Travel lovers will know what I am talking about here. Often, people put travellers and tourists in the same lot, thinking that since they both travel, they should be in the same category. Big mistake. Having experienced what it’s like to travel and what it’s like to vacation, I can say that they are two completely different things. For those of you who wonder what the differences are, I prepared a little list. Hopefully, it will clarify and make you want to be in the traveller category. As for the ones who already know a lot on this subject, enjoy the read and don’t hesitate to share your thoughts in the comment box.
1- A traveller is adventurous while a tourist is safe
A traveller is hungry for more adventures and a taste of the unknown. He is ready to go to another country without booking any hotels and just see how it goes once he gets there. It is this feeling he gets when he doesn’t know where he is going. He just enjoys the ride and waits to see where he will end up. A tourist likes to play it safe. Before even booking the plane tickets he checked all the potential hotels he could be staying in. He wants to have everything figured out before taking the jump. Actually, it’s not even a jump. He dips his feet next to the water. Unlike the traveller, he doesn’t like big surprises and getting lost is the last thing on his list.
2- A traveller cares about the journey while a tourist cares about the destination
The traveller is all about the journey. The obstacles he encounters before getting there, the people he meets along the way (at the airport or even on the plane). He enjoys the little things that come along the way to make the ride memorable. The tourist, on the other hand focuses on the destination. No time to wander, the hotel is paid, the spa is booked, so might as well get there and do them.
3- The traveller doesn’t have a home while a tourist does
What I mean by this is not that a traveller necessarily needs to be a nomad. I simply mean that a traveller leaves his heart wherever he goes. He seeks a connection with people, food and even the essence of the city itself and leaves a piece of his heart wherever he goes. The tourist left his heart home so he can be sure to find it when he comes back. The traveller leaves whole-heartedly, with open arms. No fear of loving strangers, no fear of not wanting to leave this new city. He just embraces all the emotions at once.
4- A traveller wanders more. A tourist doesn’t have enough time
The traveller gets lost because he knows it’s the only way to find. The tourist is safe. He came here for 4 days and wants to enjoy the hotel so he swim in the pool or enjoy the free drinks. The traveller enjoys the detours. He enters the little street next to the coffee shop, he stops to try street food, he simply wanders.
5- The tourist sees what he came to see, the traveller sees what he sees
The traveller lets nature surprise him. He doesn’t have a list of what he came to see. Yes it happens but most of the time it is about discovering and be mind blown. The tourist sees what he came to see and is satisfied. The traveller knows that most of the time, the most amazing things are not the ones they show on the internet or in history books.
6- The traveller likes long rides, the tourist makes it short
The traveler is not afraid of going away for a long time. In fact he knows that it will make him appreciate it more. He leaves space for 4 or 5 unexpected countries or cities on his calendar. The tourist doesn’t like to be away from home for too long, it gets him too nervous. He’d rather see the shore from the boat.
At the end of the day, there is nothing wrong with going on a vacation but I know for certain that those who are always tourists miss an incredible part of what it is like to really travel.
A travel lover