As is becoming more and more common lately, Timen at in my All Stars and I seem to be sharing a brain cell. This time, it seems to be about the distinction between a tourist and a traveler.
I looked at this distinction as a part of my research paper, and while it applies in some circumstances, it’s less applicable in others. When both are traveling for a short period of time, I don’t think there’s much of a distinction. Neither is getting much of an understanding of the host environment, its culture or the people. It’s what I prefer to call an overview – you get a taste of the country. Hopefully, this taste is enough to draw you back for a longer visit if time and finances allow. This was exactly the case on my first trip to Australia: three weeks led to eleven months.
Over the course of a longer trip is where the distinction can become more obvious. I think there’s a difference, I’m just not certain whether traveler/tourist adequately covers it. What I see as the difference is between psychocentric and allocentric travelers. Do I think all allocentric travelers need to seek out every experience? No, of course not. As Litvin pointed out when he sought to revisit Plog, there are factors that pull people at either end toward the middle.
What is important to recognize is the different goals the groups are striving for. There’s a huge difference in a visitor’s view of a country if he or she has spent time interacting with the locals or if he or she has ‘seen it’ from the inside of an air-conditioned tour bus. There’s nothing necessarily good or bad about either, it’s all about personal preference. I definitely agree with Timen and the sentiments at The Lost Globe that each person thinks he or she is doing it the ‘right way’. It’s human nature.
Personally, I think there’s something special to be gained by truly seeing a country. While I wouldn’t go to the extremes that the authors did in Cold Beer and Crocodiles and The Roads to Sata (Travel Reading), I think the authors saw a lot more than the average traveler did because of the means of travel. It ties back to personal preference – this was what they wanted to gain from their trip. I wanted to see Australia at a more indepth level than plane travel would allow, so I went for Greyhound because I had time time to spare. I really need to dig up and import some of those old posts: there were some gems. My general thoughts on the experiences connected with traveling.
Speaking of experiences, I can’t wait to read Knockabout Girl, which I just got on a bookring last night. Anyone want to find me a 25th hour in the day to get more reading done?
Madrid is the Spanish Major: I know I’m biased, but it’s nice to see that the New York Times agrees with me!
I think Spain will always have a special place in my heart because it was there that I went on my first overseas trip. I was 16 and traveling with my high school classmates as a part of an exchange trip. Sure, there were chaperones but this wasn’t a family trip, we were out and about on our own.
When I returned in 2002, I was able to revisit some favorite spots and find some new ones, but it was overall a feeling of homecoming. This time I was ‘grown up’ – at 22 I’d chosen to return to Madrid to take the TEFL course. Sure, I could have taken it anywhere in the world including home but why do that when I could take it in one of my favourite cities?
When looking into flights for Prague, I checked prices from Madrid. It’s an option, though not an easy one as it’s not always fun to get from Barajas to the city and I’d have to go via London. When I flew from Prague to Madrid on easyJet in January 2003 I joked that I spent more time travelling from Stansted to Luton than I did from either Prague to London or London to Madrid.
I think what I love about Madrid is how comfortable I feel there. It was about 7 or 8 PM when I arrived from Prague in January 2003 and I had no qualms about not having a room reserved. I called around from the airport and found one easily enough.
I’m not a partier, but I love the city and the country. One day, I’d love the opportunity to live there. Spain and Australia would be a real toss up for me.
My Spain Page – from October/November 2002 and January 2003.
10.19.02 – two days spent exploring Madrid and re-discovering the city.
This was one of the books that really caught my attention yesterday at the library when my current Mt. TBR
exploded (last 5 under non-fiction)! I haven’t finished it yet, but it’s short chapters are the perfect length for reading at the gym. He’s got some oddball ideas about how to get a free second dessert in Paris, but he’s also got some good ones. I completely agree that a few phrases can go a long way when traveling overseas. I know I’m going to sound like Tarzan in Czech since I remember so little, but I can’t imagine not making the effort. I found a copy of Teach Yourself Czech (minus the CDs) and am seeing what comes back, but I really need to find a dictionary.
