Tourist or traveler suitcases in baggage claim

Are You a Tourist or Traveler

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Tourists and travelers both like to see the world. And both types of people have a place in the world of travel. Nearly everyone has a bucket list of places that they want to visit before the final journey takes them to their eternal resting place.

Tourists are happy to take one or two trips a year in their effort to visit everything on the list one by one. And so the list gradually gets shorter and shorter. They generally want to see all the monuments, palaces, and museums they read about in guidebooks or seen in travelogues.

Travelers, on the other hand, may often visit some of the same sites, but generally don’t care about typical sightseeing spots. Instead, they want to interact with locals – meeting people at non-tourist restaurants, taking buses with chickens and goats, and just generally avoiding tourist sites in favor of learning more about local culture.

Travelers dream of wandering the world. They fantasize about visiting places with exotic names that they have seen on maps or read in books. In many cases, they do not have realistic ideas what these alluring destinations are really like, but the names alone are magic to their ears. And they long to learn everything possible about the people and cultures of those places.

Kate in Gobi Desert Mongolia

They want to hang out and absorb the destination in a way that can only be done by visitors who are willing to forget where they came from in order to see the location through fresh eyes.

For these nomads, travel is more than just a task on a list of things to do. Traveling is the very reason for their existence. Those who fall into this category are not satisfied with one or two relatively short vacations each year. These prospective nomads have a longing to see the world up close and personal and want to wander for extended periods of time.

Does this kind of in-depth travel describe what you’re looking for?

What if you found a way to quit your job and travel the world forever? Many people think about this idea, but just as a fantasy. Most people keep their dream of traveling the world in a little box that they take out when they need to escape from stresses at work or home, similar to dreams of winning the lottery. In other words, seeing the world is great to fantasize about, but these people do not expect it to become reality.

They have many reasons why they will never do more than daydream about long-term traveling. They may say that now is just not the right time to take off gallivanting around the world because they are not financially stable enough, or they cite other obligations that make it impossible. And for most daydreamers, that is pretty much where the dream stays, with a couple of short vacations a year in order to check things off their bucket list.


Kate feeding llama in Peru

However, if you are a modern nomad at heart with a true desire to travel the world, it just might be possible for you to find a way to head out for your own global adventure.

In order to be a successful nomad, there are many considerations to weigh and a lot of preparations to be done before taking off on your world adventure. If you do not think it through and plan appropriately, it could end in disaster. But for those who are willing to make it a priority, becoming a modern nomad may certainly be within reach.


Hi – I’m Kate – shoestring traveler to Indonesia, Nepal, India, Tibet, Malaysia, Thailand, Spain, Russia, Siberia, and more – well-trained and loyal servant to 5 whippets and 2 Dalmatians – blogger about all things travel and dogs. Join me to explore the amazing adventure that can give you location independence.

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