I always feel something of a fraud when describing myself as a travel blogger. After all, my experience of visiting Asia was a luxury honeymoon in the Maldives, I have never stayed in a hostel (indeed I baulk at the idea of sharing a bathroom, never mind my sleeping space), and generally never travel without at least 20kg of unnecessary clothing stuffed into a wheeled suitcase. I’ve never travelled solo, unless you count a flight to Tenerife to stay with a cousin who subsequently returned to the UK before I did. I’ve never even picked up a rucksack, much less trekked across the globe with one. I regularly get messages from people who want to discuss my “travelling” lifestyle, and I have to confess that I spend much more of my time thinking about travelling than actually travelling.
So am I a fraud? I read tales of those with a nomadic lifestyle with envy, and wonder how people can hold down a full-time job, fly to the other side of the world on a Friday and still be back in time for the office on Monday morning. Despite the fun of planning a road trip, or negotiating how to get from A to B, I still like to fall back occasionally on an all-inclusive package holiday, when I don’t have to make any difficult decisions other than what cocktail to drink or which bikini to wear. Even when we organise our own travels we stay safe, focus on the must-see sights and largely remain in touristy areas. If we do go off the beaten path, it’s usually because I’ve done a little research beforehand and I know where is “tourist-friendly”.
A recent infographic gave a very slanted view of the tourist and traveller debate. The gist was this:
Then you are a tourist. Ah, sometimes I’m a tourist then.
Or do you:
Then you are a traveller. Ah, sometimes I’m a traveller then. See how hard it is define? I like to sleep in a comfy hotel with running water and electricity, but that’s a relief after spending the day outdoors. I like to make plans and do research, but not to the point where I’m inflexible. And yes, I like to take selfies (not with a selfie stick though…) but that’s cos Mr Fletche takes all the beautiful professional-level shots, and someone needs to capture us being silly in front of the Atomium or the Golden Gate Bridge with a phone camera.
I wish I could travel more. I wish I could abandon family and financial responsibilities, sell my house and car and see the world without stopping. But until then, I will remain a sometimes traveller, sometimes tourist, but full time travel dreamer.
Are you a tourist or a traveller? Or are you a bit of both?