Back on the book, so far it’s not blatantly obvious that the book is 25 years old. If it’s true what they say about common sense not going out of style , I guess the same could apply to off beat sense. More when I’ve finished.
As far as travelling goes, I want to know where manners have gone. Out the window, I think. 28 pages of people showing an utter lack of respect for one another. It’s sad, but I’d hope that people of any size have more respect for one another in face to face situations rather then on anonymous message boards. Personally, I think the fact that 40% of respondents “HATE” sitting next to people due to their size is pretty sad.
I’ve started to look at flights for Prague and that’s being made much easier with Booking Buddy. How is it that I didn’t know about this site before? I’m not flying directly to Prague (or even via Amsterdam) because it’s insane. Don’t know when that changed. I’m tossing up flying to and from London, Madrid or Dublin and flying to Prague on easyJet. I did it before when I went from Prague to Madrid and it was pretty easy. It’s just not worth wasting the miles for a flight that can be done quite easily. And then I really need to book this. I think I’m going to be in the air more than on the ground this summer. Of course that’s not a *bad* thing
Oh and this was a link I meant to mention earlier before I got sidetracked on the 10 books… 5 Reasons the Lost Girls Can Afford to Travel the World I think it’s one of those things you only understand intuitively if you’ve done it. To the rest, travel seems prohibitively expensive. For short term trips, that can be true. You’re in such a rush to get from A to B in a limited time that it’s not always possible to price things out. I know I ran into this in Japan and have heard other stories. On the other hand, my entire trip from 27 November 2004 – 5 November 2005 cost less than half of what I made annually while living here. Some of that went on Visa (almost paid off, yay!), some was savings earmarked for this trip and some came from earnings, but either way it was far cheaper than I’d be living at home. Some aspects that made it cheaper:
- spent time staying with friends, family of friends or friends of friends where costs ranged from $0 to paying for food to $50 per week
- I travelled most of the country by bus with a great deal on a bus pass which also offered some free nights at YHA hostels
- I eat cheapy and don’t spend a lot on entertainment
I definitely didn’t do a bare bones budget trip-I’m too much of a bookworm and I need creature comforts. There were also expenses like car hire for the trip south of Perth, the trip to the Bungle Bungles and other day trips to the Reef, etc. All well worth it and, as I rationalized it, cheaper than flying back to NY and then trying these places. I knew I’d go back to Australia but that this trip was likely my only opportunity to see the NT and WA. So worth it. Every penny.
“Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of
arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather
to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, wine in the other, body
thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming ‘Woo-hoo what a
From this book, which I could not agree with more.
via West of Mars, I found out about Kailana’s Ten Books you Cannot Live Without…
Now I learnt back when I used to play the Relays that I had some weird tastes in books, so I’m not expecting this to be anything different…
1. Take Me With You – Brad Newsham – I love the idea of his trip. Being able to invite someone to come back with you – return the favour of hospitality.
2. Summer Sisters by Judy Blume – One of my favourite books of all time,
3. The Bells of Nagasaki – Takashi Nagai [review here] – there’s very little more poignant than a Doctor’s account of trying to save people following the bombing of Nagasaki
4. Bury Me Standing – Isabel Fonseca [review here]
5. Japan’s Longest Day – Pacific War Research Society [review here] – history buff in me and definitely one of my longest reviews ever
6. Cold Beer and Crocodiles – Roff Smith (link is to my review) it prompted my decision to ‘see it all’ or darned close and launched my trip around Australia
7. The Roads to Sata – Alan Booth (link is to my review) - another long one and a great look at the Japan most city folk, whether Japanese or gaijin never see
8. Are You There, God? It’s Me, Margaret – Judy Blume – a childhood classic that I reread at 25
9. The Five People You Meet in Heaven – Mitch Albom – it just touched me, it really did.
10. The Dead – Ingrid Black – it wasn’t that it was so good-I don’t even remember what it was about but I googled it to mention it to someone and that’s how I found BookCrossing. Can’t imagine life without BookCrossing.
