The Tourist and the Traveler in Life’s Journey

The Tourist and the Traveler in Life’s Journey

It’s interesting to step back and look at life as one long trip to a foreign country. Do the people you observe seem to be tourists or travelers? Are you yourself, a tourist or a traveler?

There are certain characteristics that separate the two. For instance, the tourist will always stay to the well trodden path, avoiding any situations or circumstances that could lead into un-charted territory. The traveler, on the other hand, will quite often toss aside the guide book (that others have spent years memorizing), and head off into territory that no one else has even explored before.

The tourist will reach the next destination as quickly as possible – he’s a go getter. He’ll rely on the photos in the guide book to remind him of where he’s been. The traveler may never reach his destination – but he’ll have great stories of all the places he visited along the way.

When confronted with a road block, the tourist will patiently wait for the people responsible for road block removal to show up and help him. The traveler will either break the rules and climb over the road block, or he’ll just head off into some new un-mapped territory. The traveler is selfish – he doesn’t care if others follow him or not.

The tourist always stays very close to the tour group, where he’s safe, and there is little chance of nasty surprises. The traveler spends some time alone; dirty, beat up, and tired – but for reasons not understood, he just keeps going.

The tourist receives many pats on the back. He blends into the herd, where it’s safe and comfortable, with perfect camouflage. The traveler is a rogue, understood by few, other than the occasional fellow traveler he encounters along the way.

The tourist will be happy because he’s doing the things the guide book said he had to do in order to be happy.

The traveler is happy for no reason at all.

Chad Prigmore has studied the topics of Recovery, Christianity, Zen Practice, and Personal Growth for over seventeen years. More of his writing is at