When Can You Call Yourself A Traveler?


Jordan McQueen

Photo of When Can You Call Yourself A Traveler? by Anmol Arora (Boring Traveller)

Benjamin Sloth

Photo of When Can You Call Yourself A Traveler? by Anmol Arora (Boring Traveller)

Joshua Earle

Photo of When Can You Call Yourself A Traveler? by Anmol Arora (Boring Traveller)

Luke Pamer

Photo of When Can You Call Yourself A Traveler? by Anmol Arora (Boring Traveller)

Jessica Polar

Photo of When Can You Call Yourself A Traveler? by Anmol Arora (Boring Traveller)

Is it when you have completed your first solo backpacking trip; when the visa counselor stamps your passport; when you click your first Instagram/Pinterest picture (#travel) or when you post your first blog on Tripoto?  I have been asking myself this question for a while. 

The answer is not simple as in the case of doctors who add the prefix Dr to their names on the completion of a medical degree or even professors who wait patiently till they finish their PHD. So I put this question across to travelers in Turkey and Africa, photographers, pilots and entrepreneurs: all those who swear by travel and its magic. The answers were astonishingly different and yet a common thread ran through them.

"How do you define a traveler?" I went to Michael Pargal, a entrepreneur by profession and traveler at heart, with this question. Michael has traveled to thirty-five countries, including Antarctica. Surely he would know the difference between a traveler and a non-traveler. 

He thought about it for a second and said, "You don't have to go abroad," dismissing the notion as foolish. " You are a traveler as long as you have a wandering spirit. It could take you to an unexplored  corner of your own city or to the ends of Earth."

This was the first of many answers I was going to receive. I then put the same question to Arpit Bansal, who went all the way to Africa, cooked his own food, pitched his tents and returned with a tan and tons of stories. He thought the question was interesting, and so was his answer.  

"On a winding road, if he is not in a hurry, has no sense of time and doesn't complain; he is a traveller."

Photo of When Can You Call Yourself A Traveler? 1/1 by Anmol Arora (Boring Traveller)

Image Credit: Harvey Enrile

Buket Karakas in Istanbul discussed this idea with her girl-friends before answering, "They don't call themselves travelers, I mean they shouldn't. They should be called traveler by others."

"A real real traveler can't be stable at one destination with the same set of people. They can't get enough of meeting people and testing new things." Her traveler, in essence, is restless.

A pilot based out of Île-de-France, Karan Sindhu, opined, "A traveler takes in the unique sights and sounds of the place. It could be a place of historic significance or geographic beauty. He would visit Nairobi for the Masai Marah, Rome for its history, Bhutan for its terrain, Hawaii for its flowing lava and so on.

The answers turned out to be as varied as the travelers (backpackers, adventure seekers, spiritual souls)that roam the world. It is not easy to define a traveler, but it is not impossible either.

They are a strange breed who choose uncertainty over surety, difficulty over ease and chaos over control. Travelers love the open road, full of possibilities and pitfalls. All of it put together adds to their bucket of memories (something like that).

6 Comment(s)
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Perfectly said. Really nice article.
Wed 05 10 17, 03:50 · Reply · Report
Nice. Very nice
Tue 12 27 16, 11:14 · Reply · Report
Reading your above article, I can say I am a traveler with a wandering spirit suffering from Fernweh (ache for distant places, craving to travel ) . You really good at writing blogs, great work!
Mon 09 21 15, 10:24 · Reply · Report
Photo of Sharmistha Rai
Sharmistha Rai
travelling enriches ,broadens mental horizon, makes more u refine
Fri 05 01 15, 01:24 · Reply · Edit · Delete ·
Photo of Wayne Lawhorn
Wayne Lawhorn
Attributed to St. Augustine, the words are very true, "The World is like a book, and he who does not travel reads only one page ! " Travel Well !
Tue 04 28 15, 06:50 · Reply · Edit · Delete ·
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