It’s definitely an eclectic list, but like my reading habits: heavily non-fiction and a lot about travel and/or other cultures. I keep trying to get fiction recommendations because I read very little fiction.
I really yearn for time like I had in 2005 when all I did was read!
Seven Reasons to Travel with One Bag: I totally agree with this article and couldn’t have said it better myself. I just wish I could have done it. One bag, yep. One small bag, no way. There were definitely times that my backpack got a little unmanageable, but I couldn’t have done it with any less.
For me, it wasn’t the clothes or the creature comforts. It was BOOKS! Let’s not even talk about my smaller pack with the laptop, camera, external HD, iPod and other books. It was a cord-squid too with cables for the camera, iPod, laptop, cell phone, external HD…
I can pack lighter than some, but I’m jealous of minimalists…
Thanks – got it – that is a very fine, thoughtful review; would you please let the reviewer know how much it is appreciated? The author Lesley Thomas was very gratified to read it, and would like to tell her that she is working on another book about women in Lapp and ancient Norse cultures.
E-mails like this are part of why I love doing the review for Front Street Press. Although Far Eastern Press seems to be a bit bigger than Golden Quill Press/The Write Source was when I worked with them on Tell it to the Future, there’s just *something* about working with small publishers. I really look forward to reading more of the author’s work. I know even less about Lapp and ancient Norse cultures than I did about Inupiaq culture, but I look forward to the book. As I said when I first mentioned this book, it’s interesting how books, fiction or not, can get you interested in new cultures.
I found the blog via one of my usual haunts, in my All stars but it was the title: What you should know about getting a tattoo on the road that caught my attention.
Often, when travelling people make decisions which they wouldn’t usually do in their normal life back home.
Ordinarily, I’d say that was a good thing, that it’s one of the good things to do while travelling, but it really made me think about the tattoo issue. When I was in Fiji I met a lot of travelers headed ‘the other way’ aka back to the US after a semester or so in Australia or New Zealand and many had the Southern Cross tatooed on their feet. Now I’m totally for “whatever floats your boat” but it seemed there was a fair degree of herd mentality going on.
I wavered before getting my tattoo in Japan, not because I was concerned about wanting it when I got home-it was a tattoo I’d been talking about for years-but because I knew a tattoo could cause some problems while in Japan. In the end, I had my tat done here 5+ years ago and I’ve never regretted it for a second. It’s a subtle souvenir of Japan: Round I. And I was able to use onsens in Kyoto and at Fuji-san without any issue.
At other times on other trips I contemplated other tattoos. I even had the artwork done for one but didn’t have it done because I was sunburned. By the time I was no longer sunburned, I kind of forgot about it. There’s still one I’m contemplating, but if I end up getting it, it will probably be done here. We’ll see.
Thinking about actually using Skype while in Prague and Australia this summer.
Sounds like I’d need this for people to call me (and at $12 for 3 months, it’s quite reasonable – better than renting a mobile phone) and this to call others?
Don’t know how many minutes I’d need to buy as nearly everyone (including my 85 year old grandmother!) has a cell that they could call me for free on.
Am I missing something?
[crossposted to my LJ]
So Ute is posting pics of flowers in bloom. Normally I’d be doing that, however the weather had other plans.
3 more here
I know you’re jealous of my fashion. I figure I definitely got my exercise for the day. We didn’t end up with as much snow as expected but midway through it switched to sleet making the snow very heavy. Snow, snow go away!On the plus side, they let us go early from work. Took me almost an hour and a half to go 14 miles but I got home and had a long, hot shower. The lazy life.
