You guys know that I’m all over social media. I’m in a gang of FaceBook Groups, chatting away and giving my opinion on everything from the tragedy of “transracial” to giving tips to maximize the expat life and traveling. Along the way, there’s one sentiment that keeps coming up, “tourist vs. traveler”.
I’ve read the comments and wayward verbiage on a few sites from all demographics. At the end of each post or passage, I’m always left with WTF.
The comments within these groups always lead to a breakdown as to who a “true traveler is” and what a “true traveler does”.
According to the take aways from the nonsensical ramblings:
- an in-depth wanderer who connects with the culture and people.
- a person who stomps off the beaten path and snubs luxury for backpacks and mosquitoes
- seeks “authenticity” by talking to the people within the core of the towns and villages
- a person who delves into the infinite works of the locale by extending their stay for weeks
- a lofty, carefree person who tips into the tourist areas and engage in organized tours
- a commercial chain restaurant eating human who skips street food for Cheesecake Factory
- those who wear Bermuda shorts, sun hats, fashion sunnies, and Fanny Packs.
- an experience that includes the Fairmont Hotel and luxury digs
When a person, family, or group makes the decision to venture out beyond their front porch, what they’re looking for are time away and new experiences. These experiences could include a stress free preplanned tour by a travel agency or hotel’s concierge or unplanned experiences that are guided by the wind. I find that telling someone how they should spend their free time and their money is a bunch of ridiculous poo. Telling me how I am supposed to experience a new city is the same as instructing me how to wear lace panties. Don’t do it. People will travel how they like and what makes them feel swell. Perhaps delving into the back allies and the unknowns gets your goat and excites that warm tingling feeling; if so, do that. Pushing the bounds of adventure and cultural experiences aren’t for everyone. However, it does bring insight for those who seek it.
My travels are mixed with a bit of the “traveler” and “tourist” experiences. I love jumping upon a Big Bus Tour, then wandering into the areas of my choice. Not only do I talk without arranged tour guides but I chat with people throughout the city. My experience are guided by me not some high strung keyboard pecker in the corner of a dodgy hostel.
Seeing the world is a good thing. It’s quite amazing for me.
But.. um, can you all please…
Stop Telling Me How to Travel!