Are you a tourist or a traveler?

You probably don’t even have to get out of your home town to meet most of the different kinds of travelers. There are selfie-tourists, the extremely culture-savvy tourists, the “hippies”, the luxury travelers, the nature adventurers. And a lot more. Especially Peru being a big destination for all kinds of people – rich and not so rich – we met a whole bunch of different people, some only spending a week escaping from their busy routines at home and others who are in their third (!) year of traveling the Americas. I think getting to know every single person inspired me and boyfriend so much and meeting new people, like-minded or not, is one of the best parts of traveling.

After all I noticed some conflicts or rather differences of opinion between the groups of travelers. Somehow, each group is looking down on the others in some form. You hear things like: “They are just traveling for the pictures. Do they think they get to know a whole country in only one week?” and on the other hand: “I could never sleep in a 12 people dorm and wear the same clothes every day. This is so gross!” I think I can account myself guilty of judging others, too. I am not a big fan of selfie sticks and especially not of people running around with them non-stop filming or taking pictures of themselves and blocking the whole way. I find it really sad how they are not really paying attention to the landscapes or landmarks, but only look at the reflection of their face on their phones. There have been a few rants already haha. But this is irrelevant now. :-)

Long-term travelers

As we linger a lot in cheaper hostels we’ve met more people traveling long-term which I consider 1 month+. And there are two extremes of traveling long-term: We met a few people that made street art or sold some things to finance their travels. They travel really slowly, staying in the same place for weeks and live really basic. We like to call them the “Argentinians”, because most of the times they are Argentinians hahaha. They really get in contact with the locals and expats, and spend most of their time on the streets or in the hostels. A really relaxing way of traveling. However, we’ve noticed that most of these people are not really interested in the cultural and natural things that are around – they won’t do a lot of sight-seeing. This style is more about living not being a tourist.

Then there is the other extreme – those to cover a whole continent in as short as one or two months. Most of the times you will hear them tell other travelers about their route, where they’ve already been and what they will do in the next week. Itineraries that took you more forever to travel to, they will rush through them in only a few weeks. They love to talk about the organized tours they made and how amazing everything was. I like to call them the touristy travelers. They love to take pictures of everything and will visit every sight in a city and climb every mountain in a national park, most of the times they take a tour and don’t bother to do it on their own. They will spend many of their nights in buses to continue their travels without losing a lot of time. Clearly not something you can go on with for a long time.

My boyfriend and I are a bit of a mix of both. We like to take it easy, also stay at some places for a little longer to volunteer and like to talk to locals but on the other hand we want to see a lot of the countries too, know about history and the people and will also sometimes go on a tour to receive said information.

I hear a lot of the slow travelers judging faster travelers because of their style of traveling, it is too fast, it is ignorant, it is not real. In some cases this might even be true, but only in the eyes of the slow travelers. What everybody gets out of their travels depends on themselves. For some it works better this way, for some the other. There is no perfect way in traveling and if a person thinks they want to travel Peru, Bolivia, Colombian and Ecuador in 3 weeks then so be it – we will take some more time. They will see a lot in this short time and probably won’t have a real vacation, and at the same time miss some things. But this might be the way it works out for them, time wise, financially or maybe this is just the way they like it. Everybody will have a different situation and different goals to their journeys and even if it might be hard to understand for me, it makes perfectly sense for them.

So here we go! I actually didn’t really know where I was going with this post, but sometimes it bothers me how people are so judgy. So I guess what’s left to say, enjoy your travels in any way you prefer as long as you don’t bother anyone with what you do. ;-) And if you want to do me a little favor please leave your selfie sticks at home and actually look at the place, unless you actually look at your thousands of selfies afterwards. (I don’t think so!) Otherwise I would advise you to enjoy the views! ;-)

XX

Ella

PS: The picture is me being an absolute tourist in Berlin. :-) Loved it! ;-)

 

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