Healthy and Thoughtful Travel
Are You a Tourist or a Traveler?
With travel back in full force as WHO declares the end to the Covid global health emergency, I am reminded once again that traveling is a privilege and all of us on planet Earth share the same world and the same window of time.
So, as we set off on our much-anticipated trips, tours, and adventures – may I point out that travel is a mind-set, and that mind-set is a choice we make. There’s an expression I recently heard; “Tourists complain, travelers give thanks”. Are we going to choose to be in a tourist mind-set and complain about little things on our trip and have unrealistic expectations in countries that have different laws, norms, standards of living, and customs; or are we going to have a traveler’s mind-set and express gratitude, and reframe any hiccups along the way as new opportunities & unexpected adventures? I say we set a goal right from the start that our travel will be more than just a holiday, but a rewarding and enriching experience that invigorates us, heightens our emotions, and changes our perspective.
It’s unfortunate, but tourists will typically tend to keep the “walls” up while traveling, but travelers will seek to build “bridges” on their journeys. Tourists will sometimes selfishly demonize others, but travelers will always wisely humanize others while seeing the world as filled with joy and good people. For so many a tourist, their travel is about comfort, instant gratification, and bragging rights; but for travelers, it’s about people and relationships and getting out of our comfort zones. We are but mere students in a world of history and heritage when we travel, and culture shock is the lesson that we must learn to graduate.
I’m wishing you a “bon voyage” on your travels this year and beyond. Most of all, have fun and may your shared experiences become wonderful life-long memories and may your travels become your teacher.