News & more!Escapes
My trip reviewsGallery
My travel photosPlanning
What Makes You a Real Traveler?
We travelers feel offended when we get labeled "tourists".
Being a traveler means something deeper than just seeking leisure, fun, relaxation... we travel differently, we have different objectives.
It's a passion, a lifestyle thing, perhaps even an obsession or a mission and, quite often it has nothing to do with leisure.
But, what makes someone a 'real traveler'?
We all move around more or less, we do actually 'travel', but that doesn't mean we're REAL TRAVELERS (like professional travelers and travel bloggers).
I was preoccupied with this issue for a while (after having to explain myself to family and friends - who kept labeling my travels as "vacations").
Source: © iStock.com/HyperionPixels
Apart from "digital nomads", I'm not constantly on the road. I travel occasionally.
There are countless categories of travelers and various motivations to travel. All travelers are essentially "travel bugs".
We obsess about traveling. It crosses our minds several times a day and to many of us, it's a life mission. Once it catches you, the traveling fever never lets go of you!
Some specialize in adventure travel, others are gastronomy fans... Pretty much everyone has their own passions and areas of activity.
Still, travelers have certain common characteristics, even if there are no two people alike.
I tried to understand and summarize what makes someone a "real traveler"...
What does a traveler have and what does a traveler do?
#1 Deep passion for travel
Obsessive preoccupation with travel, going way beyond holiday-making, beyond leisure trips.
Passion towards traveling may include other passions and curiosity - like towards architecture, culture, history, sports and hiking etc.
#2 Curiosity towards foreign places and cultures
Travelers want to learn about foreign places and cultures. Some are "culture vultures", some scan the map on a daily basis, wondering - "what's interesting to see over there?".
I have a wall map above my desk and everyone once in a while I lose myself staring at various countries, islands...
#3 Thirst for adventure
Passion for traveling means you have a spirit for adventure.
You don't have to be Indiana Jones and jump from train top to train top. Cultural tours and urban explorations can also be adventurous.
Adventure-seeking people love taking risks and they're curious individuals.
#4 Almost constant preoccupation with travel
Even when we're not traveling, we're dreaming about it.
We read travel blogs, check airfares from time to time, we love browsing photos of beautiful photos of faraway places, we have a wall map either on our mouse pad or on our bedroom's wall...
The travel obsession is like a drug. You can't just put it away and keep calm.
Your blood boils and you're hankering to take your next adventure.
If the time between two trips is too long, it can be a traveler's nightmare!
#5 We make sacrifices, we take risks
"No pain, no gain" - as they say. Living for any passion requires sacrifices: financial, physical effort, spending time...
Some go as far as to risk their health and even their lives.
Others just decide to burn a lot of their time and money on traveling, exploring.
#6 Passion for photography
Traveling and not immortalizing the moments is a big mistake in my opinion.
Yet, living the moment is essential, the photos will always bring back memories.
From time to time I check my photos, which bring back memories, feelings, smells, tastes and faces I would normally forget forever.
Get yourself a good camera and keep firin' your shots!
#7 Creativity, inventiveness
One has to improvise from time to time. Whenever you find yourself in the middle of a difficult new situation, you'll have to use your creativity to get out of it.
Watch technical hack videos, "travel hack" tips and... a few episodes of "McGyver".
#8 Discipline and organizational skills
Real travelers are great organizers and they're highly disciplined.
They organize itineraries, are able to manage even complicated situations. Climbers and adventure travelers have some of the highest skills. I admire them.
Don't overspend, don't get drunk, just follow your rules without going astray. Most people aren't able to control themselves.
#9 Patience, calm
Not a mental patient... but, you know - someone who's calm.
To some, it can be nerve-wrecking to sit on a long-haul flight, waiting for long hours at an airport. But a real traveler is least likely to feel bored.
A good traveler needs to be calm, equilibrated far beyond the ordinary person's limits.
Naturally, calm is a quality when dealing with difficult situations, such as emergencies and when communicating with foreigners.
#10 Boredom is one thing a real traveler almost never feels
Ordinary people would feel passive, lost in "long waiting" situations.
I've found that I feel perfectly comfortable at times doing nothing. Not like I'd love doing nothing, but observing, contemplating or planning is what would normally take over when others would feel bored.
But this doesn't mean a traveler can never feel bored.
There are places and activities that are boring, there are days that are less exciting and so on...
The key thing is not to let boredom take you over.
#11 "Content is the king" - your life's content, that is
What content your life has is most important.
It's more important how you live than your CV, your title, etc.
Traveling can be the ultimate adventure and travelers aren't afraid to sacrifice time or money to be able to enjoy it fully.
About the Author:
Escape Hunter, the young solo traveler in his early 30's explores the World driven by curiosity, thirst for adventure, deep passion for beauty, love for freedom and diversity.
With a nuanced, even humorous approach to travel, an obsession for art and design, Escape Hunter prefers to travel slowly, in order to learn and "soak up" the local atmosphere...
comments powered by Disqus
As "Escape Hunter" - the curious incognito traveler with an insatiable drive to explore, I embark on slow and deep travels around
our beautiful World.
Join me and I will show you exciting destinations
"from within", through my
Travel Slang Dictionary
Guide to my personal travel slang vocabulary, which seasons my content...