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Are you a traveler or a tourist?


“The traveler sees what he sees, the tourist sees what he has come to see”


While a tourist might look like more planned with “things to do”, “places to visit” lists a traveler just has a place in mind and the excitement to see the place, see the people, and to get immersed in the culture, values and beliefs of the new place.


Take the quiz below to find out whether you are a tourist or a traveler.

   When visiting a new place do you research the place? Do you make a list of places to be surely visited?  


Do you always carry a plan for each day and strictly try to follow the plan?  


 Is it important for you to have your pictures taken in front of important landmarks of the place?


  Is it important for you to always stay at one of the rated hotels?


If you answered  yes to all the questions –you are a confirmed tourist. Don’t be disheartened –while it may look like that traveler is the professional tourist -80% of all people that travel are tourists and enjoy being that.  It is totally okay to be a tourist. Plus the pressures of Facebook have redefined travel. It becomes imperative to have the pictures taken in the same places, same cities, and better hotels if a friend/colleague/neighbor has put his travel pictures on Facebook.


If you have traveled a whole lot, then it’s time to graduate from tourist to traveler only because a traveler just enjoys more than a tourist.

Most people are tired from a vacation because they are always being tourist – living in a box, ticking the required boxes. A traveler comes from a trip rejuvenated, looking forward to the next trip, dreaming about the next place he will see.


Next time when you travel to a new place-experience the place. Forget about taking pictures around famous landmarks to prove to your friends on Facebook that you indeed visited the place. Instead . the following things


  1. Walk the streets and neighborhoods of the new place
  2. Whether you are a runner or not at least once go for a 2 mile run in the new place –if you can’t run –at least walk –but without a map or agenda.
  3. Visit the less known places –away from the touristy environment, to actually soak in the place.
  4. Hop on the local train or bus –listen to the local language being spoken in the public transport-music of a lifetime.


Tourist or traveler- whatever you are or whatsoever you will be, but do travel because as Mark Twain rightly said “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime.”mudfeet


 Written by Suchitra Sharma

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