Vacationing and traveling are not two sides of the same coin. These two concepts are literally: night and day. One isn’t better than the other. It comes down to who you are as an individual, what your purpose is, and what you are ultimately trying to get out of the experience. Traveling and vacationing bring about different adventures for everyone. What’s the difference between vacationing and traveling?
1. When one takes a vacation, the goal is to “escape” or only take a short pause to break up the monotony of one’s current life. While traveling, this is the way one lives. People who travel may not have an end goal and aren’t looking to take a break. Their reasons are vastly different: they could be traveling for personal reasons and are ready to live a different way of life. Vacationing doesn’t always give one the opportunity to find oneself. When one travels, it stretches you beyond your limitations, and if one commits, then the potential personal growth is exponential.
2. In some cases, one may choose an all-inclusive vacation in which everything is easily available, and activities are pre-planned. When traveling not everything is easily accessible. One may have an idea of what the attractions that one would like to visit but there isn’t a fully itemized schedule. Often, the individual traveler completes the legwork and not a travel company.
3. While vacationing one remains on the resort. The goal is to enjoy a leisure time. There’s no real exploration of the destination. One who travels lives the way the locals do. They live in the same types of homes, and they use the same kind of transportation. And they attempt to blend in either by understanding the local language or doing what the locals do.
4. When one takes a vacation, the meals that one eats is at four and five-star restaurants. Traveling is eating at the local restaurants, and in many places in Southeast Asia, it’s eating the street food and restaurants without any English menus. In many cases, this is way more affordable than eating at Western restaurants or restaurants that aren’t run by locals. One eats and drinks same as the locals.
5. Vacationing is fun. Traveling isn’t always fun. There are many frustrations related to adjusting to a new environment and understanding the local culture. One faces many more barriers traveling than vacationing. The goal is to break through those barriers as you travel. When one is vacationing, there really is no need to break through any cultural barriers. One has to adjust as one continues to travel.
6. Vacationing and traveling are both choices. When one takes a vacation, it’s temporary, and one will be home soon. While traveling, being home isn't in the foreseeable future. Therefore a traveler may experience a sense of loneliness. Each day that one is traveling, waking up in a foreign land is a reminder of how far away home really is.
Lastly, vacationing and traveling are not synonymous. These words mean something different for each individual. If you haven’t traveled but have vacationed, then I urge you to give traveling a chance. Consider letting go and living in a culture that is unfamiliar. Below is a picture of me heading out to do laundry. One of the principal means of transportation in Thailand is motorbikes. It’s typical to see the Thai people carrying various items on a motorbike. I’ve seen 60-inch screen TVs, and things that one wouldn’t think was possible on a motorbike. It’s also common to see family members of five on a motorbike, even babies, and without helmets. Follow me on Instagram to see more pictures of my travels.
Share your traveling experiences below? When did you realize that you were no longer a tourist?