Are you a tourist or a traveler? According to The Merriam-Webster dictionary, they are almost identical. A tourist is defined as one who goes on a tour for pleasure or culture as for a traveler, it is someone who goes on on trip or journey. To be honest, there is not much difference between these two.
However, in the pompous world of travel, a big intimidating line has been drawn between these two similar terms. Being called a tourist is more condescending than being called a traveler. The tourist has been distinguished as a kind of amateur traveler, and the traveler has been determined to be rather an experienced tourist. Let’s see if we can clarify things a bit.
One must be a child before being an adult; likewise, one must be a tourist before being a traveler. An adult traveler knows what it is to be a tourist and actively avoids most (if not all) “tourist activities. Sightseeing activities consist of planning a small week-long outing weeks in advance and visiting all the famous sights. It involves staying in a good hotel, eating in fancy restaurants, taking pictures of yourself so that you feel like you are holding the leaning tower of Pisa… just to show your friends that you are home.
The traveler avoids these overcrowded activities and looks for the least crowded way to appreciate the true culture of the destination. Believe me, you want to be a traveler if you want to be respected both by the locals and by other travelers. Are you confused? Don’t worry! Here are some tips that will help you:
Explore the hidden places
A tourist is most likely to see the landmarks or famous monuments of a place. But, as a traveler, you should explore hidden gems in a city or country. These can range from quaint little cafes to the forests of the countryside. To do so, get in touch with like-minded people to learn more about your destination. You can even do a Google search to do a little research while booking cheap flights, for example. In addition, you can contact travel agents or guides who have expertise in this area. They will be able to take you to places that are not very popular with tourists.
Immerse yourself in the local culture
When you go to a new place, the best way to discover it is to be part of the local population. You can start by dressing like them and enjoying their local delicacies instead of eating off the food chain. You can also visit the place when there is a carnival or festival. This will really enlighten you about the area. This is why it is essential to do some research before you start your trip. Check out blogs and various travel sites to determine the best time to get to a place.
Make new friends
Don’t miss the opportunity to make new friends when you travel. You never know how that person might finally bring a new perspective to your life. Mingle more with your fellow travelers and locals to connect with people from a completely different background. One way to make new friends would be through food and music. Ask them about this and share a meal with them. That way, when you go home, you will have many good memories. Who knows, your next trip might even be with someone you met on your last trip?
Now that you know how to be a traveler instead of a tourist, start planning your next vacation. Keep these points in mind during your trip, and you’ll leave with an invaluable experience.