Is tourist a dirty word?

Travelers tend to have the same complaints. Be it backpackers, exchange students, or expats, three things are guaranteed to be ranted about: McDonald’s spreading across the world like herpes, cab drivers and bus schedules being untrustworthy and unreliable, and tourists.

Tourist is thrown around as dirty word and insult among many travelers, but missing the best sites and going out of your way to be uncomfortable just so you won’t *gasp* be a tourist is a very silly idea. Signed, myself after visiting Peru and Jordan without seeing Machu Picchu or Petra.

The idea of not being a local but demanding to see authentic local places, then complaining that there are too many other non-locals there who are searching for the same thing, seems eerily similar to the bro tradition of bedding every girl you can and then calling a girl a slut if she’s had multiple partners… but I digress. (/rant)

If you dislike tourists, ask yourself why. Are they disrespectful towards locals? Are they obnoxious and demanding? Do they go somewhere new and complain that it’s different than the place they just willingly chose to leave?

Those are all things that obnoxious people do. There are obnoxious people in every group.

Please don’t lump the rest of us tourists in with them.

One comment

  1. I agree, there’s no reason to grumble at the tourists and miss out on the best sights to feel more authentic. I have no shame in following a tour guide with a prop on a stick (ok maybe a little shame) but I’ll try to avoid tourist traps when it comes to food.


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