Is it just me or is anyone else sick to the back cover of their Lonely Planet guide of seeing quotes/memes and very reputable travel companies advocating that we all stop being a tourist and actually start travelling.
Well I think that you need to shove your travel snobbery in your backpack and stop telling us all how superior you are. I’ve met people who’ve lived in the same town for 50 years that have more stories, personality and charm than some of the travellers I’ve met who’ve visited 50 countries.
Everyone should travel – and everyone can be a traveller. And no one should define what travel should mean to someone else. It isn’t some coveted title reserved only for those who discover a new tribe in the rainforest or reach the furthest outpost or highest peak. It’s not about exclusivity or exoticness – it’s about finding your boundaries and going beyond them.
Climb Mount Everest if you like getting high. Go on an 18-30s booze cruise if that floats your boat. Visit a museum in your home town. Camp an hour up the road. Jump on a guided coach trip of a city complete with headphone commentary and guide book. Catch a bus to your local Botanical Gardens and chat to some ‘tourists’ getting excited about what’s in your back garden – find your holiday in your home town again.
Travel outside into your own backyard or local park and explore your community flora and fauna. Open a book and discover your mind. Visit an art gallery and open up a new world of creativity.
Get out and about. See the sights even if they are as small as a butterfly flying around your garden or as big as the Eiffel Tower on your trip overseas.
Go to the nearest beach, buy an ice cream, bury your toes in the sand and feel how great it is to be a tourist at home.
Talk to people. Chat to your tour guide. Get the local gossip from the regulars in the pub where you’ve spent half your holiday relaxing rather than seeing the things you ‘should’ be seeing. Learn a new language from that tribe you just discovered.
Just keep exploring, shifting those boundaries and moving those horizons.
But don’t, not once, let someone tell you how you should be doing it.