I’m just going to get straight to the point and jump right onto the topic and focus of this post; tourists.
The definition of tourist is. ‘A person who travels or visits places for pleasure.’
When I think of tourists, I see people who have a dozen different brochures, about who knows what, overflowing in their hands, huge, but somewhat practical, backpacks, no doubt stuffed with souvenirs from all the gift shops, and their cameras poised in their hands ready to snap pictures in any angle. But that’s very stereotypical, and partially biased on my part. It’s also the old stereotypical image of tourists.
Modern day tourists just whip out their smart phones and switch on their 4G to search up where to go or what to do, a small purse, cross bag, or satchel slung on, probably containing nothing more than basic things like water and money, and their phones are everything for them, perfect to take quick selfies, instead of having to lug big heavy cameras wherever they go.
But the reason places are so popular and known to the world is because of these tourists. All those tourists who tweet and blog, vigorously use, or I like to think abuse, all the social networking sites, review, rate, revive, and report every place, giving it popularity or totally disowning it because it didn’t live up to their individual expectations and excitements.
Honestly if it wasn’t for tourists there’d be no such thing as a famous place or thing. Tourists are the judges of our architectural creations past and present, they are the cause of the downfall in adulation and commerciality of a landmark, or the reason a place has uprisen on the enticement scale.
Also,as tourism is a big financial source for some countries, lack of tourist activity would obviously result in economic labefaction.
So to help you stand tall in this modern tourist world; here are a few tips on how to be a good and slightly un-stereotypical tourist:
1.Be sure to do some extra reading about the place you’re going to, like how do people dress, what religion is majority of the population; are there many museums, what sport is most popular ? Obviously, doing more than the average tourist research is going to help you feel and fit in better, for a start.
2.Learn a few phrases on the local language before you go to the place;
If you’re speaking to locals and you have a dictionary or book of some sort, obscuring your face while you try to speak in their language, it’ll be embarrassing for you, and stressful, or possibly maddening to the locals, whose language you’re failing to speak. It’s politer, easier and simply better if you’re ready with a few key phrases.
3. Visit a few places besides what’s in the guidebook;
Okay,for example, if you go to Egypt, you’re obviously going to go to see the pyramids, the Sphinx etc, but what if you put down the stereotypical tourist guide(btw not a real book) for a sec, then you might just happen to find some amazing bazaar tucked away in a corner, which is perfect to get your fill of culture and maybe even buy some prezzies for friends and family back home. So explore yourself, find something new and make it a tourist attraction if it already isn’t but it’s wholly worth being one.
And the most important tip; wholeheartedly enjoy the company of the place, things and people you visit.