When I was a kid, I always want to travel. It has always been a dream to be in another place, another country especially. It started when I was in 2nd grade, having this student exchange- foreign foster family abroad program was introduced to us, that was the beginning of my curiosity. I know we didn’t have a lot so I didn’t even asked my parents about it, if they can send me to that. Yet, that is the beginning of my traveling passion.
It was then when I start thinking, “How is it like living in the other countries?” (The program was in UK), “I wonder how is it, if I was born in that country?”, “How different is it from my kind of living now?” and a lot more… Those are just the few that started in my early years of living.
Anyway, few years after… I am now traveling on my own, yes, travelling solo. I didn’t even know I could. It is an amazing experience! I get to know cultures, see places, learn languages, meet new friends, be more confident, and things that you see, feel, experience that money can’t buy.
During my travels since I started traveling last year with a friend, I noticed different ways of travellers. The behaviour and attitude is something I take note of. Although, I must admit that travelling alone gives you more freedom and a more personal point of view on what’s going on around you. I understand better how people are, not just based on story telling or hearsay but through my own observation and being one with the story, and so now I get to tell my own story.
There are backpackers (I refer them as real travelers) and tourists. We’ll see how you see yourself after reading this if you’re a tourist or a traveller?
Going back to my observation, I find that backpackers are smarter than tourists. Simply because, they know what to do, what they are doing, where to go, how to get there, when and how like a local. They bargain, they ask, they try to speak the language, they are concern with everyone they meet, mostly a concern human beings.
Not that tourists aren’t, its just the way of traveling is different. Tourists I noticed just wanna see the place, take photos, hear the history, but that’s just about it. Pay the higher price(it doesn’t matter if its rip off or not), this doesn’t help the economy because they are pushing locals to think they will pay whatever price and given that, prices gets higher and capitalists will rise but the workers would not benefit much of it, it will be the capitalist. This is what happens when people don’t care but their own, just a pleasure for them when they’re traveling. Some treat locals like slaves, very rude. Thinking that because they paid the higher price, they can do whatever they want, or behave in the strangest way they could disrespecting the culture of the place. When we know that the price they paid isn’t worth for their disrespect.
Backpackers on the other hand is always been judged too. Some up themselves locals find them ‘no money’ travelers because they bargain a lot and don’t splurge. Some locals find them humble and most of them are what I call ‘spiritual travellers’, people that sees more things than they are. Ask deeper questions because they care, they want to understand what they don’t have.
I am not in the position to judge nor am I judging tourists, but this is just to let them know, be aware that they have to KNOW the place they are going to or otherwise, they should have not visit it. Just like a visitor in the our house, we don’t invite them just to be insulted, no way! So I hope I made my point across to the tourists and other fellow travellers to be more responsible in their journey. Take time to experience the culture, try to absorb it. Don’t just see and don’t care, just be grateful of what you have, and knowing them is the one of the best way to share.