Different people like different kinds of vacation. Some choose just to go to one city and stay for a week, maybe some go on a road trip for a couple of weeks and others might choose a month in some Asian countries, exploring cultures and traditions more. Even with so many different forms of vacation most of us still choose to call it ‘travelling’ and, believe me, most people would love to call themselves travellers instead of tourists.
I would like to give you my own definition of the difference between the traveller and the tourist. Neither of them is better, just a bit different in their goals. Both of them are on a journey but with slightly different expectations, experiences and ideas about their travel.
If a person is a tourist they will usually go on holidays to visit the most popular places around the world, they will probably have an itinerary and won’t have time to go deeper into exploring the culture. Their focus is more on visiting the touristic sites (and most of the time they are very impressive and worth the visit!), their journey is quite well planned and they have concrete goals to achieve and things to see.
The traveller will be a person who probably won’t be upset if their plan won’t go quite right, who will be okay sleeping on the beach and who maybe will join locals to hang out for the night instead of taking a picture of the night lights. Maybe they will choose not so touristic destinations, they will take longer trips where they can have some experiences, will have time to explore and discover, to touch the culture, spend time with locals, they will have time to wander around and have coffee with no rush or agenda.
… Different Lives…
Just as we are all individuals and want different vacations, we also all want different lives. Some travellers are, let’s say, long-term travellers. They are the ones who keep changing places, looking for adventures. Yes they choose to see the world by their own eyes, they improve, they train skills, meet new people, learn about other cultures, hear different opinions, maybe they fall in love. It sounds impressive and amazing, doesn’t it? They often talk about leaving to the next and then yet another adventure, but what about coming home? What about staying and settling down?
As a person I do appreciate a lot that I have had the chance to travel, to see wonderful places and I hope that I will be able to do it in the future too. It teaches me, helps me to understand more about the people in different countries, it gives me a chance to face different realities that not always are nice and positive. During my travels I learnt more about politics, history, economy, debates, languages and cultures than during my school years. I have had the chance to ask direct questions, to learn new languages, gain new skills, teach others, share opinions and, to be honest, to run away from mundane daily problems. I dare to dream and to share dreams, I am not afraid to be lost, to struggle, to show that I don’t know so many things, don’t feel pressured to conform to some others expectations.
Sometimes when these travellers go home they feel the need to share their new experiences and adventures with those around them, for some time they fell friends and family. Some are curious about it, they might say that they just like to go on two weeks holidays, some maybe would say they would like to have a chance to do the same, some will just would be happy to see how excited the travellers are. Then though… after a couple of days or weeks they come back with many questions that the travellers might not enjoy so much.
… Tricky Questions…
I am talking about questions such as “Do you have a job yet?” or maybe “What is your plan for now?” Of course they also ask if you are dating. “Is it possible to date if you are travelling so much?”
Sometimes being asked all of this stuff can bring another question to your mind – What am I doing here? I need to go somewhere! Maybe the only reason is just to run away, but just maybe it is just the way that some of us are.
I should admit that sometimes I get upset while I am back home year after year and see how people are living in the same place, doing exactly the same and still having the same conversations and complaints. Sometimes I just want to scream out – Do something to change it! Just act!
Some people ask something else that can make me upset: “What is the point of all that travel if you don’t have anything?”. True, I don’t have a brand new car, nice house, well paid job, new season clothes and so on, but I do have many things. I have skills, I know many different people, I know what is going on in the world and have many different experiences, and I am still learning new things and improving, developing as a person.
Some of the question askers will say that if you don’t settle, don’t have any problems, are not responsible for anything, then you have a comfortable and easy life.
… & Easy Answers
Well, let’s be clear, some of us are introverts and not so good at social life. I am one of them. New people, new languages, new jobs, new friends, these are not so easy. Yes, even making new friends, when at the moment of meeting them you know that soon you will need to say goodbye. Finding the way sometimes how to survive and to show that you can be useful, that you have knowledge, to prove it every time to new people. There are challenges, many disappointments, and many expectations that are wrong, and probably even more challenging is to change your mind-set that it is formed even from childhood.
Yes, we all like to post our greatest moments on social media, not the moments when we struggle, when we are weak or are sad. We keep those moments for ourselves while trying to find the way to deal and overcome them.
I love to travel, I wish that everyone could find time even for some small day or weekend trips around their own land, to explore, discover, enjoy, to breathe in, and maybe to be tolerant to any and all kinds of traveller!
P.S. Most of the time there is a positive and negative side to everything, don’t forget it!