“Travellers” who consider themselves better than “tourists” are full of shit. That “holier than thou” attitude needs to stop. It is nauseating.
Why are there so many “travellers” out there that consider themselves better than tourists? Hm… is it because “travellers” don’t use selfies sticks / go pro / phones to take photos? Traveller knows more about the place that they’ve just landed on than the other new arrival? O wait, perhaps, it’s a spending thing?
According to the Cambridge dictionary
- someone who visits a place for pleasure and interest, usually while on holiday
- a member of a sports team who is travelling from place to place in a foreign country, playing games
I met this girl who told me that I’m a tourist and she’s a traveller (we’re both expat in Shanghai). Not sure what point she was trying to make. I asked her why. At that moment, I was more fascinated that this English teacher was not aware of the dictionary definition. Her explanation was, because I took lots of photos and she did not. Fair enough. Based on her view, the critical difference was the act of taking photos. To be honest, I wasn’t sure if it was because she did not own a camera. Secondly, she researched about the place before the visit. Personally, I prefer the no expectation approach, I only research about how to get there; if after the visit I want to know more about the place, I’ll read about it. No matter, she made it quite clear that a traveller was better than a tourist. The rational behind this is still largely a mystery to me. *I am one proud photo taking tourist.
According to the Cambridge dictionary
- someone who travels
- a gypsy
Fast forward to 2017. This trend is now prevalent. Blogsphere is propelling this trend. I have came across more “holier than thou” travellers than ever before. The bizarre part is that some even considers travel as a noble deed in itself worthy of fund raising / donation. Perhaps that leads to the next issue, beg-packers. Begging overseas on a tourist visa is not only illegal, but also offensive to the locals (especially in developing / 3rd world countries). sigh You can feel that that I’m raging.
It's such a surreal sight to see foreigners who are clearly tourists begging for money. If you can afford to travel, you're clearly not poor
— ōgon (@thegreatbluesea) March 25, 2017
Ok but seriously got the non emergency line or email for @SingaporePolice or not. To just go see the nonlegal buskers like? pic.twitter.com/qQkVWtuJpP
— Sarah Coldheart (@sarahcoldheart) April 4, 2017
Quote the Cambridge dictionary
- to make a journey, usually over a long distance
- to move or go from one place to another
Call yourself whatever you want, but don’t tell me the one is better than the other (exclude beg-packer, that’s just criminal). Let’s put an end to this pretentious marketing BS.
I am one proud and wild tourist.
This post was inspired by the movie “Alien vs Predator” LOL Seriously, I thought of this topic after watching it. Metaphoric, right? Both of them are “aliens”, they are merely 2 different species foreign to earth.
Camera: Canon 5D mark 3
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Couldn’t agree with you more!! I accept that I don’t fully know everything about a new place I’m visiting. I just take it in and embrace the culture! There’s nothing wrong with being a tourist! I wish people wouldn’t feel so entitled..
I haven’t thought of it as entitlement before.. I just feel that that a “traveller” is better than a “tourist” concept is ridiculous. Relabel doesn’t change anything. Thank you for dropping by, Sophie.
Hi, Tracey 😃 thank you for dropping by! ‘Fund our trip’ is something that I cannot understand. I mean, it is not like they’re traveling to rescue people or conserve animals. When they beg is Thailand, their camera alone is often several months of salary to the locals. Will they do the same in their home country? Beg to go on a trip? But, you’re right, perhaps there’s more to the story. I may have judged them prematurely.
Hi Joyce, Great post! I’ve thought about the traveller/tourist thing for years. It was the same when we did the Camino – pilgrim or walker. There is always an implication that one is better than the other. Not sure why. Some people just need to feel good about themselves by putting others down. I’d never heard of beg-packing. I googled and got a whole load of articles. I’m not sure the buskers and people trying to sell stuff can be classed as beggars – at least they are trying to do something to get money. It’s a culture clash perhaps, and maybe that’s where they’re going wrong – it’s always good to be clued up on what’s acceptable in the place you’re travelling to. I would love to hear the views of some of these people themselves, especially the ones with the signs saying ‘fund our trip’ – to hear their justification for it.
Some fascinating insights Joyce. I have never been a tourist and I suspect neither have you. Travelling is to satisfy the mind, answer questions and challenge the comfort zone. plus more ……
I never even considered the difference between “tourist” and “traveller”. What pretentious BS!
That girl who told you she’s a traveller and you’re a tourist with a holier than thou attitude is a world class BIOTCH! I’ve never met her and I already know she is. I also suspect she doesn’t own a camera LMAO.
I’ve not heard of beg-packers. It’s awful! Have they no shame?
Exactly, right? I was quite speechless when she said that to me.
Ja, that beg-packer thing started to pick up steam quite recently. It is a worrying trend. People really need to understand that travel is not a necessity and they need to budget up for it? sigh
Great first paragraph. Tell us what you really think!
While not thinking about definitions, I see myself as a visitor rather than a tourist. But not about any lofty ideals. More about the that I am temporarily in someone else’s country.
As to tourist versus traveller. I agree with your case.
And sadly I have to admit that a number of fellow Australians have been highlighted as doing the begpacker thing. I just don’t get it.
Hey, Tony. Thank you for dropping by. “Visitor”, I like that. I haven’t thought of that before. Yes, visitor is a fab word too.
I don’t get it either. No matter what nationality. Travel to a foreign country and beg is so weird is so many ways.
Great blogpost Joyce.
Thanks, Zen 😀