On Travelling, Travellers and Tourists

No two birds are the same..

I know that I promised to do a post on my Kodaikanal trip, but I was distracted by some thoughts on the above mentioned subject.Ever since I started travelling and writing about my trips, I have often wondered why I travel. In fact I did a post on this on my blog Monologues which I will repeat here instead of just giving you a link .Here are some of the questions I asked myself and before I found an answer to them, my thoughts have lingered elsewhere.

Why do I travel ?

Am I an escapist ?
Am I searching for something?
Am I lured by wanderlust?
Am I looking for something new?
Am I running away ?
Is it a fear of the routine?
Is it the energy missing in my life?
Is it to avoid people and civilisation ?
Is it something I am trying to prove to myself ?
Is it to get lost ?
Is it to meet new people ?
Is it to explore ?
Is it to get a new identity ?
Is to see a world bigger and richer than my world ?
Is to identify with something , somewhere ?

The questions keep echoing in my mind and I think I know the reasons, but what has triggered this post is not my desire to travel, but the needs of others. This blog and many of my articles have got the attention of fellow tourists and travellers who have been writing to me wrt queries. Of late, I have started consulting as well and work with a few travel agents to organise bookings and holidays. And I have realized that the needs of my friends, families and clients are so different from mine. While I look for a meaningful journey and want to understand cultures, get to soak inside a destination and learn all about its inside stories, the needs of others are so different. So the first rule I realized that all travellers or even tourists are not the same. They may seek to be travellers, but end up being tourists. I realized that they are not me and the needs vary from good food, to safe drivers to TV in the room, to activities in the resort to sightseeing for kids to deluxe facilities at the lowest cost and clean rooms and loos. Its incidental that I also look for clean rooms and loos but I have realized that I need to think as a tourist when it comes to them and not as a traveller . And I am happy switching identities. That is what being a media professional is all about, I guess πŸ™‚


  1. Aaarti 29 September, 2008 at 13:50 Reply


    Awesome post… why i say that?
    cos i too have gone thru this phase.. there are times when people i come across ask me why i love travelling… and when i tell them i wanna explore, they stare like am talking some greek or latin…

    and just as you have mentioned.. most wanna be tourists, they wanna go to a upscale hotel, go on package tours, etc etc… which is so totally not for me.. i enjoy going by bus, staying in small hotels[yes, clean beds n loo is must:)], but spend least on accomodation/travel and most on travelling!! i love spending time with locals, talking to them, etc.. but i guess only some can understand why we are this way!!!:)

    here’s to more travelling…
    Hows the golu????:)ur 1st?

    [btw,came by earlier.and net died, so coming over again to post my comment:)]

  2. Priyank 29 September, 2008 at 17:59 Reply


    I can very well understand your situation when you are asked to wear a different hat. I face that too when people ask me about travel suggestions. If the person is youngish, I always suggest them to go for something more real, more adventurous and not luxurious. I understand as you grow older, your perception of comfort and travel changes a bit and I won’t sleep in a hostel with 8 other guys in the same room after a few years πŸ™‚

    Nice posts, and already commented about the questions on the monologues blog sometime back:) Cool.

  3. Wendy 29 September, 2008 at 19:58 Reply

    I’m with you on its more about the destination than the hotel. A hotel is a place to sleep after a day of exploring. I can’t tell you how many times people have asked me where I’m traveling next and when I tell them they say “why do you want to go there?” Sigh.

  4. Veens 29 September, 2008 at 20:14 Reply


    you know what… i travel for is like any other person

    – a change of scene
    – and a scenic relaxation

    i would love to tavel more… but i seriously lack the enthu..

    i wish i coud xplore… andwith the right people i would have done i guess!

    i am sure… in sometime from now…. u will be doing a very gr8 job and will be a person… i will call to ask for recommendations πŸ™‚

    i still mean to call πŸ˜‰

    but i have no plans yet πŸ™‚

    and i am also glad… that yu can switch your 2 roles πŸ™‚

    and that yu r not sarcastic doing it “_”

  5. I am 29 September, 2008 at 23:58 Reply

    nice observation..and it’s absolutely correct..

