Tourists go from one place to the next taking photos of everything in sight. Their memories are saved on SD cards and iCloud. They see things, but rarely interact and engage.
Travelers, however, see what is going on and interact with their surroundings to create something different. They engage with their environment and make an impact. They leave an impression.
Tourists are noticed because they stand out of the crowd. They take pictures of the culture around them rather than becoming part of it.
Travelers blend in with the crowd. They go with the flow. They eat local food, stay in the homes of families rather than pricey hotels, and see parts of the country that is not found in a guide-book.
Being a tourist is easy. It comes natural to most people. But a traveler understands what they saw. They can explain the purpose of the photo, the meaning behind the story, and the reason why a random conversation with a stranger on the bus made the trip unforgettable.
Which one are you?