Traveling and How “Tourism” Became a Dirty Word

When we think of tourism, we think of people in Bermuda shorts carrying point-and-shoot cameras going to foreign countries just to seek out the same things that they do at home. They eat their hamburgers, ride around on a double decker bus, go to the tacky souvenir shops, and pay way too much for a taxi ride or clichéd trinket. There are plenty of funny comparisons on the internet between “travelers” and “tourists,” and no one wants to call themselves a tourist when they travel.

A tourist, via definition, is somewhat similar to a traveler. But the connotation of a traveler implies a deeper intent than a tourist. The tourist might get the basics down, see some sights, take a few pictures, and go home, experiencing only the surface of a country. A traveler goes deeper. A traveler explores the culture, the people, the traditions, the food, the lifestyles and inner workings of a country. A traveler gets more involved. This is not to suggest that being a traveler is better than being a tourist, as there are some amazing sights to be seen, and I’m sure that many tourists appreciate where they are. But being a traveler demonstrates an understanding of this world that we all live in together. – Debby Jagerman

All semantics aside, we feel that the main difference is one in mindset. Instead of forcing their culture upon others, which is how many “tourist traps” come to be, travelers integrate themselves in local experiences and are open to new things. We hope to keep culture alive by using technology to make it a little easier to become a traveler and get to the heart of a place. With a focus on building community and the sharing economy making the world a smaller place, hopefully in a few years the distinction won’t be so apparent, and the notion of “tourism” won’t be so dirty.

“One’s destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things.” – Henry Miller  

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