    I say so, because in my next trip, I want to really really travel like a tourist don’t remember when I did that last !!

  6. mitr_bayarea 30 September, 2008 at 23:36 Reply


    Very thought provoking post, I see you as a thorough journalist, a media professional and a traveller with a purpose. What you do adds so much value to the community, folks who read your travelogue world wide and of course for your own personal fulfillment too.

  7. Reeta Skeeter 1 October, 2008 at 01:10 Reply

    I can so so so much identify with this post and the thoughts therein…I can now safely say that OUR kinda travel is to bring back with us the a part of the land/civilisation we visit…about culture,people and of course history πŸ™‚

  8. Anu 1 October, 2008 at 10:59 Reply

    Nice post..being a tourist myself to most places and traveller only to some..I havent really questioned my motives. But its great your ablity to change hats to suit other input is that your serving a greater need,for people like me who love to learn but never get to be the traveller, just the reader πŸ™‚

  9. ceedy 1 October, 2008 at 23:48 Reply

    Simple I travel to experience the built environment…

    Well I am going to consult you….hope to get a bloggers discount πŸ˜‰

    keep up the good work πŸ™‚

  10. Manish Kumar 2 October, 2008 at 18:05 Reply

    Just read this post along with your post on Tawang. Scenes were quite like when I visited North Sikkim with an altitude of 17000 ft.

    Well are you interested in translation of your write up on Tawang in Hindi. I want to feature your article as a guest writer on my Hindi Travel Blog.

    Do mail me interested in the idea.


  11. Jeevan 8 October, 2008 at 11:00 Reply

    Very true, traveling is different to each other, as for me I like to go more nature and feel my presence, but what I expect could not adjustable with co-traveller. Views are same, but thought are different isn’t!

  12. rav143rab 20 October, 2008 at 13:22 Reply

    Hi there !! good blog. I agree with Aarti.. I went to Coorg ( Madikeri )with my cousins on October 9th,2008 ( during Dasara ). I have experienced the traveler psyche-conflict (repeating part of your blog—“And I have realized that the needs of my friends, families and clients are so different from mine. While I look for a meaningful journey and want to understand cultures, get to soak inside a destination and learn all about its inside stories, the needs of others are so different. So the first rule I realized that all travelers or even tourists are not the same.”)

  13. Lakshmi 1 November, 2008 at 17:44 Reply

    aaarti – Thanks..Yes, I agree with u, but as a travel planner, I realize not everyone’s needs are the same ..been keeping golu every year

    pete – Thanks for the encouragement

    Vishesh – The transition will come soon

    Diana – Thanks..i do write now as well for a few publications πŸ™‚

    Lifecruiser -Thats a good one..

    Priyank – Its often when someone young say that I need a TV in my room that I feel stumped πŸ™‚

    sameera – Its part of my job I guess

    Wendy – I get asked that question all the time and they have this look on their face that Ive gone nuts

    veens – Im definitely not sarcastic..I respect each ones needs and requirements, but sometimes its difficult to relate ..expecting yr call soon πŸ™‚

    I am – Sometimes its good to be just another tourist

    Mitr – Thanks so much for your encouraging words..well, I never rated myself so highly, but it feels good to hear someone say so

    Reeta -Thats the point ..but a lot of people just want to travel to drink and party

    anu – Each one to himself or herself ..I respect people’s needs and dont really question motives as long as they dont question happy to serve all..a reader, traveller or a tourist

    Ajeya – same here and it opens a diferent world

    Ceedy – πŸ™‚ Any time

    Manish – a good idea..will mail u

    jeevan – as long as u enjoy the journey and the trip, its fine, I think

    celine – sad but the tourist never realizes this , dont u think

    rav143rab – thanks for the mail..yes, people are different and so are their needs, in a group trip, Ive always encoutered this conflict

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