Tourist or Explorer, What is Your Cup of Tea?

There is no difference between a Tourist or Explorer. Tourists are the largest group of Explorers.  Most people have some curiosity in them, the question is how much. My definition of a Tourist is not based on attitude or appearance but on how a person travels. I have played the tourist role at some points in my life. Tourists rely on agents to plan their adventure.  The degree of danger or difficulty has no bearing on the adventure or the Tourist classification.

Some things you want to see or do require using an agent because that is the only legal way to do it.  Most adventures can be planned and managed by you if you have the time and resources to do it.   There are many tourist attractions I plan on seeing before my days are done.  However, if I can plan and manage the adventure myself best bet I will.

I Have 4 Classifications of an Explorer

The Tourist goes out and explores the world.  Many of these adventures lead to places of history that have hosted countless tourists throughout human history.  It is in our nature to explore and even if the sedentary life tries to hold us down we must appease the need for exploration even if it is a short vacation or a life long quest.

The Accidental Traveler did not want to go but circumstances force the travel upon them.  An example might be Jane was forced to go to Minnesota for work during the worst winter in 25 years.

The Adventure Junky is the rarest.  People like Matt Rutherford who in 2011 became the first human in history to circumnavigate the Americas in a sailboat.  The Northwest Passage is now open in the summer, another first in human history.  These people seek out a rare and exotic adventure that sends them to the very edge of the frontier with the unknown. 

The Travel Spectator explores vicariously through others.  To these people, I say “Just Do It”.

Take the Slow Boat

Are You a Tourist or an Explorer?
Are You a Tourist or an Explorer?

This image is of Eco-Tourists exploring the Channel Islands National Park.  They catch a ferry from Los Angeles and have the day to explore, kyack or even camp if you want, the fairy will return the next day.  A fun and cheap way to explore islands that just over 100 miles away millions of people live and work but do not know about the islands.  Now that fact is amazing.  Another small issue is using a carbon-producing ship to run an eco-tour?  I know the answer, because of cost and logistical issues with a sailboat big enough to take 65 people to the islands.

In the spirit of eco-tourism, we are designing a new eco-friendly package to see this untamed wilderness.  Ride aboard a 36 foot Hunter sailing yacht to the island anchorage under wind power.  Using the ship’s dinghy we will take you ashore to explore the island without 64 other people stumbling around.  Watch the seals battle for dominance on the beach from the comfort of the ship.  Explorer areas that the tour guide will not show you.

I suppose some of us are cave dwellers, some of us live in houses, some of us like to be loose-footed. I’m a ramblin’ man.

Lemon Jelly
The Dread Pirate Dave

David is the Editor in Chief of Postcards From the Edge. I was born on a cold November morning on the showy plains of Colorado. Like my father, before me, I am an American Nomad.

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