Traveler vs. Tourist

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Flag of United States  , Missouri
Sunday, September 21, 2008

Someone asked me once if I was traveler rather than tourist...I had never given much thought to the difference between the two...maybe  "traveler" is more in-depth, more adventurous, more 'blend-in'...and "tourist" is more conventional, more "done that - check! seen this - check!"...if this is true - then what are we?...



we do our homework before each trip - read, learn more about the country and its history, talk with people who can offer their experience and advice, plan the things we want to do and see...we try to learn a few words and survival phrases in the new language...not once have we taken an organized tour - we explore on our own (we did hire a private guide for 2 days in Thailand, but the itinerary was made by us, and it was really, really worth it...and perhaps next time in Florence- we might consider hiring a private guide for the Uffizzi)...we often wander away from the safe tourist paths...we don't mind getting lost - you never know what you can find when you are lost...we would not eat, say, Italian food in France or sushi in Spain (never mind that I looove sushi!)...when we are in a museum - we usually take a break in the cafeteria to talk about what we just saw and decide what is worth a second (third, fourth, fifth...) look or another visit...



"travelers", you would say? ...yes, but...



we both are quite adventurous, and of us two - I think I am more so...I want to see everything, touch everything, feel everything, taste everything...and sometimes - alas! -  I can be as typical a "tourist" as you can get...



getting to the top of the Eiffel Tower or climbing the Leaning Tower of Pisa

are quite well known tourist traps...and yet, and yet - I got caught in these traps so easily and so willingly!...and my precious angel, who normally has an aversion to such touristy things, stoically stood by my side (or in this case - climbed by my side)...my poor angel!...he doesn't suspect yet that more than 500 spiral steps of St. Paul's in London are impatiently waiting for us! ...





and hear this, I am baring it all:    

next time we are in Italy, I do want to get to Verona, and I do want to see Juliet's balcony...that is a huge tourist trap, no?...technically, it is not even a real thing...my wonderful angel, ever so logical, asks me: "since when fictional characters have real balconies?"...but in my mind - it is real, so - it is real, and so - another tourist trap lies there in the future waiting for us...





or consider this:



there is a legend that if  lovers kiss under Ponte dei Sospiri (the Bridge of Sighs) in Venice - their love will be sealed for eternity (kudos to Sue C. for first bringing this legend to my attention)...

there are strict conditions, of course (it's not a joking matter, you know - one must work real haaard on preserving his love!)...but on the bright side - there are only 5 of them:

1)  the love has to be mutual, no unrequited love would do - duh!!!...

2)
  the act of kissing has to occur at sunset (so don't waste your time kissing there at any other time of the day! ...except for practice - but that can be done anywhere)

3)  it has to be more than a lukewarm lip grazing (p-a-s-s-i-o-n  is the key!)...

4)
  the place where the kissing takes place has to be a gondola (being serenaded by your gondolier is optional though)...

5)
  and as they say "location, location, location" - location is the key: a little bit before the bridge won't do, and a little bit past it doesn't count - it has to be precisely under it!...you make sure that all the above conditions are met et voila! - your love becomes eternal...





so, how corny is that?!...cornier than a whole cornfield!...and who do you think got lost in that cornfield?...and who do you think left nothing to chances and repeated the above (quite enthusiastically, I must tell) not only under the Bridge of Sighs, but in front of  the Bridge of Sighs and inside the Bridge of Sighs?...



*laughing*...



well, that's another great thing about travel - it makes fun memories...silly memories...sweet memories...and if some "touristy" things make you happy - so what?...
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Comments

ruskie85
ruskie85 on

The Kiss
I love your description of how to properly kiss under Ponte dei Sospiri to seal your love for all eternity...I'm sure you had plenty of practice ;)

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