Eyes wide open and out of place in the world, exhilarated by all these new things like a foolish but observant child… oh to be a tourist.
“The tourist who moves about to see and hear and open himself to all the influences of the places which condense centuries of human greatness is only a man in search of excellence.” -Max Lerner
What’s the cure for boredom? It’s experiencing something new. The act of stimulating any of our senses to something exotic, emotive, exciting or simply anything we haven’t been exposed to yet – for satisfaction.
There is no better way to experience new things on a consistent and constant basis than world travel. Specifically to be a tourist by default.
I’ve said it many times before that this was the primary reason why I started vagabonding after I retired.
To cure my insatiable boredom, by way of travel.
My travels started as a means to an end but it quickly turned into something enlightening. I actually started to be interested in the history behind the ruins, began to love the people that made up the cultures and crave the mystery foods from god knows where.
I liked being a damn tourist. I liked being culture shocked. I liked being surprised. I liked being intimidated. I liked taking photos. I liked being an American.
A dozen countries and nearly a year later of perpetual world travel, I started to really dislike being called a “tourist”, but instead considered myself a “traveler”.
I, like most people who travel that extensively, like to separate ourselves from “tourists”. Because we feel we are better than that. We feel we’re above that and are “citizens of the world”, if only because of our experience.
It’s elitist and I didn’t like what I became. And it took me 40 more countries and 3 more years of vagabonding to rediscover the wonder of being just a tourist.
To go to trendy places and tourist traps. To take obsessive amounts of photos of nothing and everything. To eat at both McDonald’s and ma & pa joints. To stay at nice hotels and take taxi’s. To sometimes pay asking price and not bother haggling. To not care about “doing as the locals do” all the time and just effing chill the eff out.
All things “travelers” look down on. Because those were things we would never be caught doing, as to be more evolved than “tourists”. Fu*k that shit, let’s chill.
There is quite a distinction with travelers and tourists but that doesn’t mean you can’t be 2 things.
Let’s put it this way: If a traveler is on a journey, then a tourist is on a vacation. “Same, same but different.”
Don’t get me wrong, my journey so far has been some of the best years of my life but a vacation is a vacation, and sometimes you need a vacation from a journey.
Travelers are jaded and well-versed, which is why being a damn tourist can be a refreshing wonder.