(Distinctions are subtleties of language that, when gotten, cause a shift in a belief, behavior, value or attitude.)


Have you ever traveled to a location that is new for you and then had someone come up to you and ask for directions, mistaking you for a “native”? If so, you were probably being a traveler.

Travelers quickly acclimate to new surroundings. They feel comfortable and enjoy the new experiences, smells, sights and sounds. Travelers have an intent to absorb, and be absorbed by, their new environment. They want to experience it at a deep level and enjoy being changed by it.

Tourists have a different energy about them. They tend to experience only the surface, the thin veneer that coats all cultures. Tourists snapshoot — literally and figuratively — their way through life.

Tourists talk about the trip they took. Travelers talk about how they were changed by the experience.


Coaching Point: How are you experiencing your life, your work, your family – as a traveller or as a tourist?


Copyright 2001 Steve Straus. All rights reserved.