any definition of the word, a "tourist" is a traveler because they have to travel to get to the tourist hot-spots that they prefer. From places made famous by famous books like "Anne of Green Gables" in Prince Edward Island, to the various places made famous by different episodes of "Seinfeld" in New York City, people have to travel to get to the place(s) that they want to tour.
Whereas, a "traveler" doesn't need to tour where they go, where they've been or anywhere in between. All that a traveler is concerned with is getting from point A to point B (and sometimes back again).
Or, another way to look at it is;
A traveler is a person who goes from point A to point B.
A tourist is a traveler who usually has a camera around their neck while going from point A to point B, but stays at point B a lot longer and visits the popular sites that point B is known for..
A tourist tends to hit the hot spots or tourist attractions while a traveler will go the unbeaten path to see the landscape from the local's point of view.
Travelers tend to stop and talk to people, meet friends they stay in touch with and get more from their experience.
Tourists are in more of a hurry wanting to see all the popular sites in a short period of time. Travelers sit and enjoy the sunset, bask in the colors and absorb the scents.
Rick Steves is a traveler.
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