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Blog - Traveller or Tourist? Be a Guest! (In 7 Ways)
Travel blogs are always full of distinctions between Travellers and Tourists, and the topic starts to sound already a bit boring and repetitive. Often, this comparison created antagonism between 2 different teams: the travellers are seen as hippies that travel uncomfortably to reach a sort of travel nirvana, while tourists like those that are contended with sunbeds, big umbrellas and group mass tours.
This dispute is a bit futile and unnecessary: people travel as they like and, often, due to situations or particular moment of your life, at times you find yourself being more of a “traveller”, while other times more like a “tourist”. What counts more is that you respect the place that is welcoming you, its people and their environment. For this reason, we like to think that there is a figure that can unify the two typologies: the “guest”.
Let’s see the rules of the guest:
1. THE GUEST GETS ADVICES FROM THE LOCALS
No one but those that live in a place can tell you more about where to eat and what to see. Paper guides and travel blogs can be useful, but nothing beats the absolute firsthand experience and tips from the local dwellers!
2. THE GUEST DOESN’T TAKE ANYTHING AWAY AND DOESN’T MAKE THINGS DIRTY
Imagine going to someone else’s house and taking the lamp in the living room or a pair of shoes that you particularly liked. Imagine hosting a dinner for a guest that, before leaving, signs the wall of your bathroom. It’s the same when someone takes corals home or makes monuments dirty. These things may seem obvious, but sometimes for some, they are not.
3. THE GUEST IS A PERSON FULL OF GRATITUDE
Travelling, maybe in a far country, you may experience some very different local habits, customs and tastes. And it’s good, since we travel because we want to know something different than what we’re used to back home. The guest knows it and let other people surprise her/him, forgetting complaints. It’s again like being invited for dinner: you will get and savor what they serve, and maybe you even bring a dessert.
4. THE GUEST IS A PERSON WHO RESPECTS LAWS, CUSTOMS AND TRADITIONS
Travelling to another place or country or continent means that you will adapt to it. We will appreciate something more, while we will like other things less, but it is all a result of a society that is hosting us. The guest knows it and for some time will experience a different place, being involved and without judging.
5. THE GUEST IS A PERSON THAT LIKES TO LISTEN
If your host wants to talk to you about the recipe he cooked for you, it’s best to pay good manners to listen and show some interest. Even if you already know about it or perhaps you already read it somewhere. It can be because of good manners, but also because there is always something new to learn and you may even discover that you were wrong about a certain topic.
6. THE GUEST HAS ENTHUSIASM ALSO FOR THE SMALL THINGS
If you know the pleasure of being welcomed, then it is easier to get excited. Maybe you won’t encounter something spectacular but you will be able to appreciate the value of small things and of understanding. It can be through a deep cultural experience or even just while chatting with the personnel of the resort where you decided to rest for a couple of weeks.
7. THE GUEST GOES HOME WITH SOMETHING NEW
The guest enjoyed everything at its best, because he opened himself to the pleasure of hospitality. It might have been a sunny or rainy holiday and the itinerary could be smooth or tortuous, but the guest discovered the place and satisfied his/her curiosity.
What about you? Do you feel more like a traveller or a tourist? In both cases, you are always welcome to be a guest!
(written on April 2017)