Since 2000, I worked as an English speaking tour guide. I’m making an assumption that at want point in your life you’ve been a tourist. You’ve carried a map, a camera, maybe even had a tour guide. You’ve traveled to different destinations, relaxed on remote beaches, climbed stairs in buildings you see on television. You’ve done all of these things but somehow when you get arrive home, all your left with is a short memory, and a few photographs.
Uganda Gorilla Treks are nice every once in a while, but it doesn’t make sense to me why we will travel thousands of miles to sit in hotel rooms and watch movies, or lie on a pool deck and catch some rays. These are all things that we can do where we are from; I want you to think about being a traveler not a tourist. You want to soak in as much of the new country and culture that you can rather than bring as much of your culture to them. It’s really quite simple. In one step you need to forget about your way of live, and adopt theirs.
Its simple things like the mindset that we have when we go abroad, and what we bring. Don’t bring all of the things that we depend on in America. Bring what it is that you are going to need to survive and stay healthy during your visit. The more comforts you have, the more you will depend on them, and the less you will step out to become the traveler you ought to be!
Put yourself out there. Locals are always interested to interact with foreigners, and it’s best to take advantage of this. Meet people that you can share life with while you are in their country. Immerse into their culture and be open to new ideas. A lot of times we are closed to new ideas and we miss out on opportunities for better things to come along. Be open, willing and accepting.
If you want to be changed, and to experience you need to leave the tourist at home. Bring out the inner traveler in you and see the world in the way that it was meant to be seen.