The traveller 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 ourselves surrounded by another world in order to replenish ourselves. When we are tourists we return home rejuvenated to continue our lives. On return our perspective on our life is hopefully re-energised. Our journey is over, back to the grind.
When we are travellers our purpose for travel is to be ourselves in the other’s world in order to exhaust ourselves. When we are travellers we return home older and cannot continue our lives in the same vein because our perspective on our lives has changed. On return our journey has just begun.
Travelling requires a leap of faith, that is why we travel. It has been thus since the first nomad left the trees for the plains of Africa!