Travelers and tourists… one and the same?
We hear the words TRAVELERS and TOURISTS quite regularly. People use them as “synonyms” and in some cases as “two worlds and two different ways of traveling”.
But… is there really a difference between these two concepts?
TRAVELERS exist ever since man by instinct began to explore the world and to overcome hit own territorial limits. They started searching for the new, the foreign and the alien. This is different from the concept of TOURIST. This one belongs to a not-so-old age, arising in the Old Continent around the 1840’s and 1850’s. The very first Travel Agency, “Cook’s Tours”, opened back then.
Talking specifically about time, we can say that theoretically there is a difference. The travel period of a tourist is delimited even before leaving. Usually, there is a detailed plan, sometimes even pre-paid. This is different for a traveler, who plays with the itinerary leisurely. Travelers visit and experiment the chosen destinations without a defined time limit.
Naturally, the present rhythm of life makes more people plan their vacation in pre-determined dates for work issues. Those people are undoubtedly tourist, which is not wrong at all. Let’s consider that their main goal is to escape from a chaotic routine and get to know other places. On the other hand, there are those who have the opportunity to travel without delimited dates. They travel for the mere pleasure of doing so. So, they are the travelers we all would like to be.
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Can you be a tourist and a traveler at the same time?
It could sound far-fetched and even illogical, given what we have mentioned above. However, at times we only need the will and the desire to let go, wonder and discover. Even with a pre-established itinerary, the important matter is not to remain just behind the camera. Nor behind what others tell us what it is or what we can see in such and such place.
Either way of traveling is valid. It only depends on our personal likes and on the possibilities someone has upon starting a journey.