This change will not come as a complete surprise to my body. Between the laughter and the museums and the excitement of planning, I have had skin rashes, back aches and just a teensy bit of anxiety at times. But when the going gets tough, the tough do NOT go shopping. There is no room in my 20″ bag!
Here are some ways you can distinguish between between tourists and travelers:
On Where to Go:
TOURIST: Takes local train to outlying town highly recommended in Lonely Planet book as a “colony” full of “artists, free thinkers and day trippers.” I went there. No sign of artists, free thinkers or colonies. Many day trippers.
TRAVELER: Independently weighs pros and cons of whether to go to a country that just resolved a military conflict. Buys airline ticket before overthinking.
On What to Eat:
TOURIST: Wants “authentic” food unless it is weird.
TRAVELER: Wants “good” food and is willing to eat anything weird as long as it is not animal products. The good news is all the weird stuff is animal products.
TOURIST:Struggles to get pictures that don’t have people in them.
TRAVELER: Worries about offending a woman in shorts for taking a picture of her from behind, while making sure she is in fact an adult.
TOURIST: Considers the logic of spending $300 to ship the rug (antique lamp, tribal spear, shofar) back home to the US
TRAVELER: Considers the logic of spending $8 on a leather bracelet like the kids are wearing.
TOURIST: Automatically speaks English to strangers in a non-English speaking country. I am still doing this!!!!
TRAVELER: In advance of arrival, learns the country’s three most important phrases: thank you, thank you, and thank you.
And speaking of Hungarians! For those of you who knew and loved Abby, she was a Hungarian Vizsla. I have seen this handsome boy a couple of times walking through the neighborhood. He is a lover just like Abby.
“Watch my back and light the way, my traveling star.”