This post is in response to The Daily One Word Prompt and this week’s word is tourist.
Upon reading the word tourist, the first word that popped into my mind was traveler. Currently, I am laying here in my bed, contemplating the weight of each of these terms. Are traveler and tourist mutually exclusive? If one identifies as a traveler, does this negate being a tourist? If one identifies as a tourist, does this negate being a traveler? These are just some of the questions consuming my mind at 12 midnight here in Cape Town, South Africa.
I believe that binary systems of thinking are often problematic in that they force us to neatly package ourselves into categorical boxes that we were never meant to fit in.
Am I a tourist? Am I a traveler? Am I both? Am I neither?
I would honestly say that I don’t consider myself a tourist or a traveler, but instead a human being that is in love with this Earth and everything that it selflessly offers us. I take advantage of every opportunity that I can get my hands on, whether it is independent travel (Cameroon) or through my undergrad university (Morocco) or my graduate university (South Africa).
I am a 25 year old female that seeks intimacy with countries I was not born in, languages I do not speak, food I have not tasted, cultures in which I was not raised in, and people I have yet to meet. If this makes me a traveler in the eyes of others, then so be it. And if this makes me a tourist in the eyes of others, then so be it…
Traveler, tourist, or both. I’m just me.
Warmest, Lauren K.