|Subject: Re: Tourist versus traveler?|
We believe that most people know if they are "touring" a foreign place or if they are "traveling" through it. We think it has to do with the degree a person either isolates themselves or immerses themselves within that different culture. In other words, does the person take their native land WITH THEM as they tour - surrounding themselves with the same kind of people, culture, food and drink of their everyday life?
Or, do they leave that safety net and explore all the DIFFERENCES within that foreign country. For us, that is the reason for travel - to experience ALL that another place has to offer, not just the sites for the eyes, but for all the senses. If we can, we try to rent an apartment or a home, and live in a place for a week. Sometimes it can be frustrating, when the reliability of utilities or convenience of shopping is not what we are use to in the United States, but it gives us a chance to really experience the culture at an intimate level that tourists never feel.
Perhaps we have not seen all the great tourist wonders of the world, but we would not exchange our stays in a farmhouse in the rolling hills in vineyard outside Sienna or a chalet perched on a mountainside inside the awesome Yosemite Valley, for anything. At the same time, we would not pass judgment on those who have found a comfort level within a tour bus or a "If this is Tuesday, it must be Paris" journey.
Roy, Wanda & Dena Faires