What’s the difference between being a tourist and being a traveler?

Happy New Year 2017! Have you adjusted to writing it yet? While traveling over the holidays I came across an article by Andrew Zimmern in Delta’s Sky magazine, in which he explored “How to be a traveler instead of a tourist…” The concept of tourist vs. traveler has intrigued me for some time. As I plan travel experiences in North Carolina, I want my guests to truly immerse themselves in the culture of the place we are visiting. Consciously combining the must-see sites and attractions with hidden gems around the state, visit NC concierge provides opportunities for exploring, learning and sharing this great state with like-minded sojourners.

Looking up the words “tourist” and “traveler” in the dictionary didn’t provide a clear distinction. For me, the tourist “sees” and the traveler “experiences.” Like Mr. Zimmern, “I believe travel is transformative – physically, emotionally, spiritually and behaviorally – and it’s the surest way to become the best version of yourself.” While traveling in Russia and Estonia in 2003 I recall remarking that the only opportunity we had to interact with the locals was when we shopped. We were tourists in those countries, “seeing” the sights. Contrasting that experience with a 2000 visit to a dairy farm in France where we not only enjoyed a delicious lunch featuring several varieties of artisan cheese made on site, we also walked through the barn and observed the animals in the fields as we chatted with the farmer and his wife. As a “traveler” in rural France I learned first-hand about the storied art of French cheese making. I felt connected to our hosts as we explored their world and learned about their life as farmers, artisans, small business owners, and restaurateurs.

North Carolina continues to reflect the globalism we all but take for granted today. Almost 50 percent of North Carolinians were born somewhere else. Visit NC concierge provides immersion experiences in our state’s culture, as well as showcasing the state’s diverse regions which are filled with interesting cities and towns. Whether dining in the 18th century home of a local historian or learning about the construction of fiberglass sailboats, with visit NC concierge travel experiences will immerse you in the wonder and beauty of this dynamic and diverse state.

The days are getting longer and spring is not far away. Planning a visit to one of the many beautiful gardens in North Carolina is a sure way to whet one’s appetite for warmer weather and the rebirth of the landscape. Come with visit NC concierge to Wilmington on March 31 to explore this historical city as it prepares for the 69th North Carolina Azalea Festival. May 24-26 we’ll travel to North Carolina’s High Country – Blowing Rock, Grandfather Mountain, Linville and places in between, exploring the area’s beauty and unique culture. Visit our website for details or call for more information.  I hope you’ll join us!

Don’t just see North Carolina. Experience it.

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