Tourist or Traveler
As we set sail from Cagliari, Sardinia Italy, it is midday with a calm and glistening sea. This is our third port in the next leg of our RTW and this particular trip.
We have enjoyed the beauty and history of Malta with settlements that date to thousands of years before Christ. We had a long and exhausting but incredibly informative tour of Tunis, the capitol and main port of Tunisia in North Africa. Today it was the very large Italian island of Sardinia where we had a less than enthusiastic guide which we bailed on halfway through the tour.
It was at that point that we went from tourist to travelers.
Several months ago I saw a post from, of all people, Ashton Kutcher. It was simple vignettes of the difference of being a tourist or a traveler. I think there is even a #touristortraveler hashtag out there.
To be honest a couple stung a little bit; the purchase of souvenirs, being in controlled and sanitary environments, and most of all maybe the necessity of having the electronics at hand —which by the way i’m communicating on right now, so….
Both Cynthia and I are fairly experienced travelers and I don’t really take the idea of being tourists as a compliment. Not that its a bad thing but I know there is the idea of the “ugly Americans” (which we’ve met a few) that we want to shake.
But there are several of the traveler charachteristics that we pretty well nail. Both Cynthia and I love to be off the beaten path. Although in Tunisia and again in Algeria tomorrow we will take no small comfort in being with a group. The photos that I take attempt to capture the beauty and personality of the places we visit. It’s less about making sure either of us is in the panorama.
As we broke away from the group today we were inside the castle at the top of the hill above the port of Cagliari. We meandered down the impossibly narrow cobblestone single-lane streets, beautiful multicolored facades rising on each side of us, dodging cars all the way. We would take a jog to the left then a little a veer the the right and down a set of steps then into an alley that even the cares couldn’t navigate. Truly letting whim and gravity guide us. No real idea of where we were going or any agenda in mind.
The road less traveled.
We found a great little coffee shop where no one spoke English and got a couple of lattes. We stopped at a little off-the-beaten-path shop and found a couple of unique things for my sister.
It was traveling, getting to know where we were and the people we met as well as spending time with each other. A favorite experience for us.
Again this reminds me of our relationship with God. I think He wants us more as travelers to Him, with Him; not tourists. Not to follow the crowd on Sunday, although important that is not how we get into relationship with Him. That’s tourist Christianity.
He wants us to KNOW Him. Find His nooks and crannies, learn His language, take your time.
Are you a tourist or a traveler??