Travel vs Tourism

So, I’ve been thinking. I’ve got so many things I want to get done this year. Perhaps move the launch of Heart Shaped Bruise a bit closer and start a massage course, and it’s got me thinking about whether or not I can afford to do another big trip this year/early next year. However, I still want to launch HSB from another country, because that is my *thing*. This means that I might have to settle for a week somewhere . . . slightly less exciting than repacking my backpack. It got me thinking about travel snobbery though. I’d read something online a while ago where a discussion was taking place about which was better.

Why is there this kind of debate in the first place? At the end of the day, they’re still ways of seeing the world, right? Or am I wrong?

Backpacking is usually longer, yes, and you do tend to meet likeminded people. You tend to go off the beaten track a bit more (or just think you do) and you tend to have ‘experiences’ – bungee jumping, getting wasted a full moon party or trekking up a mountain somewhere. But then again, you generally need to take time out of your life, your job, and of course, it costs. Yes, staying in a guesthouse for 200 baht a night is cheap, but you’re doing it over a longer period of time. Not everyone can afford to do that.

When you’re a tourist, you tend to go somewhere for a shorter time, anything from a weekend to a month maybe, max. You might stay in a hotel or apartment instead and your ‘experiences’ might limit themselves to getting wasted in a club, trekking up and down the strip and meeting likeminded revellers or couples, or families or whatever. Both approaches aren’t for everyone, but does that mean either of them are wrong?

I love a good holiday. So much so I am literally aching for one right now – Ibiza? Yes please! And maybe I’m going to have to settle for that instead of a proper long old tour of a new continent. It sucks, but it shouldn’t really detract from the point of travel in the first place, which is universal: To see the world and experience new things.

So, now I just need to decide where to go, and how long for. I might continue my travel bucket list with that theme for next week.

Decisions, decisions…

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