Part-time traveller, Full-Time Brummie

A Tourist or A Traveller, or a bit of both?

Traveller or Tourist - Why Can't I Be Both?

Tourist or Traveller?

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”.

So, are you a tourist or a traveller?

A recent infographic gave a very slanted view of the tourist and traveller debate.  The gist was this:

Do you:

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?

Is it possible to be a traveller and a tourist all at the same time?


14 responses to “A Tourist or A Traveller, or a bit of both?”

  1. […] blogs, so you can find Boston, Budapest and Salzburg in January.  I also pondered whether I was A Traveller or a Tourist (and concluded I was a bit of both), took a lighthearted look at my Recurring Travel Habits and […]

  2. I really don’t like the label of either one. Whatever you are doing, you got out of your routine and saw something new. It’s like reading. If you are reading a magazine, you are still reading. You don’t have to be reading the classics!

  3. josypheen says:

    I’m the same. Sometimes I’m a tourist, sometimes I’m a traveller and a few times I have moved abroad (so i am not even sure what that counts as!? an intergrater!?)

    I think your flexible approach sounds best. 😀

  4. I like to think a traveller is one who connects with the locals and the culture more and stays longer in one place a slow traveller and a tourist is more a sees the better parts, a fast mover and also concentrates on seeing the highlights of a country?

    • emfletche says:

      That’s a great definition; sometimes I think it’s more about the mindset than where you go or what you see 🙂

      • Yes, you have certainly got me thinking. Some people believe if you have not visited India you have not travelled at all! I have not been to India, obviously the person who said it, had been. 🙂

        • emfletche says:

          I think it’s almost used to infer superiority…”oh you haven’t backpacked across Asia? Then you can’t possibly be a traveller…” If I ever backpacked across Asia (highly unlikely) then I’d do it with a selfie stick and wearing an “I Heart Asia” hoodie 😀

          • I am now laughing LOL Gawd I will not own a selfie stick just out of principle. Not to mention the tacky hoodie. Hey, each to their own, though it can be fun to stir things up now and again 🙂 Yes, long gone are the days of uncomfortable beds and other things that live in them 🙂

          • emfletche says:

            What about Mickey Mouse ears Suzanne? Please tell me I can still wear Mickey Mouse ears 😀

  5. Ruth Daly says:

    Definitely a bit of both! It’s hard to choose one over the other because each has its advantages 🙂

  6. You can wear them, just 5 steps behind me LOL 🙂 Thanks for the laugh 🙂 x

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