Pin pointing the distinctions that truly divorce the two feels oddly like trying to guess where a ball is under three, identical cups – what I thought I knew gets scrambled, my confidence in my original choice is shaken, and I no longer, with resolution, claim to know what I did at the start.
There’s this definite, undeniable element of anxiety, of not being truly present, that I suspect most definitely characterizes a tourist. It’s something I feel in the hesitancy of my footsteps, in the false bravado of my posture. It’s in my fingertips that I’m a traveler. I find her in my long-winded, inner narrative. She’s there… somewhere, the traveler in me.
I wonder if becoming a traveler requires more experience than being a tourist. Perhaps “traveler” is a level up from “tourist”, a plane reached through practice and participation. But I think “traveler” is a state of mind, something that requires emotional rather than physical movement, and that maybe I should measure my progress by the itching feeling in my fingertips than the uncertainty in my footsteps.