Whether you’re a seasoned traveller or planning your first trip, I respect all those who desire to travel the world. There is no “best” way to travel, only the best way that suits your needs. Most of those who explore the planet are within the spectrum of “tourists” to “travellers.” How far you venture in either direction is up to you.
Imagine you’re planning a trip somewhere. The idea involves sunshine, tranquility and a refreshing beverage. What do you imagine? Some of us envision sandy beaches, hammocks and mojitos in Tahiti. Others see sand dunes, camels and iced karkadeh (hibiscus) drink in Egypt. Both options involve the same elements, but attract different globetrotters. Let’s break it down further.
The “tourist” desires to explore the world while having the comforts of home. They dip into local culture through cuisine and customs just as long as it isn’t too bizarre (not many bug eaters here). Their itinerary includes a visit to the hotspots and a tour to observe local living.
The “traveller” expects to forego their home comforts while they immerse themselves in a new culture. They’ll visit the hotspots and ask a local where the best place to grab lunch is. They are up for trying local cuisine, even if it’s something they aren’t accustomed to. The more bizarre an experience, the better.
One hotspot for Canadian tourists is Dominican Republic, and a perfect example for this tourist vs traveller experiment. It’s full of picturesque all-inclusive resorts, sunny beaches, friendly locals and rich cultural experiences in the cities. Kristen and I explored this destination on a road trip across the country; from Santo Domingo to Punta Cana and finished off in Puerto Plata. On this voyage we did both “tourist” and “traveller” activities. I turned our week itinerary into a test to find out which style of explorer are you.
1 – You just landed in Dominican Republic. How do you get to your hotel?
A) A hotel transfer is waiting for you at arrivals.
B) The low-priced local metro system.
2 – It’s lunch time. Where do you eat?
A) The highly recommended restaurant you found online.
B) The local you met invited you to his house for lunch.
3 – You’re in a new city. How do you explore?
A) You find a guided bike tour.
B) You rent a bike and explore by yourself.
4 – Time for a drink! Where do you go?
A) Take a tour of the famous rum factory and sample their rum.
B) A Dominican Republic drive-thru bar.
5 – You have a free day. What do you do?
A) Explore the top 5 places in your guidebook.
B) Get lost in the city and see where you end up.
6- You climb down into a cave and it’s full of water. What do you do?
A) Take a picture to show your friends.
B) Strip down and jump in.
7 – You pass by a fruit stand. Which fruit do you buy?
A) Your favourite fruit.
B) A fruit you’ve never tried before.
8 – You spend a few days at an all-inclusive resort, how long do you spend at the beach?
A) As long as possible.
B) Never felt the sand, too busy exploring the city.
9 – You have the option to stay at two places for the night. Where do you stay?
A) A luxury cabin on the beach for $200/night.
B) A cool hostel in the city for $20/night.
10 – It’s your last day in Dominican Republic, what do you have to bring home with you?
A) Souvenirs to remind me of my time.
B) Stories to remind me of my time.
If you didn’t guess already, A’s were for Tourists, B’s were for Travellers. Kristen and I did a combo of both, here are our answers:
Hey.. Amazing blog. I am traveller. I loved to explore the world and the experience the interesting and adventurous things about life.
6. Both (first take a picture and then dive in. I’d probably go first and then he will start rolling his eyes lol and join in ?)
7. Both (just incase I get hungry ?)
10. Both (we love collecting stones from the places that we visit. Strange but he started it and I joined in lol)
We love getting lost and now it’s become a ritual that we have to get lost otherwise we don’t feel normal lol…
I grew up in Goa (India) which is famous for its beaches and there’s one right behind our home and the only time I love being at the beach is to see the sun setting! It’s like the sea is swallowing the golden fireball and it’s a sight to watch.
What great answers! I like that you would do a combo of both A and B. Sunsets on the beach are stunning. You described it well.
I LOVE the way you describe the sunset. I have yet to get to Goa, but would absolutely love to. India is my favourite country! You’re very lucky you come from such a beautiful and magical place.
Nice blog.. Good job.. Interesting post. Thank you so much for the information. It’s a great post…I love travelling and want to travel all over the world. Explore new places, adventurous things and many more. And photographs are just amazing. Keep writing !!!
Thanks for the feedback. We love what we do and sharing quality information is exciting to us. We’ll be sure to keep it up.
Yayyy I’m a traveller!!! I do try to stay away from touristy things/tours unless it’s really necessary (like, I probably wouldn’t tell somebody “don’t go to the Eiffel Tower” haha) I love just getting lost in the streets and figuring out the public transportation. Also this is where having friends in many different countries helps, because it’s always more fun spending time with a local to show you around, although I love my alone time as well 😉
Would love to hear about your next adventure.
I am a mixed of both, but most of my answers are ”B”. I really like the fact that I’m mostly a traveller not a tourist, I like challenges and adventures.
Me too! I especially love spontaneous adventures!
You’re like us. Travellers always have the best stories.
#2 can be a bit dicey……especially if someone you just met is inviting you. In some countries (more so in Asia) being invited to one’s home can be a scam. Innocent Lunch or dinner followed by a friendly card game…that takes a dark turn. Other variations of the scam involve them giving sob stories and getting you to buy stuff.
Your gut feeling is a good scam detector. But be open to making friends abroad. Most people are kind and honest. The local we met was actually our driver who became our friend over the week we were there. We felt 100% comfortable. That being said, we have met complete strangers and gone to their house for a meal and had incredible experiences.
I’m actually a blend of both…. heavier on the traveller side of things but definitely won’t say no to tourist options if they sound like fun and interest me. Either way I always find myself on an adventure and meeting lots of cool people.
That’s how I feel exactly. Many tourist spots are touristy for a reasons…because they are awesome haha.
The best way to travel is to be a blend of both.
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