The Traveller and the Tourist

The traveler and the tourist are essentially of course the same thing: nomads on holiday! But, if you have ever travelled the road less travelled you will know why travelers wince when they are called tourists. I am often asked to define the difference. This is what i have come up with:

When we are tourists our purpose for travel is to be surrounded by another world in order to replenish the self. When we are tourists we return home rejuvenated, sure and ready to continue with our lives, our perspective is re-energised, our journey is over, back to the daily ritual.

When we are travelers our purpose for travel is to be in the other’s world in order to exhaust the self. When we are travellers we return home older, we cannot continue our lives in the same vein because our perspective has changed, our journey has just begun, a new path lies ahead. 

Traveling, whether as tourist or traveler, requires a leap of faith towards the unknown, that is why we travel, to restore our faith in humanity. It has been thus since the first nomad left the trees for the plains of Africa!