I took advantage of the time to finish my Marketing midterm and am now working on the Lit Review for my paper. I love the subject and the idea of the research is wonderful. I love reading the articles but when it comes to putting it in an organized format…That’s just not my thing.
I also mostly (well as close as I’m going to get) finished Lincoln at Gettysburg. As I mentioned earlier, I’m not enjoying this book as much as I thought I’d might, however there were some interesting points made by Wills.
“It would have been hard to predict that Gettysburg, out of all this muddle, these missed chances, all the senseless deaths, would become a symbol of national purpose, pride, and ideals.”
I think this definitely speaks to exactly why Gettysburg must be remembered. It’s something that the The Gettysburg Foundation can use to keep the visitors coming. Remind them of why they need to go, need to have an understanding of the significance of Gettysburg in our nation’s history. Not just the battle, but what it became a symbol of.
It has been said (Wills 37) that the goal of Lincoln’s speak was to “disinfect the air of Gettysburg” and I think he went far above and beyond that, to which the enduring meaning of his Address is testament. No one could have expected or predicted that this Address, given 140+ years ago would be cited over and over in the wake of another battle that America faced following 9.11.01.
Even if the traveller is not a historian, I think history can and should be a reason behind the choice to visit a destination. So much more can be learned via a hands-on approach than through reading about it. Destinations can have programs that appeal to visitors of all ages, especially allowing children to learn more about the place they’re visiting.
And I have no idea where birds go when it snows, especically with late season storms like this one.
Finally finished the write-up on Flight of the Goose for Front Street last night. I have to say I’m grateful to have found the site via BookCrossing and BookRelay because it has introduced me to a number of authors and genres who I might not otherwise have considered. Since starting with FSR last Summer, I’ve reviewed the following:
The last one, which coincidentally was the first title I reviewed for FSR, was by far the most interesting. I can’t put my finger on the concrete reason, but I think it was because I don’t have too much awareness of Africa. I remember learning about the Rwandan genocide while in school but until I read this book I didn’t know anything of what had gone on in Burundi around the same time.
Africa for me is an odd paradox. I had a wonderful time meeting the Tanzanian delegation. Their presentation, together with the information I picked up at the Travel Show, really piqued my interest in the country but I can’t say whether I’d go. I’m interested on a variety of levels: historical because I find the story of the Olduvai Gorge and NgoroNgoro Crater to be crucial to understanding how we as a civilization came about; ecological/physical because I want to know more about Kilimanjaro and I’d love one day to climb it; and of course sheer desire to visit Zanzibar. No good reason, just because I want to.
I’d love to visit Egypt for some of the same historical reasons, Morocco for its culture and South Africa for a variety of reasons, but I don’t know whether I ever will. I remember getting a copy of On Foot Through Africa and thinking how many wonderful things she saw, but also knowing there is no way I could do what she’d done.
I have a read a few other good titles that look place, at least in part, in Africa: Take me With You by Brad Newsham, Swahili for the Broken Hearted by Peter Moore and Dark Star Safari by Paul Theroux are a few off the top of my head.
It is funny how reading about a place sparks an interest in learning more. Guess that’s the sign of a well-written book. Getting back to where I started, that was what I loved about Flight of the Goose. It was a vehicle, although fictional, for me to learn more about the Inupiaq culture, which I know very little about.
I just wish I had more time to read!
The Pros and Cons of Working Abroad (via Backpackers’ Travel Blog).
Now this isn’t a topic I know anything about When I was in high school and college I said that my dream was to live and work abroad. I’ll never forget when a student told me, during my first time in Japan, “You need a new dream, you did that one.”* Of course I knew I was living and working in Japan, but it hadn’t really hit me-if that makes sense. While I enjoy the occasional quickie vacation that’s just that, a vacation, I tend to want to travel for longer periods of time and that’s where the ability to work while travelling comes in handy. This is, of course, a separate issue from moving abroad for the sole purpose of work. I was glad to see this issue being tackled because it’s one I’m also working on for my Applied Research class.**
I found the author’s comments on the issue of the work visa to be quite interesting:
Why get one at all? Well, many “regular” jobs require you to have one in order to legally employ you, your job pool is increased by being able to legally work and the ease with which you’ll be able to find employment will increase with the amount of jobs available to you.
