Subject: Re: Tourist versus traveller?
Hi Ziners,

Aha! A stereotype that I just cannot say one way or the other that I fit or defy! I think it may well be a philosophical categorisation rather than an external one?

I do a lot of my travelling solo, so that factor usually dictates where I stay - cost and location weigh in more highly than the benefits of staying with a local if I can't get around easily! I've stayed in B&Bs and little hotels and big hotels. If I get the opportunity to stay in a 5* hotel or fly 1st class I'll jump at it - I promise it won't change my travel mindset! I don't camp or stay in hostels because it's not in my comfort zone, but I'll still talk the ear off anyone travelling on my bus or train! I've travelled by myself, with friends, with family and in bus tours - large and small. Sometimes I get to "meet the locals" - talk with them, eat with them, shop with them. Other times I note my surrounds, take in the beauty or the architecture or a famous site/sight or sometimes just the blue sky and move on without conversing with the townsfolk.

While I may often note differences, I never (mentally or otherwise) say "better" or "worse" - just "different". I always move on a better person for the experience no matter how short or deep - seeing something outside my own little world is always freeing somehow. And in turn, I always love to share (if the opportunity arises) a picture or a story or a titbit of information about where I am from or what my country's routines or customs are.

And I always try to remember to smile believe it or not. In shops, in queues, in restaurants. Not that mine is earth- shattering :) But it is a universal communication - it says thankyou or hi or I love your art or where you live or your country.

The tourist vs traveller debate may well be a subtle difference like hearing vs listening ...

Maybe travelling is about enriching yourself or someone else? :)

Megan Brisbane, Australia