Monday, May 15, 2006

Traveler or a Tourist?

Some years back, I mentioned to Evelyn Hannon, who operates the wildly successful web site linking women (and a number of men) travelers from around the world, that the more I traveled, the more I realized that people are more alike than they are different.

"That," she said, "is because you are a traveler, not a tourist."

I found another distinction between the two: A traveler starts planning their next trip before they are home from the one they are currently on. Vis, the couple, ex-Adelaide, Australia, and currently living in Hong Kong, who toured Sabah and Sarawak when I did. Two or three days into our 8-day trip, they were planning to visit a part of Thailand that was new to them. I realized I was doing the same: Already planning a return visit to peninsular Malaysia, not counting the days till I was back home with family and friends.

Mind you, now that I am home, I am entertaining trips to other, non-Malaysia, destinations. Maybe I should put Malaysia on hold for a year or so in order to see it with fresh eyes. I'd hate to fall into the 'trap' of finding a destination I enjoy, then making it the *only* place I go on holiday. (I am thinking of a solo traveler who went to Cuba, found a spot she liked, then went back to the same spot for the next number of years simply because she felt 'safe' there.)

After all, it's a big world with much else to explore.