Subject: Re: Tourist versus traveler?
Happy holidays all!

I've been thinking about your question, tourist vs traveler, and reading a number of well thought out answers

I think I've been both. There are times I've just done the top sights and moved on > tourist! There are other times I've wandered around, used local transportation, not worried about the sights but wanted to experience the flow of life wherever I'm at, stayed in places used mostly by non westerners (though I am into clean sheets and towels) and tried to be below the dew line> traveler. I been both on the same trip/tour.

I suspect some of us who have traveled a bit think disparagingly of "tourists", who do the Hilton and stay on the well bussed track and buy their goodies at the hotel gift shop, without much exchange with the locals. But I've become less judgmental about them for they get what they want from a trip and do see something beyond the home boundaries. I have a friend who is the prototype tourist: takes tours and rates them by the importance of the sights, the comfort of the hotel, and the sociability of other tour members.

As much as I can, I aim to "travel", to have some interaction with different peoples, and to learn. More and more, I find I'm less interested in things (gawd, I've seen enough churches and temples for several lifetimes!) and more in the ambiance. how I've become more of a wanderer. But,. in all honesty, I am NOT a trekker or camper! Sorry about that but not my style. And I have yet to stay at the hostel, though I do belong to the IYH - I haven't ruled that out yet and I do have a sleeping sheet.

Cheers! jo in Sunnyvale