I think this has a definite correlation with work location-not just which country you’re working in but also the region of the particular country. With my limited work visa (good only for four months due to the crazy relationship between the US and Australian governments when it comes to visas) I found it challenging to get office temp work in Brisbane because most of the agencies wanted me to be available for a greater period of time. In the end I found work at a bookstore run by Lifeline. Although I don’t usually care for retail work, this position had a couple of advantages:
- it was a great opportunity to meet people. It was a decently busy store on a main thoroughfare, plus people know the brand. They were often surprised to hear the American accent and we’d talk about why I was in Australia, working in Brisbane, where I should go, etc.
- it paid a living wage. I can’t remember exactly but it was between $17 and $18 AUD per hour.
I was only able to work there for about six weeks before my Visa ran out, but it was a lot of fun. In this case, I needed a Visa. However later in my trip once I was on a tourist visa and ineligible for work, there were opportunities for money to be made. This was most common ‘under the table’ work but I did have several opportunities for office work as well. As the article I indicated, I did get my taxes refunded, in addition to the Superannuation (think FICA). It was a nice amount of cash to have in hand for my departure to Japan.
The following, however, is the central tenet and IMO, should be the focus of a job taken while travelling:
It’s always useful to draw on your experience, interests and talent, but don’t be afraid to leave you comfort zone and try something new.
If nothing else, a weird and wonderful job will make a great story to take back home.
I met several people over the course of my trip who were working 40-50 hours in an office because it was what they knew. Now I don’t knock people for their choice in work, but I can’t imagine travelling halfway around the world to work your tail off doing something you could do at home. You’ve made the choice to move, why not consider other job opprtunities while you’re at it?
Some of what I did in WA led me to the program I’m in now. See, it’s not all just flittering around the world for no good reason!
*New Dream: All 7 continents by the time I’m 30
**My project is nowhere near done, though I may post the Lit Review once I’ve cleaned it up some. I have an extensive list of journals on the topic if anyone is interested.
From Tourism Magazine via the Tourism Research Blog
People are looking, perhaps, for escapism, or affinity, or any number of other motivators, and it’s a matter of providing assurance to the potential customer that Canada can deliver experiences matching their desires
I think this attitude is crucial to successful tourism product development and/or destination marketing. A tourist doesn’t go to <insert destination here> because of that place’s name, they go because they associate that destination with a certain experience.
This is especially at the forefront of the realization that a destination cannot be everything to everyone. Not everyone wants to go to New York City, if an urban vacation with theatre, museums, shopping, etc. is not what they’re after. It’s a drain on valuable resources to try and attract the customer who is not seeking the experience that a particular destination can offer.
Destinations that can offer a wide range of experiences, such as New York City, Rome, or Sydney are at an advantage over others who have more specialized offerings. Neither is right or wrong, or better or worse, it just depends on keeping the right segment(s) in mind. Oh dear god, marketing is following me into Tourism Product Development.
On a completely unrelated note, Prague is a go! There are some minor details still to be sorted, namely my being in Australia when the paper is due, but I’m 98% certain this summer will start out in Europe.
Four weeks, six credits. Woohoo. Classes run 28 May – 22 June, but I’m not sure exactly when I’m flying in. This confirmation had me looking at the photos from the last trip. It will be nice to experience the city at a time when it’s warmer and there are hopefully more tourists about. I’m also hoping to make some other side trips, most of which are still TBD.
See: it’s all about the experiences I’m after. Cultural & Heritage Tourism and Sports Tourism Development in interesting locations. This summer’s location just happened to be Prague. It’s not so unrelated after all!