Tourist vs. Visitor

I have been discussing, with my aunt, the differences between being a tourist and being a visitor. I have enjoyed being a visitor much more than being a tourist.

As a visitor, I have reconnected with old friends, engaged in deep conversations with family members, and met new, interesting friends who were introduced to me by the person I was staying with. As a tourist, I have asked random people on the street to take a picture of me with a landmak in the background, but have otherwise kept to myself.

As a visitor, I saved money on lodging by sleeping on my friend’s couch and cooking in her kitchen. As a tourist, I spent money paying for a hostel and eating out every night.

As a visitor, I knew exactly what cafe to go to for the best service and best coffee in Vienna. As a tourist, I was forced to pick an over-priced, under-quality restaurant at random because it was near by.

As a visitor, I have had free and unlimited access to internet to stay in touch with friends and keep up with my blog. As a toursit, I have had to pay for internet access in an overpriced, overly hip cafe.

I have been lucky enough to stay with friends or friends of friends in all but one of the cities I have visited and I am thankful for that. In the future I hope to be a perpetual visitor and infrequent tourist.

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3 Responses to “Tourist vs. Visitor”

  1. Chris Says:

    nice post jareau. ive been thinking about tourist vs. visitor recently as well. you may have heard of couchsurfing.org? in the tourist/visitor framework id say its a tool for would-be tourists to be potential visitors.

  2. Chris Says:

    haha, in fact, I’ve continued to think about this! I read another blog post just now which takes this a step further! From tourist to visitor to…what? How about guest (visitor) vs. pilgrim? Check this out: http://nipun.charityfocus.org/blog/ar/pilgrimvedchi/000621.html
    peace to you, jareau

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