Monday, March 4, 2013


Tourist. Traveler. Explorer. Wanderer. The meaning of these terms vary, but they all stem from the same core: a journey. Most people won't recognize the differences between "tourist" and "traveler".  Humans stopped being nomads centuries ago, but you can't deny the lingering feeling of seeing more than what surrounds you is still there. Honestly, I see no negative connotation to either terms. I guess the word "tourist" generates an unpleasant image: naive, loud, pestering people. I don't think one should be quick to judge a tourist: we have all been there before. We have all gone to places we don't know, even in our own country. I don't think "tourist" and "traveler" are opposite things to be; on the contrary,  I believe they run parallel to each other.

You don't have to go halfway across the world to go on  a journey. Journeys happen everyday, every second: from your house to the grocery store, on your way to work, even from one room to the other. Each second is different from the one before. I do think, however, that it is curious to take a journey outside your comfort zone. Once outside the familiar, you veer into the unknown. You start out a tourist: straightforward, too afraid to steer off into unfamiliar territory. But slowly, you start to reach out more. You slowly transform into a traveler. You see new things, you learn to listen, you learn about yourself. There's a line from a song that comes to mind when talking about tourists. The song is called "You are a Tourist" by Death Cab for Cutie. The line that stands out to me goes like this:

"And if you feel just like a tourist in the city you were born then it's time to go."

It's an interesting concept: you never think you will become a stranger in your own land.
Tourist or traveler, every journey helps shape up the person you will become. 

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