I saw this ‘Don’t be a tourist, be a traveller’ sign in a shop window on my recent visit to Thessaloniki, Greece.
And it got me thinking. Is there really a difference between tourists and travellers? I suppose we’ve all been tourists at times and we’ve all been travellers. And some of us seek out travelling and some of us seek out sticking to the tourist hotspots (which we do as travellers too). Most of us share the desire to visit and explore amazing locations, and however we do this is our choice, there is no right or wrong.
For me, to be a traveller is:
- To arrive at a new destination and just……breathe
- To know a little about the history and culture of where I’m visiting
- To ask myself ‘how does this place make me feel?’
- To take time to watch the locals as they go about their daily lives – what are they wearing, how do they move, how do they look?
- To pick and choose where I want to go and which tourist spots ‘say’ something to me
- To wander down a side street or two and see what’s round the corner
- To take time to watch the locals as they go about their daily lives
- To seek out the shops that have been there for years
- To try some local dishes
- To hop on a local bus.
- To sit in a park and watch the world go by
- To leave with memories of, and feelings for, a place
An authentic traveller
Having said in my previous post that I’m taking a sabbatical from my web content writing work, I now find that I’ve been asked to write travel articles for a long-term client.
He used the word ‘authentic’ travel articles. And it made me smile. I said in my last post that I’m on a journey to find my authentic writing voice. And now I find that I might be able to combine both – authentic writing with authentic experiences.
And perhaps that’s what being a traveller is all about. That it’s an authentic experience more than an organised experience.