Earlier today I was browsing through my timeline on Facebook, as you do.
All was well, people were looking happy, a baby had been born, people were posting pictures from exotic places. I saw an engagement and then suddenly I saw something that left me feeling a little miffed if I’m being honest.
Some girl in one of my travel groups posted a cute little picture from Rome along with words about how she’s a traveller because she likes to sit and have a coffee and take in a place, but her Dad is a tourist because he likes to get into the crowds and take pictures of things, and god forbid, he also likes to stop and read plaques and stuff.
Am I missing something here?
What does that even mean?
So if I get all up in a cities junk and take pictures of stuff does that make me a tourist?
What about the times that I sit down in busy square’s having a coffee *cough* beer whilst I listen to all of the different languages surrounding me? Does that make me a traveller?
Let’s take a closer look at this; because maybe I’m just being a dumb dumb, and I’m missing something that the rest of the world gets and are just sitting there rolling their eyes at me whilst I try my very bestest to decipher the difference between the two.
- A person who is travelling, especially for pleasure.
- A person who travels or has travelled in distant places or foreign lands.
So what I’m getting here is that a traveller is a traveller because they go further afield whilst a tourist sounds like the altogether happier version of the two?
Well slap me with a selfie stick and call me a tourist please!
Okay I’ll change the tune from sarcastic for a minute because I can pretty much hear my mum’s voice in my head as I write this – ‘Two wrongs don’t make a right Elizabeth, stop being sarcastic’. (Now go back and read that in a Welsh accent because my mum’s adorable and Welsh).
I think the bit that really irked me about that whole post was the shaming of this girls Dad. When she finished her post with something like ‘I just really wanted to enjoy this.’ WHAT DO YOU MEAN GIRL?! You’re away with your awesome Dad that wants to travel with you to a new City and is so overexcited that he wants to run head first into the crowds to take pictures of everything to remember his trip.
– It’s probably because he’s away with his daughter that he wants to remember is so much.
Can we please just drop this millennial pretentious bullshit for one second and not make the man feel like crap because he is a tourist rather than the traveller that you want him to be?
Because if you ask me, there should be no real difference between a tourist and a traveller. People have different travel styles, and different things that really tickle them when they’re abroad, so what gives the Elitest movement that are ‘travellers’ the right to quickly disregard and label someone as a ‘tourist’?
I really do try and bite my tongue when someone has a way of phrasing things the way that I wouldn’t personally, but when it comes to the point that you’re even looking down on one of your parents because they’re not cultured enough, don’t speak enough languages or take too long taking pictures of a landmark that they’ve probably dreamed of seeing in person for longer than you’ve been alive; it really is time to stop.
If you’re that person that lists off all the countries that you’e visited and why you’re a better traveller than I am in a Hostel then I really don’t care. In fact, you’re probably right.
But damn well stop when it comes to putting your parents down. Our parents didn’t have the same opportunities that we’ve had to travel. They didn’t have cheap airlines like we do now, and they didn’t have as many opportunities like travel blogging, TEFLing or even staying at different farms like we do.
Let them run free and take as many pictures as they please, tell them how amazing they are for doing so and stand there losing your shit with them.
Please just stop encouraging people to travel just to look down on them because it’s not the same way that you choose to do it.
Doing that doesn’t make you a traveller, it makes you an asshole.
Someone that loves to take shit loads of pictures during City breaks.
Someone that loves to travel slowly and spend as much time as she can getting to know a place and the people.
Someone that will go to an Irish pub just to have sausage and mash because she has missed eating it since living in Madrid.
Someone who will move to Madrid and live with a family to help with learning the language.