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Old 07-31-2014, 10:59 AM
 
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Probably someone who doesn't need to define himself as such.
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Old 07-31-2014, 11:28 AM
 
Location: Gorgeous Scotland
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeCollege View Post
Probably someone who doesn't need to define himself as such.
Oh well, everybody is entitled to their opinion.
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Old 07-31-2014, 11:45 AM
 
Location: Sunrise
10,868 posts, read 14,280,311 times
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"The traveler sees what he sees, the tourist sees what he has come to see." - Gilbert K. Chesterton


That sums up how I feel about travelers vs. tourists. I'm up to 61 countries (and counting).
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Old 07-31-2014, 11:50 AM
 
Location: Gorgeous Scotland
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ScoopLV View Post
"The traveler sees what he sees, the tourist sees what he has come to see." - Gilbert K. Chesterton


That sums up how I feel about travelers vs. tourists. I'm up to 61 countries (and counting).
That quote makes sense.

I've been to 17 so far and do have about 5 or 6 on my must see list. Our trips are almost always one month long but this winter we are going to Thailand for two months.
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Old 07-31-2014, 11:57 AM
 
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I like being a tourist. It's still adventure and travel to me. I've noticed the word "tourist" is often used in a negative connotation lately like it's "cheap and tacky" and not "real travel" unless you're "off the beaten track" or "not a group tour bus." Honestly, I've been on group tours and independent tours and enjoyed both. I don't need to go out in the wilds away from the tourist areas to define myself as a REAL traveler. Of course, tourist areas have become a major draw because there are sites worth seeing! The Grand Canyon has "touristy" elements but that doesn't stop me from enjoying standing with large groups of people off tour buses who are sharing the thrill of the natural wonder with me. Or staying at one of the tourist hotels. Just the thrill of listening to all the foreign languages knowing it's a destination people the world over can't wait to see and taking pictures is fine with me. It's still a fun adventure as many tourist sites are.

I love reading stories about people and their real travel adventures around the world. Some people are quite daring to go to places I never would, but it's still fun to read about it. If some people believe that getting away from "tacky tourist areas" is their travel happiness, that's great. But also understand because I can enjoy being touristy doesn't make me less of a real traveler. There are several areas I've visited where it was much safer to stay in a tourist area than going off on my own. When I hear people say "I'm a real traveler because I immerse myself with locals" that's fine, but not every part of the world is openly welcome to outsiders or safe to venture off to. I don't have to live Lonely Planet to be real. Do I need to go off and travel through an isolated rain forest with a tent, backpack and a knife to be a real traveler? No. But if you do it, I LOVE reading all about your adventures, how you survived in the wild and how you loved it.

I was on a recent cruise tour and people divided up into travel groups. Some people were very happy to get on a cruise sponsored tour bus and others went off on their own. Great. But there were also a group of travelers who sniffed at us in a condescending way getting on the tour bus and bragging how they were going off on "real travel" because they had a private driver in a limo or a private yacht tour "away from those tacky cruise ship tours." So this is where I think there needs to be an attitude check. Was everyone on private tours acting this way? No. Some people saved a ton of money to have private tours as a trip of a lifetime or special event. Could they afford this all the time? No. Did some of the people on the cruise ship tour bus wish they could have a private tour? I think so. Not everyone can always afford that luxury. To me, just the fact that everyone was out there traveling and having a grand adventure to explore and have fun is enough for me.

I wish I could travel more. I have so many places on my wish list! This year the budget is a little tight so it's day trips. All I can say to everyone who shares my love of travel or enjoys reading and writing about it---HAPPY TRAVELS!

