Are you a 'TOURIST' or a 'TRAVELLER'

Definition of tacky by Vocabulary.com:  Things that are cheap, flashy, garish, gaudy, loud, tawdry or trashy. 

Definition of tourist: A person who travels for pleasure, usually sightseeing and staying in hotels. 

Definition of traveller: a person who is traveling or who often travels. 
Synonyms:tourist, vacationer, sightseervisitorglobetrotter, backpacker; More

Is there a difference between a tourist and a traveller?  By the media's standards, one can classify a 'tourist' as being one to take a two week vacation, sightsee, stay on the resort, and never venture outside of those walls; while a 'traveller' can be classified as one to visit a working farm that's less popular with the masses on a 4 month stint or longer and totally immerse into the landscape, and culture.  A traveller maybe looked upon as being the more favorable style of traveller to be today.  The separation of the two, portrays the epitome of what can be and is a tourist vs. traveller; and social media is a flutter with "don't be a tourist, be a traveller". As far as I can see, there is some snobbery when it comes to the word 'traveller'. Not everyone is cut out to go off the beaten track, endure working vacations, volunteering in third world countries, etc.  Some people like organized tours, and tourist like attractions. One shall not be penalized for their style of travel nor their travel identity.

 

Source Google. The Griswalds 

Source Google. The Griswalds 

Today's travelling society is more like an "IT-CROWD".  Your experiences appears to have to be ONLY that of the most authentic, dangerous and extremist of experiences.  Scaling mountains, swimming with great white sharks off the barrier reef, injecting oneself into a culture until your own identity seems to disappear. Of course I could be wrong in this, but being a woman who is part of the travel industry, I believe we all experience what we experience because we DECIDE to.  I sincerely believe that it is a matter of perspective in how we view it all.  In the past, the "tacky tourist" was all the rage. And heaven forbid you were defined as a tacky tourist. Who is a tacky tourist today? I'd like to say no one, but I know better, because travellers have evolved into self-made, efficient, travel gurus who crave an exciting, hands-on yet localized travel experience and lifestyle,  which allows them to understand their very own existence.

Teisha in Panama

Teisha in Panama

Today the word tourist seems to be a bad word. Articles are written dissecting a tourist and why it's a travel crime to be considered a tourist, when in reality, aren't we all tourists? We are all visiting a destination from an original place, whether it be for the 1st, 2nd, or 20th time.  We all travel from one place to the other, learning, observing, growing, and experiencing. Whether or not a hotel, hostel, B&B, private residence, or a hammock is where you will lay your head at night, in some way, we are all tourists. Just remember that to the locals of the destination you are visiting, YOU ARE A TOURIST! You are an outsider visiting THEIR home, you are a tourist. Get used to it.

Don't be defined by the labels set by others. Travel because you are opened to experiencing something fresh, new, and exciting. Even if it means, travelling to a different city in your country.  Don't get caught up in labels.  Labels are easy to remove, rename, and replace. Who's to say what new label will be decades and centuries from now.

Just get out there and have fun!!!