[NoHo Arts District, CA] – This month’s Active World Journeys’ travel blog: “Are you a Tourist or a Traveler?”
With travel back in full force as WHO declares the end to the Covid global health emergency here in May 2023, 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 – remember that travel is a mindset, and that mindset 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 mindset 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 mindset and express gratitude, and reframe any hiccups along the way as new opportunities and unexpected adventures?
Let’s set a goal right from the start that our travel will be more than just a holiday, it will be a rewarding and enriching experience that invigorates us, heightens our emotions, and changes our perspective.
Tourists tend to keep the “walls” up while traveling, but travelers will always seek to build “bridges.”
Tourists can demonize others, but travelers humanize others while seeing the world as filled with joy and good people. For many tourists, their travel is selfishly about comfort, instant gratification, and bragging rights; but for travelers, it’s all 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 embrace to graduate and become wiser.
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.
Jack Witt, MS, CPT
Fitness and Health Coach
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