Last edited by Artistic Spirit; 07-31-2014 at 01:05 PM..
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Old 07-31-2014, 05:08 PM
 
Location: Oceania
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Quote:
Originally Posted by annerk View Post


In the big picture, we are doing something that 90% of Americans will never do--visiting other parts of the world.
I will bet you weren't a military brat. I attended 9 different schools before graduating HS and that is a short list compared to many of my friends. I have no home town and the last thing I want to do is hop a plane and go somewhere. I lived in Tripoli, Libya for 3 years and almost every state. We moved on an average of every three years. The gypsy life is not for me. I can handle myself easily in different societies as I have paid attention all my life - people are people, for the most part - so getting along with different cultures is easy if you pick up on the most basic aspect and continue there. Too many try to impress others and land foot in mouth first. I like visiting this country if I go anywhere as there is much I haven't seen. I have seen most major airports but that is but a tease. Asia is the last place I want to visit.
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Old 07-31-2014, 05:47 PM
 
Location: Eindhoven, Netherlands
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Quote:
Originally Posted by armory View Post
Asia is the last place I want to visit.
What is your reason to safe the largest and most diverse continent for last?

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Old 07-31-2014, 07:52 PM
 
26,590 posts, read 54,684,842 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by armory View Post
I will bet you weren't a military brat. I attended 9 different schools before graduating HS and that is a short list compared to many of my friends. I have no home town and the last thing I want to do is hop a plane and go somewhere. I lived in Tripoli, Libya for 3 years and almost every state. We moved on an average of every three years. The gypsy life is not for me. I can handle myself easily in different societies as I have paid attention all my life - people are people, for the most part - so getting along with different cultures is easy if you pick up on the most basic aspect and continue there. Too many try to impress others and land foot in mouth first. I like visiting this country if I go anywhere as there is much I haven't seen. I have seen most major airports but that is but a tease. Asia is the last place I want to visit.
What does any of this have to do with the fact that less than 30% of Americans have passports?

BY the way, I've already traveled this country extensively. Very, very extensively.
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Old 07-31-2014, 08:31 PM
 
Location: New Zealand
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Anyone who travels like me is a "traveler". Everyone else is a "tourist". Is that about the gist of it?

Quote:
Originally Posted by lepillow View Post
What think you?
I don't think anything (other than perhaps a momentary "That's not for me" thought). I don't care how other people travel, I don't care how other people label my travel, I don't care whether my travel is "authentic" or adventurous enough by some arbitrary/strangers' measure. I travel for myself, not for anyone else or to win any popularity/story-telling/country-counting contest.

This whole traveler vs. tourist debate seems to me to only be an egotistical bid to elevate oneself above the "crowd".
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Old 07-31-2014, 09:47 PM
 
Location: North Dakota
7,771 posts, read 9,075,789 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lepillow View Post
How do you classify your approach to visiting a country? Do you think there's a difference between what 'tourists' and 'travelers' typically do? Or is the latter an egoistic term?

I remember joining an evening meetup group for people to share their travel experiences and I was all prepped up to regale everyone with my numerous trips to France, on how I soaked up the Parisian atmosphere by staying in a rented apartment, having le petit-déjeuner in quaint cafés, and visiting lesser-known museums, etc.

Just when I thought it was going to be a superb session, everyone, literally everyone started talking about how they roughed it out in a rickety passenger train en route to Cambodia to build an orphanage...they talked about getting their hands and legs muddy, and of course, plucking vegetables for their lunch that day. It was psychologically embarrassing so I refrained from sharing my stories while everyone waxed lyrical over the photos of them being 'travelers'.

That got me thinking, do you think 'tourists' who make a checklist of must-not-miss monuments qualify as less of a visitor compared to the 'do-good travelers'? For example, I've never been to Thailand but in the media, I see quite a number of people donning the typical traveler look (long disheveled hair, beard, beer in hand, singlet with the word 'Chang Beer' or 'Red Bull' emblazoned over it, flip flops...you get the picture). These people, I believe, would be quick to label themselves 'travelers' rather than 'tourists'.

What think you?
I guess I always figured the two terms were synonymous. Interesting to see the points of view in the comments.
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