Do you know about tourist vs. traveler?
Traveler: one who travels, one that goes on a trIp or journey.
TourIst: one that makes a tour for pleasure or culture
-Merriam- Webster Dictionary
Are you a tourist or a traveler? Both words seem pretty similar in the dictionary, but I know many people have a negative reaction when they hear the word “tourist.”
Tourists are noisy, disrespectful, and stand out in a crowd with their selfie sticks and flip-flops. They congregate behind tour guide flags at the most famous sites speaking loudly in their native language. Travelers, on the other hand, are enlightened tourists. They blend in with the locals, eat the local food, and only see things you won’t find in your guidebook. Now, are these definitions fair?
Not all tourists or travelers fit these descriptions, and many people fall somewhere in between. For me, there are only two main things that separate a traveler from a tourist. It’s not about what you wear, or what you pack, or even really what you do. It comes down to time and attitude. On your first journey, you may start as a tourist, but over time and with travel experience, you will find yourself straying away from the “tourist” attractions and making your path.
I think that time is a massive factor between tourist vs. traveler. Because tourists often have a short time frame, there’s a rush to see and do everything before the vacation is over. A traveler has the chance to linger in each place, which often leads to opportunities for a deeper travel experience.
If you have a limited amount of time, try to split your vacation between sightseeing and connecting with local culture to enhance your knowledge of the place and people.
Why are you traveling? The reason for travel is a defining characteristic of a tourist vs. traveler. Are you just trying to see the greatest things a city has to offer and report back to your friends and family? Or are you trying to soak in a different culture and environment?
We all have bucket lists that we want to check off, but we shouldn’t just go to a place so we can take some pictures and say, “I’ve been there.” We should try to take away more from our travels than just the places we saw but also what we felt and learned about ourselves and the world around us.
Tourist vs. Traveler
I like to call myself a traveler, but I undoubtedly started my travels as a tourist. And other times, I get tired of traveling and want to speak English and trade stories of my travels simply. If you feel that you are too much of a tourist, social travel apps like Urbansurf let you meet up with locals and like-minded travelers for small group activities.
With Urbansurf, you can get the chance to see another side of a city with a local and share your experiences with others. Or there is another option: Superman!
Urbansurf is a mobile social network bringing people sharing the same interests, hobbies, passion together in various activities and makes you social. You can download the application on Apple Store or Google Play.