Are you a traveler or tourist?

September 2015

If you have found yourself asking this question then you are in the right spot, let’s talk about this. For those that find themselves headed to Disneyland and one other destination every year they might be wondering, “what’s the difference?” You might say, “I am both!” and you would be incredibly wrong. When I was growing up it was almost unheard of to travel the world for the sake of seeing the world.

You would find that most people at the beginning of the year would save up vacation time and money to head to the beach or to some sort off overcrowded theme park come summertime. Now days you will find adventurers, explorers, real life Indiana Jones, maybe that’s a little bit of an exaggeration, but they are real travelers looking to see the world.

Travelers don’t get sidetracked by tourist traps, they dig through the muck and facades to find the real culture, the real native people and the beauty of the land that stays untouched by the fanny pack, map toting, overpriced souvenir crowd.

Now don’t get me wrong sometimes you can’t avoid being a tourist. If you head to Egypt you might not be able to help yourself especially if you want to see the pyramids. It would be great if you could just walk up to a pyramid like walking up to a hidden waterfall, and feeling like you are the first person to find it or at least finding joy in the fact that there aren’t thousands of other people trying to crowd in and look at your new found “gem”.

Unfortunately you aren’t going to head to Egypt and somehow stumble across a never before seen “lost pyramid” your odds are greater of winning the lottery. So hop on an overcrowded bus, stand in the lines and see one of the amazing wonders of the world, along with thousands of other people.

And when you are done do some digging, get some real local food talk to some locals and get their take on what to see and do.

Chances are you probably already have a itinerary of some sort when traveling anywhere, but to be a true traveler I would highly recommend being flexible and possibly even be prepared to throw your whole itinerary out the window. Some of the best trips are those that you completely let happen and don’t stick strictly to what you found online before you left home. The best trips are those that are planned by word of mouth from locals once you are there. Locals can give you the keys to the best restaurants, historical sites hidden from view and a look at what daily life is really like for locals.

So ask around dig deeper, be a traveler not a tourist.

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