Friday

THE TOURISTIN

For the last seven years I lived in Australia. Since everyone needs a sea change every now and then I went back home to Germany. As soon as I started spreading the news to friends and family they warned me that it is going to be horrible. I reckoned I can prove their theory wrong and wanted to blog 365 days of how awesome Germany is. I got tired of the idea before I even started my project. Not because Germany isn't fantastic, it just feels weird saying it out loud ... and that for a whole year.

During my first weeks in Berlin I came across more and more people who look down on tourists. As if this would not be enough, everyone also considers himself a traveller; even if people are planning a week long vacation on an island in the Mediterranean Sea they refuse to accept that they are in fact tourists. People in general rather pretend to travel, even if it is just around the corner to the south of Europe. They behave, like being a tourist is something nasty. Some even go so far, to refuse go to certain places because they are too touristy. For me these are usually the ones I like to hang out at, since there one often finds the most interesting people (the ones who like to travel).

I don’t get it, what is wrong with being a tourist? Being a tourist is so much better than hanging out in front of the telly, right? Being a tourist is awesome. If one avoids the too-touristy-places, it is likely one misses out on a lot of great places which are well worth a visit.

Just in case you wonder: That was when the idea for my blog was born.

Have you ever had a discussion about this topic? What is your opinion on it? Have you ever been a tourist yourself? Do you rather consider yourself a traveller as well? Where is the difference between a traveller and a tourist? And why is it in the eyes of many individuals so much better to be a traveller than a tourist?

I always try to be myself and to be a tourist as often as I can. I would love to get in contact with lots of hard-travelling tourists who love to be out and about as much as I do. I am looking forward to all your comments and thank you in advance. Until then, safe travels.

Important: You will soon realize there is no niche topic I write about. This wouldn’t be me at all, I can't narrow my interests down to just one thing. Who wants to lead such a dull life? The articles on THE TOURISTIN are about camping and cooking in the bush, going on road trips, as well as visits to galleries and museums or eating at great restaurants. I often even buy shoes or food items when travelling. If it is marvellous, and be it in the bush or in a fantastic major city or small hamlet, I share everything I find with you. Don’t let someone put you into one corner, when there are so many others to discover

From Berlin With Love

P.S. Touristin is the German word for a female tourist.

5 comments:

  1. I totally agree. As a tourist you can ask silly questions, show your wonder and enthusiasm. It's also easier to ask for help! As a traveller somehow you feel as though you need to be a lot cooler and take everything in your stride.

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  2. Hi Paula

    Thanks so much for your comment. I feel very sad for people who play it cool all the time, these people are very tiring and very boring to talk to. I always ask questions, and show my wonder and enthusiasm.

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  3. You know, I agree with you to a certain extent -- sometimes places that are typically "tourist destinations" sap the flavour out of a place and streamline it into a resort of some kind. It's those kind of places that I try to avoid. But I do think people who say "I'm not a *tourist*, I'm a *traveller*" are just using semantics to make themselves feel superior to everyone else. Anyway, there's usually a reason certain places are "touristy". It's because they're awesome to visit! You'd definitely be limiting yourself by leaving those places out!

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  4. I finally got to your blog! And I'm happy this is the first thing I read. Very thought-provoking.

    There's a quote from one of my favorite books, which made me, for the first time, realize there were those who call themselves tourists and those who call themselves travellers: “Another important difference between tourist and traveler is that the former accepts his own civilization without question; not so the traveler, who compares it with the others, and rejects those elements he finds not to his liking.” Paul Bowles, The Sheltering Sky. This was published in 1949, so the so-called distinction has been going on for a while.

    I agree with what Bowles says, and I understand it. But after reading your post, I also realize that some people today call themselves 'travellers' feeling superior to tourists. And I don't agree with that. I've been too many places in the world filled with people, and I've had a great time. (I don't like crowds, but the world belongs to everyone!). Whether they're tourists or travellers I don't care. What turns me off is when I bump into people who travel with a close mind, who are negative and judgmental, who are rude and obnoxious, thinking that they are better than others when they're abroad and that their place of origin is perfect. I think that's why I appreciate Bowles' quote.

    I enjoyed reading this. Thanks!! (Sorry this comment is so long. Yikes).

    Cheers, G.

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    1. Hi G

      thank you so very much for your comment, I really appreciate it. People who believe they are better than others are not my cup of tea at all, I almost feel sorry for them. As long as everyone has got a good time ... Have a great day. Cheers from Berlin

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Greetings stranger. I always try to be myself and to be a tourist as often as I can. I would love to get in contact with lots of hard travelling tourists who love to be out and about as much as I do. I am looking forward to all your comments. Thanks so much in advance.