Traveler vs. Tourist

I believe that every traveler is somewhat a tourist, and every tourist is a bit of a traveler. Upon this thought, I have consolidated a list of all the ways I view myself both as a traveler and a tourist:

The tourist in me:

– Gets overly excited from seeing a wild alpaca
– Runs in excited zigzags to the Eiffel Tower, pissing off the locals
– Can’t stop laughing while in a Turkish bath
– Wells up while riding a camel around the Pyramids
– Is terrified of losing my luggage
– Pretends to know where I’m going
– Secretly wants to get a good night’s sleep
– Thinks it’s a good idea to snowboard for the first time down the Swiss Alps
– Is homesick being out of the country on Canada Day
– Becomes excited with butterflies when I see flight attendants confidently strut as a pack through the airport in their stylish matching outfits
– Touches when I am told not to, takes pictures when I see no camera signs

The traveler in me:

– Is the brave person who has jetted off to 20 + countries solo
– Camps in a tent for 35 days
– Is comfortable eating dinner alone and could cry because of how delicious it is
– Doesn’t flinch at foreign food placed in front of me  i.e. giant fried guinea pig with a tomato helmet in Peru, street meat in Cairo, or frog legs in Paris
– Refuses to let food poisoning make me miss a day of sightseeing, such as puking in my hat on the bus ride up to Oia, Santorini
– Is able to take frigid showers no questions asked
– Doesn’t panic when I’m lost, but makes an adventure out of it
– Attempts to speak the local language even though I’m terrible
– Is confident going up to strangers and meeting new people, including stray animals
– Finishes a whole entire pizza to myself with ease

Are there any similarities between what I have on my list and your own tourist and traveler ways?


4 thoughts on “Traveler vs. Tourist

  1. Having never travelled before and about to set sail on my first international trip, I already find myself guilty of being a ‘tourist’. This is so because of my compelling need to always carry a bag with items for every possible eventuality. All I’ll need now is a sun hat, camera hanging from my neck and a shirt reading ‘I LOVE -insert country-‘. Loved your post as always!

    • Thank you very much! Nothing wrong with being and feeling like a tourist :) Most countries I’ve been to are very pleased to see a happy tourist wandering about in their country. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

  2. I love your differences between being a tourist and a traveler. It’s great that you are genuinely excited about the things you do and the places you visit. For me, the difference I’ve noted has been in a mentality – this is from several years living in Paris and watching people rush through the city while never taking their noses out of their guide books. You can read my post on this topic ( if you’re interested. I hate to plug my own posts on comments, but in this case I think we could relate! :)

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