Although they may seem the same on the surface, being a traveller and being a tourist are two very different things. Here are the core divergences, as per this infographic from Land of Travel.
- Are sensitive, respectful and aware of cultural norms. Different doesn’t mean wrong – it just means it’s not what you’re used to.
- Choose keepsakes that uniquely represent the country they’ve been visiting.
- Connect with, learn from and befriend the locals.
- Are open minded and ask questions.
- Immerse themselves in the local culture.
- Gain lifetime experiences.
- Are oblivious to their surroundings and other people.
- Choose overpriced gift shop souvenirs to take home.
- Separate themselves from the locals and their culture.
- Judge and negatively compare differences between the country they’re visiting with the country they’re from.
- See their own culture as the superior one.
- Only wish to browse the well-known ‘must see’ sights.
- Gain a tan while spending lots of money.
Stop Yourself from Becoming a Negative Stereotype By…
- Maintaining respect for the values and traditions of the country you’re visiting.
- Staying true to your own personal identity. Find a balance between acclimating to the present culture and being yourself.
Not all tourists are Hawaiian shirt-wearing, disposable camera-wielding bumbling buffoons just as not as travellers are granola-crunching, backpacking hippies. And whether you’re wearing flip flops or hiking boots, it’s important to put your best foot forward when you’re abroad.
So be yourself, remain respectful and keep an open mind – there’s an entire world out there for you to discover.