Many nights I have imagined being in a sleeper train on a moonless night , looking out of the open window and seeing only the dark night , the train tearing the wind with its terriffic speed ,hearing the chug chug and the roar when crossing the bridge over the silent river… Only thing I do not know is where I am going ..or from where I boarded this train.
Some of this now manifests in my travel and there is a remarkable shift in my behaviour and outlook.
I am forever looking at flight timings, airport halts, mult airlines, ticket fares, train stations, bus companies and not much datatime on the destination itself.
On one of my travels last year ,in Ryan Air to be specific, I was asked to weigh my backpack.It weighed all of 8 pounds and the checkin person asked me if I was going back home after visiting family here.
Was the airline staff expecting the pax to lug around the max permitted baggage weight?
You must also have noticed in many of the airport arrival areas, there are always tour guides with their eager tourists around talking with their hands, working around the language barrier and trying to guide them to their waiting coach. Most of them if not all would be lugging 2-3 bags , DSLR hanging around their neck , hat , sunglasses ,maps, busy ticking the places seen.
The Host country loves them, they stay in the best hotels, travel coach or taxi, eat their meals in big ristorante and they boost the local economy with their shopping.
A traveller is not seen by anyone, uses public transport , very light backpack, small camera used sparringly, busy mingling and chatting with the locals. Often spending quite a few days in the same city, enjoying the street food like the locals, never seen in a queue waiting to be ushered inside after buying the expensive entry ticket and staying in budget hotels or hostel dorms.
This contrast is what makes the travel so interesting and fulfilling, tourists see things, travellers become part of these things.
Looking forward to your view on the tourist and traveller!