Skip to content

Are you a traveler?

March 3, 2010

Brisbane, Australia:

This is going to be quick because the sun is slowly making its way out from behind the clouds and the forecast predicts a dry day. Yay! ๐Ÿ˜€

Brisbane City Hall

Australia is the only place I’ve been to where people qualify how long they’ve been/are traveling with “only.” As in, “I’ve only been here a month.” “I’ll only be in Australia for six months.” Only?

So when someone asked me the other day, “Are you a traveler or on vacation?” I had to think. What’s the difference? Is there a difference?

My opinion?

A vacationer is in a place for just a week or two, coming in and visiting as many “must see” places as possible before swooping out to the next location. A traveler stays for a while, soaking up the atmosphere of a place, without having any definite plans. I met people in Byron Bay who said, “Well, I originally planned to be here for a week but it’s been a month.”

ANZAC WWI Memorial

There is a definite sense of animosity by travelers against vacationers; travelers see themselves as true adventurers while vacationers are just guests. You get that sense in some hostels, where longtime residents are noticeably cold to new people.

American window at St. John's Cathedral

At the same time, I can see their point. Travelers are trying to establish a life for themselves on the road and here come vacationers, here just for a week or two, and ruining the normal flow of things.

I don’t know where I fit into this but my guess would be a vacationer. Yes, I’m traveling for two months but that’s considered a short time in Australia. Also, I’m not interested in working or a short-term position on the road — many people find work for a week or two to support their travels, but I do see this as a holiday.

What do you think? What’s the difference between a traveler and a vacationer?

Meeting up with a Brisbane friend today! ๐Ÿ˜€

11 Comments leave one →
  1. March 3, 2010 7:00 pm

    I agree on your definition of travelers and vacationers.

    I might be studying abroad in Australia next year. So that means I would be there for about four months. What do you think that would that make me?

  2. Susan permalink
    March 3, 2010 7:11 pm

    I’d consider you a traveler, but what do I know? Gah, this is really confusing me! This is why “labelling” is a bad idea haha.

  3. March 3, 2010 7:45 pm

    I never really thought of it before. Till I read your post I would of thought they were basically the same.

    I would say the travellers who were cold to me(a vacationer so far) could go ____ themselves. Sounds like the only difference in the two groups is the time they had to visit their destination.

    I’d consider you a traveller but not of the class I mentioned above ๐Ÿ™‚

    • March 4, 2010 6:13 am

      Thanks John! ๐Ÿ˜€ Some “true” travelers can be snobs about it, looking down on people who are merely vacationing, but there are also some fantastic long-term travelers out there.

      Labels begone!

  4. March 3, 2010 9:21 pm

    such a cool thing to ponder! i guess i’ve always been a vacationer up until this point, but i’m REALLY hoping i get the opportunity to be a traveler once i’m done with school ๐Ÿ™‚ beautiful pics erin! glad to see you’re having fun

  5. March 4, 2010 12:16 am

    I agree with your explanation of the difference. I definately enjoy both vacationing and traveling, but I think traveling is a bit more risky which adds a new twist of excitement to the picture.

  6. March 4, 2010 12:45 pm

    I think I’m more of a traveller than a vacationer.

  7. March 5, 2010 5:39 pm

    Wow. This is very interesting. I never thought of them as two different concepts, but I do see what you are saying. I think you are right about the difference, but I also think a vacationer could act like a traveler, if they were savvy enough. You know, all of the vacationers cannot take a ton of time off (I mean, those people who travel for years).


  1. The dirty truth: hostels «
  2. Fries and a Coke in China «

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: