Look, depending on your definition of what a tourist is and also just because that’s what you prefer to be known as, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with being a tourist, but the reason why I think it better to identify as a traveller rather than a tourist is simply that travellers tend to get a whole lot more value out of their travels than the typical “tourist.”
Again, it’s ultimately just a matter of interpretation and also what you personally value out of your travels, but for the purposes of the message I’m trying to convey here, we need to discuss the differences between what being a tourist is in comparison to being a traveller.
Traveller vs. Tourist
You can spot a tourist from miles away, whereas a traveller is perhaps only given away as not being of the locale they’re visiting because of something like their physical appearance, otherwise you wouldn’t be able to tell the difference between a traveller and a local by just looking at something like their mannerisms, how they interact with other people and how they interact with the environment they’re in actual fact exploring as a visitor. That is the first difference that tells a tourist apart from a traveller. The tourist would perhaps stop to take photos of themselves to make sure they “capture the moment” in a way that clearly shows that they “were there,“ and there’s nothing wrong with that at all. However, the approach of a traveller in this regard ensures the traveller gets a lot more value out of it.
The traveller in this regard would perhaps spend a lot longer at a specific destination, so they’d then pace themselves by way of “memory-capturing” moments such as stopping to take photos. Additionally, a traveller would also take a lot more photos with other people at their destination, like the locals and they’d also take a lot of pictures which aren’t exclusively focussed on them as the main subject. Again, it all goes back to your experience of your destination if you’re a traveller, as opposed to the destination’s experience of you as a tourist, so to say.
This way of thinking opens up an entire world of benefits to enjoy in your approach to travelling as a traveller, over visiting as a “tourist.” For the traveller it’s more about the journey than the destination, so a traveller might use public transport to experience how the locals live out their lives, while a tourist will go straight from the airport with a private taxi perhaps and seldom venture away from their hotel.
One such benefit a traveller would then enjoy over a tourist in this regard would be that of learning how they can spend less while enjoying more value, such as perhaps comparing bus pass prices so that they don’t have to pay the full price charged for every single trip they take, perhaps rather buying longer-term tickets which then naturally work out a lot cheaper per trip.
This is just one of many examples of how being a traveller affords one more value over being a tourist, but ultimately it’s about the depth of the experience you have.