The difference between being a traveller and a tourist

22 Dec

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This is me, Cindy.

In March 2013, all 18 years of me is making my way out of New Zealand and diving into the deep end of the big wide world. My plans are still pretty vague, but the thing I know for sure about the experiences to come is: I do not want to be a tourist. 

What I was going to do was compare the definitions of tourist and traveller given to me by usually-trusty Google, but as they were so vague, I’ll instead tell you the difference that I see.

To me, being a tourist involves spending just a few days in each place visited, only really going for the main attractions, for a fun stop and for the snap-shots that give bragging rights. Being a traveller however, is to me being absorbed in a place for as long as feels right or as long as funds allow, to soak up this foreign culture in order to have your mind opened to such an extent that the end of each day is met with a satisfied exhaustion. It’s buying at local markets instead of McDonald’s and volunteering instead of touring. Yes, it is travelling that I want to do so badly.

The difference can be summed up so simply as the difference between taking a picture of a rope-swing with a sunset backdrop, and taking the chance to swing in the sunset.

Which would you rather do?

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