Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Traveler vs. Tourist

I've been having this internal struggle between being a traveler or a tourist. I'll be honest. On most of our most recent trips, we have fully embraced being and looking like a tourist. Shameful, no? It was just so convenient, those cruises and those tours. But the silver lining is I feel like I've learned so much from the tour guides that I wouldn't have learned otherwise, because I'm too lazy to read those travel books.

I'm surprised I have become such a tourist. When I hear "tourist," I usually cringe a bit. I think of the people who ask us to take their photos for them then frown at us afterward. The people who wear cheesy t-shirts and say inappropriate things to the locals. As I read Tales of a Female Nomad, my embarrassment grows.

Then, I do a quick check. I don't have the luxury of traveling for weeks or months at a time. I do want to see all the amazing sites that I have seen on TV. Yes, I carry my camera (even multiple cameras discreetly hidden in my giant purse) around with me at all times. Yes, I feel naked without a camera. For the record, I do this at home too. I just like taking photos.

So, that's my dilemma. We possibly have a trip to New York on the horizon. I'm trying to decide if I want to be a tourist or a traveler. Maybe, a tourist just one more time?

Isn't the shirt adorable? I think I just may ask for it for my birthday. :)

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