"The traveler sees what he sees, the tourist sees what he has come to see."
Listen to my thoughts about G K Chesterton's inspirational quote in the video below. You'll also discover a bit more about where I went on holiday, this year - can you believe I went to Melbourne, Australia!.
(NOTE: Yes, I wrote any captions you see in this video. It's called self-deprecation, and it's mostly a healthy thing (I think!).)
So, as I kind of say in the video, travelling - or visiting somewhere new - is an opportunity to a) see yourself anew and b) to see with your own eyes, rather than somebody else's.
With all the modern technology at our disposal - cameras, mobile phones, laptops to mention a few - it is very easy to travel someplace new, snap away and then lose yourself in conversations with people who are not even with you.
It is very easy to DO the touristy thing, tick off what you're meant to see and get the photographic proof of your success. And then... NEXT!
And this is NOT the way to experience anywhere - new or otherwise. It is NOT how to see with your own eyes.
So when I travelled to Thailand, I did not see what the tourists saw (nor the travellers for that matter), I saw the impact the tourist (AND traveller) was having on the country - litter, and a drug culture borrowed from the west! (I also noticed a very friendly people, fantastic street food and delicious fruit, too, on the positive side!)
And when I lived in Malawi, Africa (see my Diary of a Volunteer website if you're at all interested in my experience!) I noticed the friendly (but passive) people, and the beautiful landscape, but I couldn't help but notice my own culture and, sad to say, my own negativity!
(I think living somewhere gives scope for such self-examination compared to just travelling!)
These are the thoughts that came to mind when I read G K Chesterton's inspirational quote, anyway.
How about you, I'd love to hear your wisdom regarding this quote too... :-)