Are You a Traveler or a Tourist?


Few of us may not know the difference between a traveler and a tourist, but there is a fine line which differentiates a traveler from a tourist. Even I didn't know the difference between the two sometime ago, until I experienced it.

I was traveling to a city and stopped outside a popular destination which looked quite average from it's first look. As I stepped into the building, a man in his late 30’s was stepping out of the building and was conversing with his group in loud voice. His words as I remember correctly were "We wasted our time getting to this place. This place is nothing special, it is waste of time and money". With these words, he rushed outside the building angrily. He was so loud that some of the other visitors who were about to enter the building got influenced by his words. Obviously, the rude man visited this place to see some beauty so that he can click some beautiful pictures to show to his family and friends back home. What he overlooked was the history of the place and the glory that was associated with this place. He overlooked the culture of the place and stories attached with it.

Well, to be frank I was also partially influenced by his strong words, but when I spent some time in the building knowing about it, I was pretty fascinated and then I laughed about what that rude man has missed.

By now, I had realized the difference between a traveler and a tourist.

If you want to be a traveler rather than a tourist, try to experience the culture, the place. Following could be helpful for you.

Know the Place
Always try to learn about the place you are traveling. Thanks to the internet which is now easily accessible and so many traveling books and blogs available online. Reading and knowing about destination’s culture, famous towns, currency, local music will definitely make you more enthusiastic about your trip. Search for things and places with your interests.

Act Local
Blend with the locals and try to learn the famous phrases in the local language such as greetings. This is the best way to mix up with locals.

Eat Local

Avoid your favorite fast food restaurant for a change. Try eating local food and why not try something from the street that smells good.

What's the Rush?

It is perfectly alright to spend some extra time at a place that you love rather than rushing to several places as per your plan. So what, plans fail and it is completely normal. To be frank, if you visit all the destinations of a city during your travel, it would kill your fun and will leave you with no reason to return to this city.

To make it easier, the difference is simply a state of mind. It’s about recognizing that being a traveler entails blending with and absorbing the culture a bit more.

So what are you? A traveler or a tourist?


  1. Good observations, often we overlook these factors.

  2. People look for beauty in the surface. That is why they get disappointed so easily. When one travels and soaks in the experiences, he/she becomes wise. Travelling with a closed mind or just for seeking hedonistic pleasures doesn't benefit someone in the long run.

  3. Thanks Cheryl, Thanks for dropping by :)

  4. I think I'm more of a traveler than a tourist. I love exploring places and won't stop if I don't know how to get to one point to another. on some occasion, I enjoy myself on being a tourist and just go with the crowd. Travelling is a wonderful thing, and as I always say, knowledge will always be there to support the joy of travelling.

    1. I totally agree Gabriel. This experience is totally different.

  5. I liked the article.
    I agree telling us the difference of two words..TRAVELER AND TOURIST.
    Thanks for asking us to EAT is ideal as well.
    The most happening guidance tells : What's the rush?
    Congratulations. Keep writing. Dr Bharat Desai, Bilimora.

    1. Thank you Dr Bharat. I appreciate your good words. :)

  6. You are right sometimes in our acts of being touristy we actually forget why we are there at that place..

  7. Totally agree with you. Most people don't realize what they are missing by not being a traveller.


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