Traveler or tourist?

Touris or Traveler, Paul Theroux

Everybody likes travelling around the world, to know other cultures and different places. So many people like travelling not just for collecting photos or doing a check list of important places that they most get to know. So what is the difference between being a tourist or a traveller? Did you question your self about the way you travel? What kind of tourism do you like or do when you are travelling?

Some people like collecting places, postcards, thousand of photographs and guidebooks of the places that they have been. Whitout missing shopping in the most expensive and exclusive stores in the bigest malls. It is a passive tourism, as the beach tourism. That tourism makes you a tourist that goes to the same places that everybody visits. A sheep of the flock. The tourist is part of a massive tourism in the world.

Other pepole, travel to experiment emotions and feelings. For me, the truly traveller is the one that has the ability to contemplate, to live, to sense and to discover. The traveler is always looking for a different and inspirational experience, looking for interaction and immersion with the locals of the places that they are going.

Because the worst thing that could happen in a trip is that nothing could happen.


In this text I would like to explain what the difference between being a tourist and being a traveler is. I would like to make an invitation to the people to think how they travel, if they prefer traveling as a normal tourist I suggest give a chance to be a traveler. It seems to me that it brings more benefits at the moment when they visit other places. For example, they can know the culture deeper, they have real interaction with the community and also, it is the funniest and pleasant way to travel.


There are so many differences between a traveler and a tourist. To start, one of the tourist habit is to go shopping always when they are traveling. Their unmissable place to visit are the shopping malls. The objective for the tourist: buy stuff compulsively.

Although the travelers aren’t concerned about shopping owing to the importance of the reliable experiences.


In contrast, to the research of San Francisco State University, the key for the happiness is to travel and not to buy things. To travel like a real traveler provides good memories of the incredibles experiences and life lessons. It is an investment for a happy future. The neuroscience studies confirm when the human change the own outlook and stay in a new environment, new neural connections are produce in the brain. That helps to develop a positive way of thinking. In this research the psychologists clarify when you travel, not only the anxiety is reduced and the self-security increases, but also produces a felling of wellness and joy in the organism.

Thats why this way of traveling, gives you a profound and better experience and make you feel like a royal traveler.


In my opinion the travelers don’t look up for expensive experiences. They are happier just with small details in life. Those details are the ones that make them wish to know other cultures and societies.


In fact Daniela Vicuña is the editor from the Magazine In of LAN Airlines and she is also a traveler. In the magazine of April, she wrote the article «A different kind of luxury», where talks about her trip to Ecuador and travel experience. It was an interesting visit to the country because she gets involved with the culture. She tries the traditional food and lives amazing adventures. At the end, Vicuña concluded: “I still remember that trip to Ecuador like a luxury. Other kind of luxury”. That is why the traveler is always going to remember her experience because, she will enjoy the special and tiny things in life. Those things aren’t expensive but worth more.


I feel very strongly that the best way to travel is when you are in contact with the natives of the place you are visiting. The immersion and the interaction with this people allows to get emotionally and physically involved with their culture. For this reason, these qualities permits a kind of unique feelings and perceptions when the traveler live this experience of traveling.


So, in particular, it is comfortable to believe in this special argument: “For more tolerance, we need more… travel?”. With reference to Aziz Abu Sarah, a tourism entrepreneur and a pacebuilder, the travelling is the best sustainable way to bring down walls and connect people to create friendships. In fact the travelers, are not “taking pictures from the windows of their buses of people and cultures, but actually connecting with people”. It is an important difference because there is something that separates us, but Abu Sarah supports the idea that travelers are the solution to the future of traveling.


It is a beautiful idea to remember a trip for the emotional connection you set up and also to know after a long time those relationships still exist.


It is popularly believed that the purchase tourism is almost the unique way to improve the economy. For instance in the log file of Global Report on Shopping Tourism, it explores the gain importance of this way to travel due to the economic development. The UNWTO (World Tourism Organization) affirms this tourism has to be preserved not only like a principal motivation for travelling, but also like a main earn to the country.


It can be argued that shopping tourism improves the economy, but also others types of tourism can contribute beyond the progress of the economy. First of all, the travelers are contributing a different and a competitive tourism. Because as a matter of fact, it supports the culture diversity and emphasizes the cultural values. Secondly, this way of traveling decentralize tourism, and as a consequence other sectors have the possibility of growing and strengthening. Lastly the diversity of tourism increases different areas of it and provides new possibilities of employment to the locals.


Furthermore, Tasha Singer in her blog to travel, encloses the difference of being a traveler and a tourist in the moment of shopping. The tourist is looking for a souvenir and overpriced gift shop trinket, but on the other hand the traveler looks after a unique pice of physical culture. In conclusion the traveler is still supporting the economy and the cultures of the communities.


On the whole, the travelers have a better way to travel, they know better the culture, the locals, the traditions and the customs; they have the best habits when they travel. They can be almost mixed up with the locals, not like the tourist that can be recognize from a long distance because their appearance. Needless to say that the travelers have more profits and get to know the essence of the place they are visiting. The travelers can be associated with a global citizen.


In my view for being a real traveler you have to change some habits and be conscious when you are traveling. To start is better if you stay in a local’s houses or make good relation ships with some natives. Look atractive experiences to immerse themselves in to the culture. Be curious, ask questions and explore with an open mind. Try to look for a unique piece of physical culture. Be sensitive, aware and respectful with the cultural norms.


In conclusion, being a traveler teaches you more and could be cheaper.